5 Common Causes of WordPress Errors

So, you’re having a problem with your WordPress website? Finding an easy solution may not work exactly as you wanted. Often what you need is to identify the cause of it all. What could have possibly gone wrong, and where do you find them are questions you might raise. Here are 5 common causes of WordPress errors. Know what they are and understand what they do to provide a better solution for your website issues.

1. Plugins

Let us start with the basics…

As WordPress puts it, plugins are “ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress.” Each plugin is written with code that are designed to help site owners and developers make the most out of their WordPress (WP) websites.

WP itself has default plugins that you can start with. They are good for security, statistics, site engagement, and other functions which every website needs.

But if you want to add more to what you already have, you can download from the WP Plugins Directory or from other reliable sources. You can even create one yourself!

The problem is…

Not all plugins are well written. Some plugins could be corrupt or outdated. Or, they could be incompatible with your theme or other plugins. This ranks them among the common causes of WordPress errors.

Unfortunately, there is not yet a sure way to determine their compatibility before installation. But when you install a plugin to your website, make sure to check its credibility first—the reviews, ratings, the WordPress version that it’s compatible with, and whether it is the most recent plugin version.

You can also contribute to the community. Add a rating or review to help raise awareness, and therefore provide a better understanding of what to do.

One thing is certain…

Websites require maintenance. It requires you to check your files and other components from time to time.

Some of the errors that plugins cause are: white screen of death, internal server error, connection timed out, and call to undefined function.

When these errors occur, the recommended action is to deactivate your plugins one by one to check which one is causing it. You can access plugins and other site components through your site’s admin dashboard or through your FTP.

2. Themes

As we all know, a theme is what people see when they visit your website. Themes serve as your website’s “skin”. They contain different files that are mainly for the template and style of your website. 

Plugins, on the other hand, dictate the behavior and features of your website. But, both can be downloaded from sources within and outside of WordPress.

In many cases…

The error shows up after activating a new theme. It is good to note, however, that critical site functions should be made possible through plugins. All efforts in making your website LOOK good can be focused on themes.

WordPress advises this to site owners and developers:

“Remember, some users switch themes often. It is best practice to make sure any functionality your site requires, even if the design changes, is in a separate plugin.” -developer.WordPress.org

Similar to plugins, issues can also arise due to incompatibility. Missing or renamed themes are another causes for error.

Common theme-related issues include: white screen of death, internal server error, connection timed out, and call to undefined function.

When they show up, the recommended action is to change to a default theme. Default themes make it convenient to identify the error. Another option is to rename the theme properly.

3. PHP

WordPress uses PHP as its scripting language. It’s true that site owners don’t have to learn about programming in order to use and manage their WP websites. But, they can dive into it should they want to build their own plugins, themes, or perform other advanced actions.

WordPress is friendly to all kinds of users and creative ideas that will help bring out the best in any brand.

The thing is…

Programming requires you to be keen to details. Typical PHP errors are mostly due to misspellings and missing characters. Going beyond the maximum memory limit or the time of execution are other reasons.

Needless to say, you deal with a complicated structure of characters and spaces when you develop a website. And, one mistake can change the general output.

Among PHP errors are: white screen of death, cannot modify header information, syntax error, and allowed memory size exhausted. Different issues may call for different solutions. When they show up, however, you can log in to your FTP to check on them.

4. Browser

5 Common Causes of WordPress ErrorsWhat browser version do you use to manage your website? Browsers are among the common causes of WordPress errors. The most popular issue is when you don’t see the change that you just created.

It happens.

Every time you visit a page, your browser copies the necessary files to display the page to you. These files are what we call browser cache. They load the page faster when you access the same page again.

But…

If what you have is the old version of those files, you may not see the updates. This is why WordPress recommends to use the latest versions of internet browsers.

When a page does not load properly, you can clear your browser cache to retrieve the new version. And, that should get you back on track.

5. Compromise

It’s frustrating, and perhaps even devastating, when your website gets hacked. You run the risk of losing everything you built if you fail to set your website back to what is should be.

Errors can show up if an attack has been made.

According to Wordfence, 70% of these attacks come from plugins. Compromise is also possible through brute force, themes, password theft, hosting, and a couple more ways.

This why checking your plugins before installation and having a regular maintenance are critical to a website’s overall performance. You don’t want to end up losing your valuable information and sales just because you failed to followup on your site.

There are a variety of solutions you can apply to ensure your site’s security. Among the solutions are: generate a stronger password, install a security plugin, and enable a two-factor authentication. Like they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

But…

When the errors do show up, first identify what those errors are and perform a thorough scan. Check for malware and other attack indicators, such as unauthorized changes. And, clean your website.

Throughout the process, avoid getting emotionally overwhelmed with what happened. Only think about what you can do to fix the issue. Online sources and experts are available to help you out.

How to Get Support from the WordPress CodexWhat to Do When an Error Comes Up

It’s so easy to panic and worry a lot when an error suddenly shows up. You can be left dumbfounded on what to do, especially when you’re not familiar with the words or the situation that you see on the screen. But, you can give yourself some time to breathe and understand what they really mean.

They could just be a minor issue with your plugin, theme, or browser.

Whatever issue you face, you’ll find how valuable it is to maintain your website. You don’t have to be an expert programmer to do it. You can take on what you already know and learn more from the WordPress community.

The good thing about this, however, is it challenges you to think and come up with effective solutions. There may not be an easy fix. Well, you can start by learning more about the common causes of WordPress errors.

There are lots of tools and resources that you can use to maintain your site. You may want to browse through the WordPress Codex from time to time, just to be familiar with WP as well as the common causes of WordPress errors. Stay informed.

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