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Most Common Problems in WordPress Sites

WordPress, while a robust and popular platform, does have its share of common problems that users may encounter. Here’s a list of some of the most frequent issues and their usual causes:

  1. White Screen of Death (WSoD): This is a blank, white screen with no error message.
    • Causes: Plugin or theme conflicts, exhausted memory limit, or PHP errors.
  2. Error Establishing a Database Connection:
    • Causes: Incorrect database credentials in wp-config.php, database server issues, or corrupted database.
  3. Internal Server Error: Also known as the “500 Internal Server Error”.
    • Causes: Corrupted .htaccess file, PHP memory limit exhaustion, or problematic plugins/themes.
  4. 404 Not Found Error on Posts/Pages:
    • Causes: Incorrect permalinks settings or a corrupted .htaccess file.
  5. Connection Timed Out Error:
    • Causes: Exhausted PHP memory limit, heavy plugins, or issues with the hosting server.
  6. Syntax Error: This usually appears when there’s a mistake in your code.
    • Causes: Often the result of a missing bracket, comma, or typo in a theme or plugin file.
  7. Failed to Write File to Disk Error:
    • Causes: Incorrect folder permissions, issues with the hosting server.
  8. WordPress Keeps Logging Out Issue: Sometimes known as the “WordPress session expiration” issue.
    • Causes: Mismatched WordPress address and site address URLs.
  9. Image Upload Issues: Unable to upload images or images appearing broken.
    • Causes: Incorrect file permissions, issues with the imagick PHP module, or incorrect path in the WordPress settings.
  10. “Are You Sure You Want to Do This?” Message:
    • Causes: Plugin or theme upload issues, nonce value mismatch.
  11. Too Many Redirects Issue:
    • Causes: Incorrect settings in the .htaccess file, misconfigurations in the WordPress settings (e.g., mismatched URL settings).
  12. “This Site Ahead Contains Harmful Programs” Warning:
    • Causes: Malware or harmful content flagged by search engines, or issues related to the website’s SSL certificate.
  13. “The Link You Followed Has Expired” Error:
    • Causes: Low PHP settings for file upload size, execution time, or memory limit.
  14. Admin Dashboard Loading Slowly:
    • Causes: High CPU plugins, outdated WordPress core, themes or plugins, or external calls.
  15. Maintenance Mode Following an Update: Occasionally, the site gets stuck in maintenance mode after an update.
    • Causes: Interruptions during updates or manual updates.
  16. Login Page Refreshing/Redirecting Issue: Can’t log in; the login page keeps refreshing.
    • Causes: Incorrect values for site URL and home URL, issues with the theme or plugins, or corrupted .htaccess files.
  17. RSS Feed Errors: This can manifest as an error message or a white screen.
    • Causes: Poorly coded themes or plugins, special characters in blog posts.
  18. 403 Forbidden Error: Access to the site or a particular page is denied.
    • Causes: Server permissions, security plugins, or incorrect server configuration.
  19. Sidebar Below Content Error: The sidebar appears below the main content rather than beside it.
    • Causes: HTML or CSS errors in a theme, plugin conflicts.

When facing these issues, always remember to:

  • Take a backup before troubleshooting.
  • Check error logs if available (this can provide specific details about the problem).
  • When in doubt, contact your hosting provider or seek expert assistance.

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