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WordPress is popular. Many users love the possibilities the system offers and see no problems. At WpUpgraders we focus on professional maintenance. We see WordPress problems on a daily basis. Time for an overview of the problems we come across and the solutions that are available.
Before you tackle these kinds of problems we advise you to make sure the back ups of your website are in order.
- Slow website
- Unexplainable visual changes
- White Screen of Death – WSOD
- Notification: Internal Server Error / “HTTP 500 Internal Server Error”
- Notification: Error Establishing Database Connection
- Notification: Connection Timed Out
- Notification: Parse error, syntax error
- Notification Warning: Cannot modify header information
- Notification: Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Please check back in a minute.
- Images cannot be uploaded
- Problems logging in
- E-mails from the website do not arrive
- Website has been hacked
A common problem is a slow website. We’ve written various blogs about this issue. The most important cause is slow hosting. Start with a good Managed WordPress hosting. Is your hosting fast? You can work to improve the speed of your website yourself.
Unexplainable visual changes
With unexplainable visual changes your WordPress website looks different even though you haven’t updated it. The website isn’t offline. The cause could be anything. In this case it’s important to start by emptying the cache.
Rule out caching problems
White Screen of Death – WSOD
After working on your website you encounter a white screen. The cause is usually a PHP conflict in a WordPress plugin or your theme. It may also have to do with the maximum memory available for your WordPress website. In these cases you should get an error notification from the server, this is just hidden from outside users.
Notification: Internal Server Error / “HTTP 500 Internal Server Error”
When you see these notifications you have usually (but not always) done something wrong. This notification is usually given when there are PHP problems with plugins or thema’s. Exceeding the memory or a modified .htaccess file could also be the problem.
Notification: Error Establishing Database Connection
This notification means that no connection is being made with the database. This notification usually appears during WordPress installation. The notification may also appear randomly.
Notification: Connection Timed Out
The server generates this notification when your website needs more time to generate a webpage than is available.
Notification: Parse error, syntax error
The syntax error is a PHP notification that a piece of code has not been written following PHP guidelines and so cannot be executed. The notification will specify where the problem is. You can look up the file and line of code via FTP to change it.
Notification Warning: Cannot modify header information
After updating WordPress you see this notification in your browser: “Warning: Cannot modify header information” – headers already sent”. Often this is caused by other error notifications on your webpage. If you see any other error notifications take care of them first.
If you continue to see the notification afterwards, it is probably due to unneccesary spaces (for example enters, spaces) at the beginning or end of WordPress files, before the code begins and after it ends. In the example below, for example, there is unneccesary whitespace at the top of the wp-config.php file:
To solve this problem your can reach the file via FTP. Edit the file using a text editor and remove all whitespace at the beginning and the end of the code.
When updating WordPress and plugins the maintenance mode is activated and the website is not available. Updating doesn’t take long (usually no more than a few minutes), so the down-time is limited. Sometimes WordPress gets stuck in maintenance mode after an update.
Images cannot be uploaded
A common problem is that images cannot be uploaded to the media library.
Problems logging in
You are sure you have the right user name and password, but you still can’t log in.
E-mails from the website do not arrive
Both admin and website visitors are not receiving e-mails via the website. Not when users register their information, not the forgot password function, notification of forms, order confirmations etc. The cause is probably that your e-mail is not getting through the spam filters.
Website has been hacked
All above mentioned problems may occur if your website has been hacked. We’ve written a blog about removing malware from a hacked website.