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Top 20 Common WordPress Errors and how to Resolve Them

Published on June 10, 2024

Top 20 Common WordPress Errors and how to Resolve Them

WordPress is a versatile and user-friendly platform, but like any system, it can sometimes encounter issues. Here’s an in-depth look at the most frequent WordPress errors and practical solutions to fix them.

1. Internal Server Error

The Internal Server Error, often referred to as the “500 Internal Server Error,” is one of the most puzzling issues as it doesn’t provide specific information about the problem. Typically, it arises from corrupted .htaccess files, plugin or theme conflicts, or PHP memory limits.


  • Rename your .htaccess file to .htaccess_old to see if the error resolves.
  • Deactivate all plugins and reactivate them one by one to identify the problematic one.
  • Increase your PHP memory limit via the wp-config.php file.

2. Technical Difficulties Message

Introduced in WordPress 5.2, the “This Site is Experiencing Technical Difficulties” message indicates a fatal error. WordPress sends an email to the admin with details on the issue.


  • Ensure your admin email is correct and accessible.
  • Use the recovery link in the email to troubleshoot the error.

3. Syntax Error

A Syntax Error typically occurs when you’re adding code snippets with incorrect syntax. This results in a PHP parse error.


  • Access your site via FTP and fix the syntax in the affected file.
  • Use an IDE or a code editor to avoid syntax errors.

4. Error Establishing Database Connection

This error is usually due to incorrect database credentials or a corrupted database.


  • Verify your database credentials in the wp-config.php file.
  • Repair your database via phpMyAdmin or by adding define('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true); to wp-config.php.

5. White Screen of Death

The White Screen of Death offers no error message, making it difficult to diagnose. It often results from PHP memory limits or plugin/theme issues.


  • Increase the PHP memory limit.
  • Disable all plugins and switch to a default theme to identify the issue.

6. 404 Error on Posts

When posts return a 404 error, it’s usually due to permalink issues.


  • Re-save your permalink settings in the WordPress dashboard.
  • Update your .htaccess file with the correct rewrite rules.

7. Sidebar Below Content

This issue, where the sidebar appears below the content, often stems from theme-related problems or HTML/CSS errors.


  • Check your theme for unclosed HTML tags.
  • Correct any CSS issues related to width and float properties.

8. Missing Buttons in Visual Editor

Missing buttons in the classic WordPress editor can result from JavaScript errors or TinyMCE conflicts.


  • Clear your browser cache.
  • Reinstall TinyMCE files if they are missing or corrupted.

9. Memory Exhausted Error

The “Memory Exhausted” error occurs when a script exceeds the allocated PHP memory.


  • Increase the PHP memory limit in wp-config.php or php.ini.

10. Locked Out of Admin Area

Being locked out of the WordPress admin area can happen due to forgotten passwords or malicious code.


  • Reset your password via phpMyAdmin.
  • Check for security vulnerabilities and clean up any malicious code.

11. Login Page Redirecting Issue

If your login page keeps refreshing or redirecting, it’s likely due to incorrect URL settings or .htaccess issues.


  • Ensure your site URL and home URL are correct in the WordPress settings.
  • Update your .htaccess file to resolve any redirection issues.

12. Image Upload Issues

When image uploads fail, it’s usually due to incorrect file permissions.


  • Correct the file and directory permissions via FTP.

13. Common Image Issues

New users often struggle with aligning, resizing, or displaying images correctly.


  • Familiarize yourself with WordPress’s media handling features.
  • Use plugins to enhance image management.

14. “Are You Sure You Want to Do This” Error

This error arises from plugins or themes failing to use Nonce security keys properly.


  • Deactivate plugins and themes to identify the culprit.

15. Maintenance Mode Error

An interrupted update can leave your site stuck in maintenance mode.


  • Delete the .maintenance file from your WordPress root directory.

16. Email Issues

If your WordPress site isn’t sending emails, it’s likely due to server settings.


  • Use an SMTP plugin to configure email settings correctly.

17. RSS Feed Errors

RSS feed errors typically result from poor formatting or incorrect XML.


  • Validate your RSS feed and correct any errors.

18. 403 Forbidden Error

A 403 error occurs when server permissions prevent access to a page.


  • Correct file permissions and check for plugin conflicts.

19. Too Many Redirects

This error results from a misconfigured redirection loop.


  • Check your URL settings and .htaccess file for correct redirect rules.

20. Upload Failed to Write File

This error is due to incorrect folder permissions.


  • Adjust the folder permissions to allow writing.

21. Harmful Programs Warning

Google flags sites with suspicious code as containing harmful programs.


  • Scan your site for malware and remove any malicious code.

22. Missed Schedule Error

WordPress may miss scheduled posts due to cron job issues.


  • Use a plugin to manage and troubleshoot scheduled posts.
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