The most common WordPress errors that you might find as a website owner

Written by Bogdan Sandu on 14 May 2020
156,461 Views • WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blog publishing applications and a powerful content management system. Starting your blogging website and developing an online business can be nicely done using WordPress. 

Normally, it’s straightforward to use, yet some common mistakes can be made by the users that cause real pains. An unwanted error is enough to ruin your entire day when you are working in WordPress. Fortunately, WordPress is a well-establish application that only shows error messages when there is something wrong. It also informs the proper reasons behind the error. If you develop the site using WordPress, you can take help from the other WordPress users who have faced similar problems and found a solution. 

Most of the problems may seem very complicated at first sight, while they might be comparatively minor problems and easy to deal with. If you find out the root of the error, it can easily be solved through simple troubleshooting. 

This article is about to enlist some common WordPress errors and suggest how to solve them.    

Backing Up Site before Trouble Shooting

Before starting to find out and troubleshooting your problems, make sure the site is backed up so that if the troubleshooting doesn’t go well, you can go back to the starting point without losing any data. The web hosts can help you to back up the website or available WordPress plugins that can be used to serve the purpose.  

Common WordPress Errors & Solutions

Internal Server Error

One of the most complicated WordPress problems is ‘Internal Server Error’ or ‘500 Internal Server Error’. It is called complicated because the system cannot identify the root cause of this error. It occurs when there is something wrong inside the server, and the system fails to find the reason behind it. Since the root cause is unknown, a different method of troubleshooting needs to be tried to sort out this error- 

  • Review the .htaccess file

  • Disable all plugins 

  • Update WordPress Core Files 

  • Enhance the limit of the PHP memory 

  • Take help from the web host

White Screen of Death (WSoD) Error

One of the most annoying and cryptic errors is the White Screen of Death (WSoD) error. The site goes entirely white and blanks with no reasons for error when WSoD occurs. There might be several reasons behind this error, which cause the failure to load the site properly. You can try below tips to sort it out- 

  • Enable the WordPress debugging mode 

  • Clean the cache 

  • Increase the server memory limit 

  • Deactivate the plugins 

  • Disable themes

Error Establishing a Database Connection

‘Error Establishing a Database Connection’ is one of the most popular problems that occur frequently. WordPress users are used to it and do not worry much about this issue. It happened when WordPress failed to connect to the MySQL server. Most of the time, this error occurs due to providing inappropriate database login info. This error can be fixed simply by checking the database login credentials in the wp-config.php file and make the correction if they are incorrect.  

Error 404

The 404 error is one of the most popular issues and the oldest enemy that is chasing web admins from the beginning of the internet era. It usually impacts the front-end pages of a website, which implies that the server contains the data, but is unable to reach the front-end page. The probable reasons for this error might be the inappropriate set up of permalinks or missing a rule in WP’s URL router’s cache.  

The below actions might be useful to get rid of the issue:

  • Revise and refurbish the page to refresh it.

  • Replace the permalink structure and clear the cache

  • Troubleshoot WordPress’ rules by enabling the Rewrite Rules Inspector plugin and performing the “Flush rules” action.

  • As a last resort, check htaccess, the active plugins or even the theme for issues with WordPress links

This Site is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

In WordPress version 5.2, a new feature has been introduced to protect fatal error. ‘This site is experiencing technical difficulties’ is a normal error message that is shown by this new feature. It can be caused by any of the technical errors mentioned in this article. It is tough to find out the actual error if you are not the admin or simply you don’t have the authority to access the admin email, since WP emails the real error message to the admin email. To quickly solve this issue, you just need to ensure the WP admin email address is correct, and you receive the WP notifications timely. 

The error of WordPress Sidebar Below Content

The WordPress sidebar normally belongs next to the main content, but when it moves from the original position to below the content, you receive an error message from WP. This error is alarming and raises questions about the cohesion of your site and theme. 

However, it can happen for the below two reasons-  

1. The theme files are corrupted

2. The HTML is invalid.

This is why you need to avoid outsourcing your theme development to the lowest bidder. Get a premium theme from developers that update regularly and you’ll save yourself some trouble. 

Also, make sure your theme uses a known framework like Bootstrap or Foundation, that you can edit easily if you need to. There’s nothing worse than going through someone’s code that looks like gibberish. A standardized framework will be easier to edit. 

“Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk” Error 

“Upload: Failed to write file to disk” error appears when you try to add files to the media library. It implies that there is something wrong with setting up permissions for the site. This error stops you from writing or uploading any files to the server.  

To sort out this error, simply find an FTP client to deal with adding files to the server.

Connection Timed Out

Connection timed out error is also a widespread problem for the slow sites. It occurs when the site isn’t loaded for a long time and shows an error message of connection unavailable or timed out. The reason behind this error is the overload of contents, or the site’s server simply can’t handle the stress due to lack of capacity. It is widespread in sites that use shared hosting with limited resources.  

Following efforts can be useful to get rid of this error-  

  • Disable all plugins

  • Change the theme back to default 

  • Enhance the limit of PHP memory  

Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance:

This error can typically occur when the WP update was interrupted or unfinished. Usually, WP keeps you in maintenance mode when it starts to update any theme or a plugin. If this updating process gets interrupted, WP puts the site on the maintenance mode for long until or unless sorting it out. 

To sort out this issue try out below- 

  • Update the WP manually 

  • Access the root directory through a file manager or FTP and delete the .maintenance file  

“Sorry, no posts match your criteria” Message.

If there is any issue in the browser cache, you might fail to get the required post, even using the correct search criteria. To solve this issue, you can try below- 

  • The browser’s cache and cookies should be cleared 

  • Review if there are any problems in the search.php and index.php files 

WordPress RSS Feed Errors 

Poor formatting causes most of the WP RSS feed errors. These types of mistakes may vary depending on the browser. RSS feed errors are also seen while browsing their feed in a browser. WP uses XML to output its RSS feeds, any line break or an extra space can cause the RSS feed error.  

This Site Ahead Contains Harmful Programs

Google shows the message ‘This site ahead contains harmful programs’ when it finds any suspicious items like malware, spams, or a Trojan. It could happen if your site is hacked and used to spread malware. It may also be caused by broadcasting ads from low-quality firms that show ads linking to suspicious websites.  


There are millions of websites all around the web that use millions of different servers with an infinite arrangement of plugins and themes; it is very natural to things go wrong. The issues discussed here are very common for WP users to face.  And there are countless others. For example, something simple as not defining jQuery might mess up your whole website.

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