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How to Fix the Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress

Are you seeing the ‘Error establishing a database connection’ notice on your WordPress website? It is a fatal error that makes your WordPress website inaccessible to the users.

This error occurs when WordPress is unable to make a connection to the database. A number of things can affect your WordPress database connection which makes it a bit difficult for beginners to troubleshoot.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the error establishing a database connection in WordPress.

Fixing the database connection error in WordPress

What Causes Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress?

The ‘Error establishing a database connection’ issue can be caused by incorrect database information in your WordPress settings, corrupt database, or an irresponsive database server.

Database connection error in WordPress

A database is a software which makes it easy to store, organize, and retrieve data into other software.

As a content management system, WordPress uses a database to store all your content and other website data. It then connects to the database each time someone visits your website.

WordPress needs the following information for connecting to the database:

  • Database name
  • Database username
  • Database password
  • Database server

This information is stored in your WordPress configuration file called wp-config.php.

If any of these items are incorrect, WordPress would fail to connect to your database server, and you’ll see the ‘Error establishing a database connection’ error.

It is one of the most common WordPress errors. Apart from incorrect credentials, this error can also appear if the database server is down, or the database files are corrupt.

Let’s take a look at how to fix error establishing database connection issue in WordPress with step by step troubleshooting.

1. Check Your WordPress Database Credentials

The most common reason for database connection error in WordPress is incorrect database credentials. If you have recently moved your WordPress site to a new host, then this could be the most likely reason.

Your WordPress database credentials are stored in the wp-config.php file. It is the WordPress configuration file that contains important WordPress settings including database information.

If you have not edited wp-config.php file before, then take a look at our guide on how to edit wp-config.php file in WordPress.

You’ll be looking for the following lines in the wp-config.php file.


// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define( 'DB_NAME', 'database_name_here' );
/** MySQL database username */
define( 'DB_USER', 'username_here' );
/** MySQL database password */
define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here' );
/** MySQL hostname */
define( 'DB_HOST', 'localhost' );

You need to make sure that the information for the database name, username, password, and database host is correct.

You can confirm this information from your WordPress hosting account dashboard. Simply log in to your hosting account and click on MySQL databases under the database section.

Database information

This will take you to the database management page in your hosting dashboad. From here, you can find out your database name and the username.

Database name and username

Below that you will find the database users and links to change the user password.

Changing database user password

Once you have confirmed your database name, username, and password, you can change that information in your wp-config.php file if needed.

After that, try visiting your website again to see if the database connection error has gone.

If you can still see the error, then this means that something else is wrong. Continue reading for more troubleshooting steps.

2. Check Your Database Host Information

If you are confident that your database name, username, and password information is correct, then you may want to make sure that you are using the correct database host information.

Most WordPress hosting companies use localhost as your database host. However, some managed WordPress hosting companies use separate servers to host databases. In that case, your database host information will not be localhost.

You need to contact your WordPress hosting company to confirm your database host information.

3. Repair WordPress Database

If you are getting a different error on the wp-admin, for instance, something like “One or more database tables are unavailable. The database may need to be repaired”, then you need to repair your database.

You can do this by adding the following line in your wp-config.php file. Make sure to add it just before ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ line wp-config.php.

define('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true);

Once you have done that, you can see the settings by visiting this page: http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php

Repair WordPress database

Note: the user does not need to be logged in to access the database repair page. Once you are done repairing and optimizing your database, make sure to remove this code from your wp-config.php.

4. Check if Your Database Server is Down

If everything seems to be correct, and WordPress still cannot connect to the database, then your database server (MySQL server) may be down.

This could happen due to heavy traffic on a server. Basically, your host server just cannot handle the load (especially when you are on shared hosting).

Your site will get really slow and for some users it may even output the error. So the best thing you should do is get on the phone or live chat with your hosting provider and ask them if your MySQL server is responsive.

If you have other websites running on the same server, then you can check those sites to confirm that your SQL server is down.

If you do not have any other site on the same hosting account, then simply go to your hosting dashboard and try to access phpMyAdmin and connect the database.

If you can connect, then we need to verify if your database user has sufficient permission. Create a new file called testconnection.php and paste the following code in it:

<?php
$link = mysqli_connect('localhost', 'username', 'password');
if (!$link) {
die('Could not connect: ' . mysqli_error());
}
echo 'Connected successfully';
mysqli_close($link);
?>

Make sure to replace the username and password. You can now upload this file to your website and access it via web browser.

If the script connected successfully, then it means that your user has sufficient permission, and there is something else that is wrong.

Go back to your wp-config file to make sure that everything there is correct (re-scan for typos).

Other Solutions That Have Worked for Users

If the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips failed to fix the database connection error on your website, then you may try these additional steps.

Reported by our users, these steps have helped some users resolve the database connection error on their websites.

1. Update WordPress Site URL

Try updating the WordPress site URL using phpMyAdmin. Simply access phpMyAdmin from your hosting account dashboard, and select your WordPress database.

Running SQL in phpMyAdmin

After that click on the SQL menu on the top and enter the following MySQL query.

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value='YOUR_SITE_URL' WHERE option_name='siteurl'

Don’t forget to provide your own site URL and change wp_options to your own table name as you may have changed the WordPress table prefix.

2. Rebooting Web Server

Users on dedicated servers, local server, and virtual private servers (VPS) can try rebooting their servers.

This will restart your web and database server which may fix some temporary glitches causing the error.

3. Ask for help

If everything else fails, then you may need to contact your web hosting company. All good WordPress hosting companies will help you troubleshoot the problem, point you in the right direction, or even fix it for you.

You can also hire WordPress developers from Codeable that can help you fix this issue for reasonable rates. The best part is that these developers are highly-vetted by Codeable team, so you know they can be trusted.

We hope this article helped you fix the error establishing a database connection in WordPress. You may also want to see our WordPress troubleshooting guide for tips on resolving WordPress issues on your own.

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Reader Interactions

645 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. First I would like to say thanks for this guide!
    I am having an issue “Error establishing a database connection“ I have checked the wp-config.php and all the database information is correct. I wanted to try step 4 in this guide but I don’t really understand how. I logged in to phpMyAdmin, but not sure what the next step is. Do you have a video for that? I am not a developer just a new WP beginner.

    • You would want to go to your hosting provider’s dashboard or reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist.

      Admin

  2. I almost have given up after having one issue after the other, till i read this. I had this feeling that “this is it” this is the solution I have been looking for. tried it and it worked perfectly, thanks a lot.

  3. I’m getting this error when entered the URL of my site:

    There has been a critical error on your website.

  4. I am getting this error
    Warning: mysqli_real_connect(): (HY000/2002): Connection refused in /home/f5853789/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1635
    Connection refused

    what do I do

    • That is a different error, you would want to reach out to your hosting provider for assistance with that specific error.

      Admin

  5. I am a beginner to WordPress, and I am using MAMP to install WordPress but I’m still getting this error. My credentials are correct, and none of the steps shown above appeared to work. The database is repaired too. I don’t know what to do.

  6. Hi, I have just moved my WordPress site to a new hosting provider via ftp when this error popped up. Is there anything I’m to update after a migration? Thanks

  7. Adding this line “””define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);”” helped me get my site back after 14 hours of being down. Thought it was my hosts problem. Thanks for the info.

  8. How to increase the connection limit in the MySQL database? My website is intermittently giving database error as it is exceeding the max connection limit allocated on the server.

    • You would need to reach out to your hosting provider for changing that and they would be able to assist.

      Admin

  9. I have installed a wordpress . i also make post but sometime it shows me that ”please install wordpress”. Why it showing me that?
    Thank you.

    • There are a few possible reasons, you may want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure there are no hiccups on their end.

      Admin

  10. my website is hosted on aws and i accessed the MYSQL folder via filezila but i couldn’t find the file that contains database username , password and hostname. is there any specific name of that file?

  11. Thanks. Adding the repair code to my wp config file worked. I appreciate the article. It was straight forward and easy to follow.

  12. your article was helpful i had changed my database password so it wasnt connecting to my blog properly but all thanks to your article the issue has been fixed

  13. Thank you for sharing such a nice blog.
    It will help the beginners of WordPress who are facing the problem regarding Error Establishing in the database connection. Apart from that, It gives a step by step solution so, every reader can easily solve the problem.

  14. I got this error after forcefully shutting my computer. After trying all these suggested methods and failing, I rebooted my computer and the database error was fixed.
    You should give it a try too if things go south.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. Actually, had installed WordPress, it shows me “Error Establishing A Database Connection” and I don’t know what to do. Then I have searched on Google and I found your this article and really it is
    very helpful for me and also many people who have no idea about this things. and my site were facing many other problems and only one of them has been solved. Thank for article.

  16. I can’t back up my site or do any of what you suggest, because I cannot get into the administrative section of my blog. I can view it, as a viewer, but I have no access to anything more. I also cannot find anyway to contact people from wordpress! Help!?!!

  17. Guys,

    I have fixed it now for my website

    It was due to insufficient PHP memory
    I have updated my php.ini to increase the PHP memory

  18. I’m on BlueHost and just upgraded to WP 5.2 and got the dreaded error message:

    “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.”

    I tried with PHP 5.6, 7.0 & 7.1 – all give the same response. Any ideas what I can try? My site is completely blocked by the error.

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