Common WordPress Website and Hosting Issues

Why most of the people choose to use WordPress? As i had shown you from the previous post; WordPress are easy to use, simple way to add plugin or themes and user friendly manageable dashboard.

With a market share of over 60%, WordPress is undoubtedly the world’s most popular content management system. But with this popularity comes security risks; By default, WordPress is one of the most popular targets for hackers and malware.

There are hundreds of thousands of web hosts that meet WordPress’ minimum web hosting requirements. what you want is more than the minimum requirement spec, though. You need a resource rich and trustworthy host that you can push your WordPress site go faster and secure for many years to come.

So, let’s take a look at the security of your WordPress website and WordPress hosting problems most clients are nervous about. For example, main concern most of the time websites can’t be view because they’re slow to load or experience a lot of downtime. And for some, the website can return blank page or with some errors.

Website owners are also worried about servers that are vulnerable to security breaches, support teams that take way too long time to solve a web hosting issue and pricing that’s unclear with additional charges hidden. 

Although WordPress is free and downloadable anytime but WordPress is not completely error-free. I will discuss the most common WordPress website and WordPress hosting issues also with ideas and ways that you can solve them.

Backup WordPress

Before we start, backup your website first. You should always make a complete backup of your WordPress site before making any changes and have a regular backup schedule. This is what i usually do, i will compress or zip the wp-content or whole site folder and export the database. Reason is even if you can’t fully resolve your issues you still restore it.

WordPress White Screen of Death

The WordPress white screen of death error usually results in a plain white screen that has no error message. This is what makes it so confusing because there’s no error code or message to indicate where something may have gone wrong.

First, go to the WordPress plugins page. Deactivate all your plugins, then activate each plugin once by one until you notice which plugin is the culprit. Once you have the result and you have confirm that the plugin causing it, so you can just remove this plugin.

But if you can’t access your WordPress admin area, it will quite troublesome. You’ll need to access your site files using an FTP client such as filezilla. If you are using Cpanel or Plesk or others, there is a file manager function you may use. Find the wp-content/plugins or wp-content/themes folders and rename them to something else until you identify the plugin or theme that’s causing your site to break. You can then remove that problem theme or plugin to solve the issue. Take note as well, there could be more than just once plugin causes it.

WordPress Technical Difficulties

I manage a couple hundred WordPress sites and this new feature is causing issues for others. If your admin email is not your email address and it is not set to by you. Then you are locked out from WordPress.

If you are trying to get the email link you can just add this to the end of your wordpress domain name as below. The email link is just a simple link with that added to the end of it.


The plugin rename trick works. Rename plugin directory to plugins2 or whatever. That will force WP to deactivate all plugins and then you can login. Then switch plugins2 back to plugins and you can enable your plugins one by one again. And try to figure out which culprit caused the issue.

Missing MySQL Extension

As you tried to change your domain php to the php version to 7.4. then you see that it gave this error. Reason is that WordPress stating that you need php version 7.4 after site health checks.

Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress

WordPress aims to fully support PHP 7.4. However, please bear in mind not all your plugins and themes is compatible with php 7.4. Then it will causes your site unable to view or shows this error due to incompatible.

All you had to do is to change your php version to the version you had previously and the error will be removed.

WordPress Connection Timed Out

If you’re seeing the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error in WordPress it usually means your website is trying to use more of the server resources such as cpu or memory and this is common issue on shared hosting.

Most of the time the main cause of this problem are resource-hungry plugins, issues with your theme, and hosting plan limitations.

You can begin fixing the issue by deactivating your plugins one by one and then trying to access your website after each deactivation. You might find that one of your plugins is causing the error.

If the above do not works, then it’s best of you to contact your hosting provider to see if they help.

Error Establishing a Database Connection

The error establishing a database connection problem showing that your site can’t connect to your database. This happen when you’ve modified or entered your database details incorrectly such as database host, database username or database password. Some cases, the database could be corrupted. If so you need to repair the database.

Internal Server Error

Internal server error is often the most common WordPress issue and the most confusing too. Definitely something is wrong, but the server doesn’t lead you the problem at.

You may check if your .htaccess file is corrupted. You can do this by accessing your site using FTP and locating the .htaccess file which you’ll find in the same directory as folders like wp-admin. Then rename the .hataccess file to something like .htaccess-error and access your website to see if it helped.

Now alternatively, you need to enable the WordPress debugging function. FTP into your website and add the following line of code into your wp-config.php file line:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

Now save the changes, re-upload the file to your server, and visit your site to see if any errors. If you had errors then you need to solve it.

404 Not Found Error

One of the reasons why you encounter this WordPress 404 error when you visit a post or page on your website is because your permalink settings had been altered. Or it could be your .htaccess file had been removed without your rewrite rules.

Okay, you’ll need to fix your WordPress permalink settings. You can do this by heading to Settings » Permalinks in your dashboard area and simply clicking the save changes button.

Or you may manually go to your server using FTP, and modify the .htaccess file which is located in the same location where folders like wp-admin are located. Add this code in your .htaccess file:

# BEGIN WordPress 

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteBase / 
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L] 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d 
RewriteRule . /index.php [L] 

# END WordPress

403 Forbidden No Permission Error

403 forbidden error is normally displayed due to your server doesn’t allow you permission to access a certain page. Incorrect file permissions and poorly coded plugins are usually the main culprits.

403 Forbidden – You don’t have permission to access ‘/’ on this server. Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

You had to deactivate all of your plugins including any security plugins you may have installed. If the error is resolved once you’ve done this a plugin is definitely the problem. Start reactivating the plugins one by one until you see the error again which will highlight the problem plugin. 

Then again, if plugins is not the issues. You need to log into your server to set all your wordpress files and folders permission via command line as below. Or you may contact your host to help you.

$ chown www-data:www-data -R * (Let Apache/Username be owner)
$ find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; (Change directory permissions rwxr-xr-x)
$ find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \; (Change file permissions rw-r--r--)

Scheduled Maintenance Error

WordPress often updates its system automatically and sometimes, it can be interrupted. Because of this, you might see error messages or pop-ups such as “Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance”.

To solve this, manually do it by yourself by deleting the .maintenance file from your website’s root folder same folder as wp-admin. Once this is done, then your site should go back to normal and out of maintenance mode.

Hijacks and Hacks

To avoid being hacked, you may try to do the following security measures or ask your hosting provider to do it:

  1. Do not use admin as username for WordPress dashboard login
  2. Setup an automated backups daily or weekly even monthly
  3. Change login page to others
  4. Ask for multiple verifications before logging in
  5. Schedule scanning regularly for malware and viruses
  6. Do not use default “wp_” onto your database and change it
  7. Update your operating system regularly
  8. Use antivirus and anti-malware software

Additionally, your hosting provider should have a basic security measures such as SSL certificates, firewalls, and SFTP to avoid hijacks and hacks in the future.

“This site may be hacked” Error

You’ll see the message “This site may be hacked” when google believe a hacker might have changed some of the existing pages on the site or added new spam pages. If you visit the site, you could be redirected to spam or malware.

To fix this, you have to do the following:

  1. Make a thorough backup of your whole WordPress site.
  2. Register and verify your site in Google’s Search Console.
  3. Sign in to Search Console and check the “Security Issues” section to see details of sample URLs that might be hacked. Fix the security issue that allowed your website to be infected. Otherwise, your site is likely to be reinfected.
  4. Install Sucuri to your WordPress site to avoid getting any suspicious activity. It helps block hacking attempts to your website and cleans all of the malware automatically.
  5. Sucuri will help you remove all of the malicious codes and malware from your site. Once you are sure that your website has been thoroughly scanned and cleaned, you can then ask Google to remove the “Harmful website” error from the search results.
  6. Request a review in the Security Issues section in Search Console when your entire website is clean and secure. After Google had checked that your site is fixed, Google will remove the “This site may be hacked” message.

502 Bad Gateway

Usually pops up when the server is taking too long to process the request without giving other types of errors. Possible caused by extremely high traffic, a poorly coded WP theme or plugin, or even a server mis-configuration.

To solve your issue, try the following:

  1. Refresh your website to see if it pops up again. Sometimes, the server is just taking too long to respond because of the high traffic.
  2. If that did not work, then try clearing your browser’s cache. Go to your web browser’s settings and click on “clear cache”. After that, view your website again. Or you may use firefox private window, chrome incognito window.
  3. If the error still persists, then try disabling the CDN or website firewall on your site.
  4. You can also update your WordPress plugins and themes to make sure that this is not what’s causing the problem. Deactivate your plugins and then activating it one by one to see which one of your plugins is causing the error.
  5. If none of these tips above has worked, then try checking with your hosting provider.

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