Top 5 WordPress problems, solved!

Although WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) in the world, with more than 500 million active installations, many problems can arise when using it. Nothing is more frustrating for a new WordPress user than running into these common problems. If you have not had to deal with any of these issues, you will at some point.

From getting trapped in maintenance mode to nothing showing up at all, here are the top 5 problems new WordPress gets stuck on and how to fix them. Some of these steps require FTP access, others may require Cpanel access, and some knowledge of code editing will be helpful. I believe these are pretty straightforward fixes and can be handled by most tech-savvy folks.

WordPress issues solved!

1) Your site shows “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance, check back in a few minutes”
This issue can present itself when your update process has either failed or has been interrupted. If you have FTP access to your web server, this is a very easy fix. Just log in to the root level of WordPress installation and locate the file titled .maintenance and delete it. When you return to your website, it should be back to normal; if it still isn’t working, try some of these other fixes.

Remove the .maintenance file from the root level of your WP install when your site is stuck in maintenance mode.
WordPress site stuck on maintenance; just delete the file highlighted above.

2) White screen of death
You go to your website, and nothing is there, just an empty white screen. This one can be a little trickier to pinpoint. The best place to start is by heading back into your FTP client and disabling your plugins, and trying your website again. I like to disable all the plugins at once by renaming the plugins folder, I just add a dash to the front of the file name. It makes switching back and forth easy. If this brought your website back, you would need to enable your plugins one by one to figure out which is causing the conflict.

Rename your WordPress plugins folder to disable all plugins at once.
Disable WordPress plugins by renaming the plugins folder, I like to use a single dash.

If that did not resolve your white screen, try reverting back to the default WordPress theme; at the time of this post, it is Twenty Twenty-Two. You can do this by renaming your currently running theme. WordPress will automatically look for Twenty Twenty-Two and enable it. No Twenty Twenty-Two theme? Just drop it in your themes folder, and WordPress will recognize it.

Through FTP, Rename your active WordPress theme file to activate the Default WordPress theme.
Revert back to the default theme by renaming the active theme file, I use the same dash method as described above.

If you are still experiencing the white screen, you can try to increase your WP memory limit (see number 5 below), but you might as well take a look at your logs for anything unusual.

3) Word Press login loop
This can be an annoying and confusing problem, but it is an easy one to fix. Just clear your browser’s cookies, and give it a restart. This should resolve the issue. WordPress uses cookies to validate your login information, and sometimes the file can become corrupted.

4) 403 Forbidden Error You don’t have permission to access this server
This is another error that can usually be resolved by disabling plugins like in step 2. If that does not work, you may need to refresh your .htaccess file. You can do this by navigating to your WordPress “Settings –> Permalinks”, then scroll down and click save; it’s that simple. Still not solved? Check out some of the resources on this page.

5) Memory Limit Error
The easiest way to fix this error is to increase your PHP memory limit, however, if you are running into this problem after raising your PHP memory limit, you can do this by adjusting a single line in your wp-config file. It is located at the root level of your WordPress installation. The line below is the one you will want to edit.

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

Extra WordPress Tips!

6) Need to change the admin email, but no access to the old one
From Cpanel, navigate to PHPMyAdmin, select your SQL database, navigate to options, and from there, you can instantly change the admin email for your website. As you will notice, you can also adjust other options like site title, description, etc. A word of caution, take notes and be prepared to reverse any of your edits.

How to instantly change your WordPress admin email address.
From PHPMyAdmin, in Cpanel, you are able to edit your site URL, home page address, site name, description, admin email, and a number of other options. Be careful, you can break your site in here.

Still not fixed?

Whether you can’t seem to fix the issue or are not comfortable enough to try, it might be time to let a professional diagnose your issue. Most WordPress issues that seem serious are actually quite easy to fix and shouldn’t cost more than whatever the hourly minimum is.

Contact Michael Winchester to schedule an appointment for your website