20 Common WordPress Errors and Their Solutions

While for anyone who has ever created a website, the first thought which comes to the mind of website owners is to sign up on WordPress and get things started. Since the initial release of the website in 2003, WordPress has become a household name for all the developers.

It is easy to use and comes with such an extensive library of plugins that it makes it easier for a user to customize the website in whichever way they want. In 2021, WordPress is powering 39.6% of all the websites which are present on the internet. This is a 5% increase from 2020. Thus, WordPress is still the champion of site-building. But sometimes, WordPress website development can be a little tricky, which can cause some errors when you are making changes.

Today we are going to discuss some of the most common WordPress errors which a site owner might face when they manage their website or add new changes to it. In addition to this, we will provide solutions to common WordPress errors, so you don’t have to look for somewhere else for the solution.

What Causes WordPress Errors In The First Place?

There could be several reasons for your WordPress website to show you an error. Sometimes it could be a new plugin that you have added or a change in your backend database. Each error has its specified reason for not making your website work in the desired way. Given below, we have defined errors with their reasoning and solution. This will make you understand what caused the error in the first place and how to eradicate the errors from your website. 

Before You Start Eliminating Your Website Errors

Before you proceed any further with the error elimination of your website, make sure you have created the backup of all the files and also download them offline in your system for a safe side. A lot of times, we might break the website even more in pursuit of fixing it. Having a backup makes it possible for you to revert back to the “less-broken” state of your website so, before you work on fixing the error, back it up. 

20+ Common WordPress Errors 

Given below are the different types of errors that you might come across when managing a WordPress website. We have classified these errors into some groups for a better understanding of the developer. 

400 Errors

1. 400 Bad Request

When a server experiences a client error, it will show you different 400 errors. The error could be due to several reasons and given below, and we have pointed out all of them.

  • Incorrectly typed URL or the URL does contain a disallowed character. 
  • The browser cache is corrupted, or the cookie needs an update.
  • Discrepancies between server-side DNS and your local DNS.
  • Generic server error. 

This error can be eradicated by typing in the URL once again, clearing up the browsing cache along with cookies, clearing your DNS cache and uninstalling your browser’s extensions. 

2. 403 Forbidden 

403 comes on the screen when you are now given permission to access the required page which you are trying to open. This does make unwanted people stay away from sensitive information, but sometimes this permission doesn’t perform correctly and shows the same error to authenticated users as well. 

To fix this error, a developer of a website needs to reset the file permissions or create a new one. The permission files can be accessed via the .htaccess folder. On the other hand, this issue could be the reason for some new plugin which you have added to your website. So roll back to the previous settings of your website before the installation of the plugin. 

3. 404 Page Not Found

A 404-page error occurs when a user is trying to upload a page that doesn’t exist on the internet. Instead of finding the required information which the user is looking for, the web browser screen will show a 404 error page. The 404 error page could be in plain white, but website owners who are always looking to give users the best of the experience will provide some message for their users when a 404 error occurs on their website. 

This error is mainly harmless, but in terms of user experience, it does cause a lot of frustration. To avoid this error, a developer needs to make sure that all the broken links present on the website have been taken down. Also, one needs to check all the redirected links and see if they are working as expected or not. 

4. 405 Method Not Allowed

This error occurs when a server rejects the request coming from a user due to some restrictions or permission denial. 

There could be a number of reasons for this error to show on your browser, but it’s an error from a server-side, and the user doesn’t have to do anything. As a result, a developer needs to check the permissions and roll back the website settings to the previous running state. 

5. 413 Request Entity Is Too Large 

The 413 error is displayed on the browser when the browser requests the website server to process the HTTP request, which is just too big for a server to handle. 

This error occurs when you are trying to upload a heavy file on the website, a user can resolve this error on their own by reducing the size of their file or break it into different parts and try uploading it once again. 

6. 429 Too Many Requests

If a user is trying to access a particular resource from a website too many times in a very short span of time. Then a 429 error is displayed on the browser. This is a method used by a server to block a suspicious user. 

To prevent the 429 error on your homepage, if they are occurring quite frequently, then it is advisable to change the default URL of your home page. Other solutions include developers testing out new themes and plugins which are compatible with the other website resources like database, backend coding etc. 

500 Errors

7. 500 Internal Server Errors 

500 internal errors can be pretty dangerous for your website’s traffic as it will keep your users away from accessing your website while causing significant damage to your website’s SEO standing. 

The solution of 500 can be pretty tricky to find as there are so many reasons for a website to show a 500 internal error. You can start with cleaning away your browser’s cache and try reloading the page. If the problem still persists, you might have to take technical support from the server-side. 

8. 501 Not Implemented 

The 501 error is displayed when the following request sent by the user requires functionality that isn’t supported by the server. On the other hand, it simply means the server of a website isn’t able to comprehend the request of a user.

The measures you took for 500 internal server errors can be applied here, too, and if the problem doesn’t go away, you need to ask for technical help. 

9. 502 Bad Gateway 

For some, this is another puzzling error that might appear on your WordPress website. This happens when a request sent by the user takes a long time to process without showing any other form of error. The delay could be due to high traffic volume, or in some instances, it could be due to the poorly written code for a theme or for a plugin. Lastly, the 502 error could also take place if a server is not configured correctly. 

You need to clear out the browser’s cache and reload the page. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you need to look for the issues which might be present in your DNS, also try to disable your CDN or a firewall. Lastly, you can contact the hosting service and ask them to get rid of this problem from their side. 

10. 503 Service Unavailable 

It means the server of the website can’t be reached by the user’s request. Although the website is up and running, it won’t be accessible to some users, and their display will show 503 error. 

The error could be a result of routine maintenance or a high traffic level. Also, it could be due to some serious problem with the server. The silver lining here is that 503 won’t hurt your SEO ranking, but it can be a bit annoying to your users. In order to fix it, you can deactivate a newly installed plugin, switching back to your older theme, Disabling your CDN, and increasing your server’s resources. 

11. 504 Gateway Timeout 

This error occurs when a request sent by a user is sent through a proxy or a firewall, but after passing through these two, the request is not able to connect to the upstream server. If you are using a WordPress firewall, the chances of getting this error shown to one of your pages are pretty common.

To get rid of this error, you need to change your firewall settings or altogether disable it for good. Also, you can look for an issue that is present in your DNS. Moreover, if nothing is helping you out, you can disable the CDN.

Server Related Errors

12. WordPress Memory Limit Error 

When you reach the maximum appointed memory limit of your website, this error will occur. The error will look something like this:

Fatal error: The allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 2348617 bytes) in /home/username/public_html/site1/wp-includes/plugin.php online xxx

Your hosting service provides your website with a certain amount of server memory so your website can store and provide the necessary information. When the memory limit is reached, you will find that themes and plugins which you want to deploy won’t work. Moreover, adding a media file will not be possible at all. 

To prevent this error from happening again and again, you can increase the PHP memory limit by editing your wp-config.php file. If you are exhausting the memory even after making the edits in the PHP memory, then you need to change your hosting plan and get a better one. 

13. Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded

The servers which house the website have a time limit on how long a particular script can run. A default maximum execution time is 300 seconds. If the PHP script does take a longer time than that, you are going to see this error message on your browser’s screen. 

You can remove this error from your website if you increase the site’s execution limit. In order to do so, you first need to find the script that is running for too long. This script could be present in the plugins or in the themes which you are using to make your website look better. Cause themes and plugins are the two things that use the maximum execution time due to the presence of all the media and UI files. 

14. Upload: Failed To Write Files To Disk

This error could occur for a lot of reasons, but the most common one is the incorrect folder permissions that are given from the developer’s end. Each file and the folder which is a part of your website comes with a set of rules and permissions. The incorrect permission will cause you this error and stop you from uploading files on that folder. 

To prevent this error from taking place in future, you need to change the permissions via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). On the other hand, it could be due to issues that are present on your server. Even after changing the permission in FTP, the problem is still there. Then you need to get in touch with your hosting service and ask them to dump the files which are present in the temporary files directory as it might be completely filled and prevent more files from entering in a temporary folder. 

15. Secure Connection Error 

When you update the core files of your WordPress website, it needs to make a connection with WordPress.org. But due to a change in the configuration, this handshake between your website and WordPress.org won’t actually happen automatically. As a result, you get to see the warning in your WordPress dashboard. 

This problem is from your server ends, and thus, you need to contact the hosting server service to resolve this problem. On the other hand, in some cases, your server might be going through the DDOS attack (Distributed Denial Of Service). If this is the problem, the error would be soon resolved from the server end in a short time. If you want the issue to be immediately resolved, you can point your website towards WordPress.org manually using Secure Shell Protocol (SSH).

Security Related Errors

16. Cloudflare Error 521

This error is related specifically to those websites which are using Cloudflare. The Cloudflare platform is used by website owners as their CDN and for the protection against DDoS and other types of cyberattacks. 

When you see a 521 error from your website, that means the servers of Cloudflare were not able to connect with your server. The handshake is having a problem due to servers being down or some other reason. You can check your firewall setting and see if all Cloudflare’s IP ranges are whitelisted properly. Otherwise, you can contact your hosting provider and ask them to guide you through. 

17. “File Type Is Not Permitted For Security Reasons.”

As a security protocol, WordPress allows only a bunch of file types to be uploaded. This helps websites to be safe from getting uploaded with malicious files like executable files, which can steal or lock user’s sensitive information.  

You can change the settings of file type by editing the wp-config.php file. Or you can use a plugin to add different types of files, but it is not recommended to do so until it is desperately necessary. 

18. “You Are Not Allowed To View This Page.”

The file permissions, which we have talked about earlier in one of the errors, determine which user can edit and add the files to the WordPress website. This practice of WordPress will keep your website safe from hackers who are trying to add malicious content onto your website. Thus, making it stop working normally. 

There are a number of solutions which you can choose to get rid of this error. 

  • First, rest your file permissions using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
  • Check your user role in the phpMyAdmin page and make edits if they are not correct. 
  • Make sure that the prefix of your database is accurate and doesn’t have any spelling mistakes. 
  • Rollback the changes which you have made to add new plugins and theme files. 

If the problem is still there and you are not able to view the page which you should have been, then restore your website to the previous back, which allowed you to perform the same task. Or reset the website. 

Media Errors

19. WordPress HTTP Error When Uploading Media On Website

Uploading media such as images, infographics, videos and GIFS on your website will make your website look more pleasing to the users. But sometimes, when you are uploading them, a vague HTTP error could occur. There are few reasons for this error to come up during the media upload. The first one is that your login session might have expired. Or there are some disallowed characters present in the file name. Lastly, it could be due to server-side issues. 

You can prevent this error by refreshing the page and loading the files once again. If this doesn’t help, try to change the size of the image or rename your media file. Temporarily deactivate the plugins which you have recently deployed on your website and see if the problem is still there. 

In the event, you are not able to upload a media file after making all the necessary changes. Then it’s time to contact your host and ask them for some clarification on the issue. 

Database Errors

20. Error Establishing a Database Connection 

In the event your website is unable to make a connection with your MySQL database, it won’t be able to retrieve the files which are necessary to display the information which you want to see on the screen. Instead, you will see “Error Establishing a Database Connection.” 

This is the most common type of error, and it will prevent your users from seeing the front of your website. This error can be quickly resolved by checking the credentials of the database and changing them if needed from the wp-config.php file. 

21. The Database Is Corrupt 

Files when they are compromised or become unusable by the website then is said to be corrupted. The corruption of the file will cause a database connection error. 

You can remove this error by adding the define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true) function to your wp-config.php file. On the other hand, there are multiple database plugins that will help you figure out where the problem is and how you can fix it. You can use them as well if you want. 

Final Words

These were some of the major errors which a website developer can face when they are dealing with a website built using WordPress. We can’t really put more emphasis on it, but you need to make a backup of your WordPress website, both offline and online before you make any changes to it for the removal of errors. 

If a user has a little bit of technical knowledge, they can resolve these errors on their own. A professional can quickly pinpoint the error and come up with the solution in no time. 

But if you are someone from a non-technical background. Then it is best to leave the error removal to experts, as a small change can produce an avalanche effect. Thus, resulting in a number of things stopping working properly and leading you into a panic. 


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