20+ Common WordPress Errors You Should Know

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By Vinay Khatri

The first thought which comes to most of our minds when planning to create a website is to sign up on WordPress and get things started. Since the initial release of WordPress in 2003, it has become a go-to choice for anyone who wants to create a fully functional website without putting in much effort. 

WordPress is easy to use and its extensive library of plugins makes it easy for users to customize websites in whatever way they want. In 2021, WordPress is powering 39.6% of all the websites active on the internet and this is a 5% increase from 2020. Thus, WordPress is still the champion among website builders. But sometimes, WordPress website development can be a little tricky, which can cause you to encounter some errors.

Today, we are going to discuss some of the most common WordPress errors that a website owner might face. In addition to this, we will provide solutions to these common WordPress errors so that you can easily overcome them.

What Causes WordPress Errors?

There could be several reasons for your WordPress website to show an error. It could be due to a new plugin that you have added to your website or because of a change that you have made to your website’s backend. Each error has its specified reason for not making your website work in the desired way. In the next section, we have defined different WordPress errors along with the ways to resolve them. 

Before you proceed any further, make sure that you have created the backup of all the files of your website and also download them offline in your system. This step is essential when you are trying solutions to fix an error as you may end up disrupting the operation of your whole website. By creating a backup it’ll be possible to undo all the changes that you have made.

20+ Common WordPress Errors

Given below are the different types of errors that you might come across when managing a WordPress website:

400 Errors

1. 400 Bad Request

When a server experiences a client error, it will show you the 400 Bad Request error. The error could be due to several reasons that are as follows:

  • Incorrect URL or the URL containing 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 error pops up when you do not have permission to access the page that you are trying to open in the browser. Usually, the access restrictions are put in place to protect sensitive information, but sometimes permissions don’t perform correctly and show 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 due to a new plugin that you have recently added to your website. So, try to identify and remove the plugin that you think is causing the issue. 

3. 404 Page Not Found

A 404 Page Not Found error occurs when a user is trying to access a page that doesn’t exist. 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 display some message for their users when a 404 error occurs on the website.

This error is mainly harmless, but in terms of user experience, it does cause a lot of frustration. To avoid this error, you need to make sure that all the broken links on your website are removed. 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 set by the website’s administrators.

There could be a number of reasons for this error to show on your browser, but it’s an error from the server-side, as your request to access the information from the website is getting rejected. As a result, a developer needs to check the permissions and roll back the website settings to the previous working 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 by reducing the size of their file 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, the 429 error is displayed on the browser. This is a method used by servers to block suspicious users.

To prevent the 429 errors 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 testing out new themes and plugins that are compatible with the other website resources like database, backend code, etc.

500 Errors

7. 500 Internal Server Error 

The 500 Internal Server Error 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 many reasons for a website to show a 500 Internal Server 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 seek technical support.

8. 501 Not Implemented 

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

The measures you take for resolving 500 Internal Server Error can be applied here too. However, 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 a plugin. Also, the 502 error could occur if the 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 firewall. Lastly, you can contact the hosting service and ask them to get rid of this issue.

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 the 503 error appears.

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 for your website’s visitors. In order to fix it, you can deactivate a newly installed plugin, switch back to the previous theme (if applicable), disable your CDN, or increase your server’s resources.

11. 504 Gateway Timeout 

This error occurs when a request sent by a user goes through a proxy or a firewall, but after passing through, the request is not able to connect to the upstream server. If you are using a WordPress firewall, getting this error is 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 works, 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 on your website 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 the error still persists, you need to change your hosting plan and get a better one.

13. Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded

The server which houses the website has 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 eliminate this error from your website if you increase the site’s execution time 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. Themes and plugins generally 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 is the incorrect folder permissions set at 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 this error and stop you from uploading files to that folder.

To prevent this error, you need to change the permissions via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). If the problem is still there even after changing the permissions through FTP, you need to get in touch with your hosting service provider and ask them to dump the files that are present in the temporary files directory.

15. Secure Connection Error 

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

This problem is on the server end and thus you need to contact your hosting service provider to resolve this issue. On the other hand, in some cases, your server might be going through a DDOS attack (Distributed Denial Of Service). If this is the problem, the error would be resolved automatically after some 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 protection against DDoS and other types of cyberattacks.

When you see a 521 error on your website, it 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 settings 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 stay safe from 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 necessary.

18. “You Are Not Allowed to View this Page.”

The file permissions determine which user can add and edit files on your WordPress website. This practice of WordPress. If you are trying to access a web page which has some important information. Then the website needs to give you permission to safely access the data stored on it. If you are getting an alert message which says “You Are Not Allowed to View this Page.” It means the website hasn’t given you permission to view that specific page. This safety feature will keep your website safe from hackers who are trying to add malicious content to your website or view important documents which is located on the web page. There are a number of solutions which you can choose to get rid of this error. 

  • First, reset your file permissions using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
  • Check user roles and permissions 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. 
  • Roll back the changes which you have made to add new plugins and themes.

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 safely working backup, which makes your website run normally on previous settings and plugins.

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.

If you are unable to upload media files after making all the necessary changes, you need to contact your hosting service provider 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 on the website. Instead, you will see “Error Establishing a Database Connection.”

This is the most common type of error, and it will prevent your visitors from accessing your website’s content. However, 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 that are compromised or become unusable are said to be corrupted. The corruption of files will also 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.

Wrapping Up

So, these were some of the major errors that you may face with your WordPress website. 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 resolving errors.

If you have some technical knowledge about how WordPress works, you can resolve most WordPress errors quite easily. But if you are someone from a non-technical background, it is best to take the help of a professional to resolve issues on your WordPress website as a small mistake can damage your website quite significantly.

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