Is your WordPress website giving you a headache with mysterious error messages and baffling white screens? Fret not, for you’re about to embark on a journey that will demystify those problems. From the frustrating “White Screen of Death” to the cryptic “Error Establishing Database Connection,” these glitches can turn a smoothly running site into a digital puzzle. But fear not! 

This guide will dive headfirst into some of the most common WordPress errors and provide their simple fixes. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to restore your website’s glory and keep it running seamlessly. Let’s get those errors out of the way and get your WordPress kingdom back on its throne!

The White Screen of Death 

This is when you see a blank screen with no information on your WordPress website. It can happen because of PHP errors or database errors.

Here are a few reasons why you might encounter the WordPress White Screen of Death:

Plugin Compatibility Issues:

A Plugin could be causing compatibility issues. If you can access the Administration Screens, try deactivating all your Plugins and then activating them one by one to find the problematic one. If you can’t access the Screens, log in to your website using FTP and go to the “wp-content/plugins” folder. Rename the “plugins” folder to “plugins_old.” This will deactivate all your Plugins.

Theme Related Problem:

This issue is more likely if you experience the white screen after activating a new Theme or creating a new site in a WordPress Network.

 Log in to the WordPress Administration Screens and activate a default WordPress Theme like “Twenty Twenty-One.” If you’re using WordPress 5.8 or below, switch to the Twenty Twenty-One theme since the Twenty Twenty-Two theme requires WordPress 5.9 and above. If you can’t access the Administration Screens, use FTP to navigate to the “/wp-content/themes/” folder and rename the folder for the active Theme.

These steps can help troubleshoot the WordPress White Screen of Death.

An Internal Server Error 

To troubleshoot an Internal Server Error, you can follow these steps:

Corrupted .htaccess file: 

Access your site’s root directory using FTP and rename the .htaccess file to .htaccess_old. Check if the error is resolved by loading your site. If it works, go to Settings > Permalinks and reset your permalinks to generate a new .htaccess file.

Plugin issue: 

Deactivate all of your plugins to determine if any of them are causing the error. If you can’t access your WordPress Administration Screens, use FTP to deactivate the plugins.

Theme-related problem: 

Switch to a default WordPress Theme like Twenty Twenty-One to rule out any theme-related issues. Note that if you are using WordPress 5.8 or below, use the Twenty Twenty-One theme, as the Twenty Twenty-Two theme requires WordPress 5.9 and above.

Uploading fresh WordPress files: 

Upload the wp-admin and wp-includes folders from a fresh installation of WordPress to replace any potentially corrupted files.

Remember to perform these steps one by one, checking if the error is resolved after each action.

Error Establishing Database Connection

If you see the message “Error Establishing Database Connection” on a page, it indicates a problem with connecting to your database. Here are some possible reasons and solutions for this issue.

Incorrect wp-config.php Information

The “Error establishing a database connection” is often due to an error in the wp-config.php file. To resolve this, follow these steps:

  • Access your site through an FTP client
  • Open the wp-config.php file
  • Verify that the following information is correct:
    • Database name
    • Database Username
    • Database password
    • Database host

If needed, make the necessary corrections.

If the configuration is accurate, you can manually reset your MySQL password.

If you’re still experiencing the issue after checking wp-config.php and verifying with your web host, consider the following possibilities:

Problems with your web host:

Contact your hosting provider to investigate potential issues such as reaching your database quota or server downtime.

Compromised website: 

If you have ruled out configuration errors and hosting problems, it’s possible that your site has been hacked. Use a tool like Sucuri SiteCheck to scan your site for any compromises.

Remember to take appropriate action based on the results of the scan or seek professional help to address any compromised website issues.

Failed Auto-Upgrade

Sometimes, the WordPress auto-update feature may encounter issues and fail to update. You may notice the following:

  • Blank white screen with no information
  • Warning indicating the update has failed
  • PHP error message

These failures can occur for various reasons, such as a glitch in connection with the main WordPress files, problems with your internet connection during the upgrade process, or incorrect file permissions.

If you encounter a failed auto-upgrade, you may need to troubleshoot the specific cause of the issue to ensure a successful update.

Connection Timed Out

The “Connection Timed Out” error occurs when your website exceeds the server’s capacity, which is common in shared hosting with restricted memory limits. Here are some solutions:

  • Deactivate all plugins: If deactivating all WordPress plugins resolves the problem, reactivate them one by one to identify the problematic plugin. If unable to access Administration Screens, manually deactivate plugins.
  • Switch to a default WordPress theme: Use the Twenty Twenty-One theme (for WordPress 5.8 and below) to rule out any theme-related issues. Note that the Twenty Twenty-Two theme requires WordPress 5.9 and above.
  • Increase memory limit: If you’re on shared hosting, ask your hosting provider to increase your memory limit by modifying the wp-config.php file.
  • Increase maximum execution time: Edit the php.ini file to increase the maximum execution time. If you’re unsure how to do this, contact your hosting provider for assistance.

Remember to perform these steps one by one, checking if the error persists after each action.

Maintenance Mode Following Upgrade

After a WordPress update, you might see a message saying, “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Please check back in a minute.” This happens because a .maintenance file is automatically created during the upgrade but may not be removed correctly.

To resolve this issue:

  • Use an FTP program to log in to your website
  • Locate the .maintenance file in the root directory of your site
  • Delete the .maintenance file

By removing the .maintenance file, the message will no longer appear, and your website will be accessible again.

Nothing Happens When You Make Changes 

If you make changes to your website but don’t see them in your browser, try clearing your browser cache. The cache stores website data to load pages faster. Sometimes, the browser loads the cached version instead of the updated one, causing the changes to not appear. To fix this, clear your browser cache or close and reopen the link to view the updated website.

404 errors with pretty permalinks and a white screen

If you encounter 404 errors with pretty permalinks and face image upload issues resulting in a white screen, it could be due to the mod_rewrite module not being enabled in Apache by default. Mod_rewrite is essential for making pretty permalinks work, as it allows for URL rewriting.

This problem commonly occurs in WordPress Multisite networks but can also happen in shared hosting or after migrating or moving servers.

To resolve this, start by resetting your permalinks through Settings > Permalinks in WordPress. If the issue persists, you might need to manually edit the .htaccess file.

Facing 404 Errors With Custom Post 

If you’re facing 404 errors with custom post types, follow these steps:

Ensure that none of your custom post types and single pages have the same name. If there are conflicts, rename the single page, including the slug.

Access your WordPress Administration Screens and go to Settings > Permalinks. Choose the default permalinks, save the changes, and then switch back to your preferred permalinks. This will refresh the rewrite rules and resolve the issue.

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the 404 errors associated with custom post types.


Encountering errors while using WordPress is a common occurrence. By understanding the nature of these errors and following the appropriate troubleshooting steps, most issues can be resolved effectively. 

Whether it’s handling internal server errors, database connection problems, failed auto-upgrades, or other issues discussed in this blog, taking a systematic approach and seeking assistance when needed will help you overcome these obstacles. 

Remember to stay updated, back up your website regularly, and leverage the vast WordPress community for support. With patience and the right strategies, you can navigate through WordPress errors and continue to enjoy the benefits of this powerful platform.

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