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25 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

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While WordPress is really easy to use, there are some common WordPress errors that can make you panic. The good thing is that the WordPress error you are seeing on your site is most likely been reported and resolved by someone before you. At WPBeginner, we have written tutorials on how to fix several popular WordPress errors. In this article, we will cover the 25 most common WordPress errors along with showing you how to fix all of these common WordPress errors.

 Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

Important: Before trying to fix any WordPress error, make sure that you have a complete WordPress backup. You can use BackupBuddy or use this tutorial to manually create a WordPress backup.

In case you are unable to resolve your issue from the steps mentioned in this article, then please contact your WordPress hosting company.

Since this is a lengthy article, we have created a table of contents below for easy navigation.

Table of Contents

  1. How to fix internal server error
  2. How to fix syntax error in WordPress
  3. How to fix the error establishing database connection in WordPress
  4. How to fix WordPress white screen of death
  5. How to fix WordPress posts returning 404 error
  6. How to fix sidebar below content error in WordPress
  7. How to fix white text and missing buttons in WordPress visual editor
  8. How to fix WordPress memory exhausted error by increasing PHP memory limit
  9. What to do when you are locked out of WordPress admin area
  10. How to fix WordPress login page refreshing/redirecting issue
  11. How to fix image upload issue in WordPress
  12. How to fix common image issues in WordPress
  13. How to fix “Are you sure you want to do this” error in WordPress
  14. How to fix briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error in WordPress
  15. How to fix WordPress not sending email issue
  16. How to fix WordPress RSS feed errors
  17. How to fix 403 forbidden error in WordPress
  18. How to fix error too many redirects issue in WordPress
  19. How to fix “Upload: failed to write file to disk” error in WordPress
  20. How to fix “This site ahead contains harmful programs” error in WordPress
  21. How to fix missed scheduled post error in WordPress
  22. How to fix fatal error: Maximum execution time exceeded in WordPress
  23. How to fix Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress
  24. How to fix WordPress keeps logging out problem
  25. Troubleshooting WordPress errors on your own
  26. Let’s take a look at how to solve the most common WordPress errors (one by one).

    1. How to Fix Internal Server Error

    Internal server error

    Perhaps the most confusing WordPress error that a beginner may come across is “Internal Server Error”, or sometimes “500 Internal Server Error”.

    This error usually appears when there is something wrong, but the server is unable to identify where the problem is. Since the error message does not indicate where you should look for the error, it is pretty much up to you to figure this out.

    We have compiled a list of solutions that you can try and one of them will help you resolve it. [Fix internal server error]

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    2. How to Fix Syntax Error in WordPress

    Syntax error in WordPress

    This error usually occurs when you are trying to add code snippets into WordPress and have accidentally missed something or the code has incorrect syntax. This will result into a PHP parse error and you will see a notice like:

    Parse error- syntax error, unexpected $end in /public_html/site1/wp-content/themes/my-theme/functions.php on line 278

    The error message would indicate the unexpected thing found in the code and the location of the script where the error occurred with line number. To fix this issue you will have to correct the syntax. Most of the time it is a missing bracket, or some unexpected character in the code. [Fix syntax error in WordPress]

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    3. How to Fix the Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress

    Error establishing database connection

    This error message is clear that your website is unable to connect to the database. However solving this error can be tricky for beginners.

    Usually this occurs when a user has entered or modified their database credentials (database host, database username, and database password) incorrectly. Sometimes your database server could be unresponsive, or your database may have corrupted.

    However, mostly it is incorrect database login credentials. Take a look at common solutions for this problem. [Fix error establishing database connection in WordPress]

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    4. How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death

    White screen of death error in WordPress

    This error usually results into a plain white screen with no error message. This makes it the most puzzling because you have no clue where to look and what to fix.

    Most of the time it is caused when a script exhausts PHP memory limit. It can also happen due to a configuration on the server. It is also possible that a user would only see white screen of death on certain sections of their site. [See how to fix WordPress white screen of death]

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    5. How to Fix WordPress Posts Returning 404 Error

    WordPress posts returning 404 error

    The symptoms of this error is that when a user visits a single post on their site they get a 404 page – not found error.

    The user can browse all other sections of their site including the admin area. The most common cause of this issue is permalink settings in WordPress. To solve this issue a user would need to reconfigure their permalinks settings or manually update their rewrite rules. [Fix WordPress posts returning 404 error]

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    6. How to Fix the Sidebar Below Content Error in WordPress

    Sidebar appearing below content

    Another common issue beginners face is when the sidebar appears below the content when it is supposed to appear next to the content. This issue is mostly caused by WordPress themes.

    Sometimes when users are adding code snippets to their site, they may accidentally forget to close an html div tag or add an extra closing div which may result into breaking the theme layout. Another common cause is using disproportionate width in CSS or not clearing float properly. [Fix sidebar appearing below content error in WordPress]

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    7. How to Fix White Text and Missing Buttons in WordPress Visual Editor

    Missing buttons in WordPress TinyMCE visual editor

    Sometimes buttons from WordPress visual editor may disappear or start showing blank white spaces instead of buttons.

    This problem may occur when concatenated JavaScript is not working. It may also caused by missing or corrupt TinyMCE files, or conflict with some other plugin that modifies or extends the TinyMCE shipped with WordPress. [Fix white text and missing buttons in WordPress visual editor]

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    8. Fix: WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory

    Memory size error

    Indications of this error could be a white screen of death, or an error message like this one:

    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 2348617 bytes) in /home/username/public_html/site1/wp-includes/plugin.php on line xxx

    This error occurs when a WordPress script or a plugin exhausts the default allocated memory size limit. [Fix WordPress memory exhausted error]

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    9. What To Do When You Are Locked Out of WordPress Admin (wp-admin)

    Locked out of WordPress admin area

    Sometimes you may find yourself locked out of the WordPress admin area. This could happen if you forgot your password and don’t have to access to password recovery email.

    A plugin or code that incorrectly tries to make some changes into admin section can also lock you out. You may also lose access to admin area due to a hacked WordPress site. [Fix locked out of WordPress admin issue]

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    10. How to Fix WordPress Login Page Refreshing and Redirecting Issue

    WordPress login redirect error

    Symptoms of this issue are that when a user attempts to login to the WordPress dashboard, they are redirected by WordPress back to the login page.

    Most of the time it happens due to incorrect values for site url and home url fields in WordPress options table. It can also be caused by poorly configured permalink settings or redirects setup in the .htaccess file. [Fix WordPress login page refreshing and redirecting issue]

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    11. How to Fix Image Upload Issue in WordPress

    WordPress image upload issues

    Sometimes a user would suddenly notice that all the images from their site are gone and are showing broken image placeholders. When the user tries to upload an image to a post using the media uploader, it results into an error.

    All these files in the media library will appear as broken. This error occurs due to incorrect file and directory permissions in a WordPress installation. A number of factors may cause this issue. [Fix image upload issues in WordPress]

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    12. How to Fix Common Image Issues in WordPress

    Common image issues in WordPress

    Uploading images to a WordPress site can be confusing for someone new to WordPress. A user may be unable to find out how to align images, resize or crop them, or display them in a gallery format.

    This is not an error or issue in WordPress. You just need to familiarize yourself with how WordPress handles media. [Fix common image issues in WordPress]

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    13. How to Fix “Are You Sure You Want to Do This” Error in WordPress

    Are you sure you want to do this error in WordPress

    Users may come across this error in WordPress admin area. The most common cause of this error is a plugin or theme failing to use Nonce properly.

    Nonce are special security keys which may be appended to URLs when performing an admin action in WordPress. Sometimes a plugin or theme may use it incorrectly which may result into users seeing this error. [Fix are you sure you want to do this error in WordPress]

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    14. How to Fix Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress

    WordPress unavailable for maintenance error

    Sometimes due to an unfinished or interrupted WordPress update, you might see “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance” error in WordPress.

    What happens there is that WordPress puts your site in maintenance mode during an update. If for some reason the update is interrupted, then WordPress does not get the chance to put your site out of the maintenance mode. This error would lock down your entire site and make it unavailable for admins as well as visitors. [Fix briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance error]

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    15. How to Fix WordPress Not Sending Email Issue

    Fixing WordPress not sending email issue

    The most common symptom of this problem is not receiving any contact form or WordPress notification emails from your site.

    This issue is usually caused because most shared hosting providers disable or limit the module used for sending emails to prevent their servers from abuse. [Fix WordPress not sending email issue]

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    16. How to Fix WordPress RSS Feed Errors

    Fixing RSS feed errors in WordPress

    Most WordPress RSS feed errors are caused by poor formatting. You may see errors like these:

    XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity
    Location: http://example.com/feed
    Line Number 2, Column 1:

    Depending on what browser you are using, your RSS feed error message may vary. You can also see this error message when visiting your feed in a browser.

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/example.com/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php:433) in /home/username/example.com/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1228

    WordPress outputs RSS feeds in XML which is a strict markup language. A missing line break or an extra tab can break your RSS feed. [Fix WordPress RSS feed errors]

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    17. How to Fix 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress

    403 Forbidden error

    403 Forbidden error code is shown when your server permissions don’t allow access to a specific page. This is why the error is usually accompanied by the text:

    403 Forbidden – You don’t have permission to access ‘/’ on this server.
    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    There are different scenarios when you can see this error. Incorrect file permissions, poorly coded security plugins, or server configuration are the most common culprits. [Fix 403 Forbidden error in WordPress]

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    18. How to Fix Error Too Many Redirects Issue in WordPress

    Too many redirects error in WordPress

    This error usually occurs due to a misconfigured redirection issue. As you know that WordPress has SEO friendly URL Structure which uses the redirect function. Several other popular WordPress plugins also use the redirect functionality as well.

    Due to a misconfiguration in any of these redirection tools, your site may end up redirecting users to a URL that is actually redirecting them back to the referring URL. In that case the user’s browser is trapped between two pages causing a redirect loop. [Fix too many redirects issue in WordPress]

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    19. How to Fix “Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk” Error in WordPress

    Upload failed error in WordPress

    This error can occur due to a number of reasons. However, the most common one is incorrect folder permissions.

    Each file and folder on your website has a set of permissions. Your web server controls access to the files based on these permissions. Incorrect permissions to a folder can take away your ability to write files on server. This means your web server cannot create or add new files to that particular folder. [Fix Upload: Failed to write file to disk error]

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    20. How to Fix “This site ahead contains harmful programs” Error in WordPress

    Harmful programs error in Google Chrome

    Google marks a website with this warning if they find any suspicious code that could be a malware or trojan. Sometimes the reason for this is that your website is hacked and is now used to distribute malicious code.

    Another common reason for this error is showing ads from low quality advertising networks. These networks may sometime display ads linking to websites distributing malicious code. [Fix site ahead contains harmful programs error in WordPress]

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    21. How to Fix the Missed Schedule Post Error in WordPress

    Missed post schedule

    WordPress has this wonderful feature that allows you to schedule posts to be automatically published at a specified time. Most bloggers rely on the future to manage their publishing schedule.

    However, sometimes WordPress can miss scheduled posts due to a number of reasons. If this has happened to you more than a few times then you need to address this issue. [Fix missed schedule post error in WordPress]

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    22. How to Fix Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded in WordPress

    Maximum execution time error in WordPress

    WordPress is coded mainly in PHP programming language. To protect web servers from abuse, there is a time limit set for how long a PHP script can run.

    Some WordPress hosting providers have set this value to a higher level while others may have set it to a lower level. When a script reaches the maximum execution time limit, it results into maximum execution time exceeded error. [Fix maximum execution time exceeded error in WordPress]

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    23. How to Fix Facebook Incorrect Thumbnail Issue in WordPress

    Setting Facebook thumbnail in WordPress using Yoast SEO

    There are many reasons that can prevent Facebook from correctly guessing the right thumbnail image. One of the most common reason is having multiple images set in the og:image tag where your featured image is smaller than rest of the images.

    Facebook uses Open Graph (og) tags, and plugins like Yoast SEO automatically adds them to your site to prevent missing thumbnail issue. [Fix Facebook incorrect thumbnail issue in WordPress]

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    24. How to Fix WordPress Keeps Logging Out Problem

    WordPress keeps logging out

    WordPress sets a cookie in your browser to authenticate a login session. This cookie is set for the WordPress URL stored in your settings section. If you are accessing from a URL that does not match the one in your WordPress settings, then WordPress will not be able to authenticate your session. [Fix WordPress keeps logging out problem]

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    25. Troubleshooting WordPress Errors on Your Own

    We have covered some of the most common WordPress errors in this article. However, the real power of WordPress comes from thousands of plugins and themes that you can use on your site. Any plugin or theme installed on your site can cause errors.

    It could become really hard for beginners to find out what is causing the problem on their site and how they can fix it.

    We have compiled complete step by step guide on troubleshooting WordPress errors for beginners. It will help you learn how to diagnose WordPress issues and how to fix them like a pro.

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    That’s all, we hope that this guide helped you find and fix the WordPress error that you were encountering.

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