Fixing Basic WordPress Problems

WordPress is the web’s hand-down solution for both large and small jobs; However, it does have its problems. WordPress’s versatility can also complicate the task of locating the source(s) of failure when something breaks. We won’t even try to address every WordPress but this article will help you navigate the more common problems.

White Screen of Death

wordpresswhitescreenFor the few of you that have never encountered the white screen of death, this error is exactly that: A blank white screen loads when you access you’re site.

The two major causes are incompatibility problems between plugins and themes. If you can access the sites admin panel, first try deactivating your plugins one by one until the site loads. If the doesn’t work, change your theme to the default WordPress design.


Step One

If you can’t access wp-admin, you can manually deactivate the plugins and themes using File Manager or FTP. FTP into your account and locate the plugins folder (usually wp-content/plugins) or the themes folder (wp-content/themes) and append ‘_bak’ to the end of the folder name.

Now try to access your admin panel. Once in, activate your plugins or themes one by one until the issue reappears. When that happens, you’ve found the primary source of the conflict.

Advanced Steps

You can also the following line to the end of your wp-config file to active WP_DEBUG:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );

Once activated, navigate to the page showing the error and you should see the details of what’s causing the error. NOTE: be sure to disable when finished by setting the value to false:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false );

Password Reset is not Working

The Easy Way

If you’re using the default admin user (i.e. your username is admin) you can reset your password by access the site files

  1. FTP to your site and download your active themes functions.php file
  2. Immediately after the opening <?php line, add: wp_set_password( ‘password’, 1 ); Change the 1 to your user ID, and password to the one of your choice.
  3. Upload this file to your site.
  4. After logging in to the site, remove the code from the functions.php file and remove the code or it will reset the password each time you logs in.

Advanced Reset

Ok, you’ve lost your admin password and the reset password link emailed to you isn’t working. To change the Password, login into your cPanel and click e phpMyAdmin. This will let you edit your WordPress database. From one of URLJet’s VPS’s or Dedicated servers you can also edit the database from the MySQL command line but on shared hosting phpMyAdmin is the ticket.

First, generate an MD5 hash for you desired password. You can do that using this link to our favorite Hash Generator
Next, follow these steps to change your password:

  1. Access your WordPress database
  2. Locate and open the wp_users table
  3. Find the row with your your username. For large boards, use the search feature
  4. Update the user_pass value in that row with the hash generated earlier.
  5. Save the changes.

Insufficient Memory

This is one you should not see much of at URLJet as our preset limits are set for larger sites. However should you find the default memory setting insufficient to handle an extensively modified WordPress site, increasing your WordPress memory limit is easly accomplished by adding the following line to your WordPress config file:

define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘128’ );

The command sets your WordPress memory limit to 128M. If you need a higher or lower limit, replace that value with the desired amount.

Maintenance Message after an Upgrade

Updates are a must do process to keep your WordPress site secure and functional. Sometimes the system doesn’t clean up all of the upgrade files. If the message: Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Please check back in a minute., appears after and update, check and see if there still a maintenance file left in the site root folder. If so remove it and the problem will disappear.

Be Proactive in Protecting your WordPress Site.

Should you find yourself in a worst case situation and need to restore to a backup, URLJet maintains offsite backup for all shared accounts. Should you need to roll back, we can restore your site simply submit a ticket listing a restore point. If you choose to keep your own backups, in addition, a weekly or monthly backup is advised. .


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