While WordPress is a seamless and highly user-oriented Content Management System, it can obviously break havoc on our sites sooner or later. One moment, we give it all to setup WordPress blog or website and the other moment, an alien issue might pop up, ruining our moment of accomplished victory. It’s a situation that we’ve all been through. While a lot of times, it is the notorious themes or plugins at play, one cannot put at bay the nuisance caused by the web servers.
Web servers play a very crucial role when it comes to putting together an awesome website and running it without any hiccups. However, a slight miscalculation on your part towards the selection of an appropriate web hosting service can lead you into an abyss of server issues that are downright exhausting to tend to. On one hand, you will constantly keep losing visitors that drive away from the website on account of a site full of errors, you will also either have to slog manual hours or hire professional help and spend money to fix those issues.
And all of this isn’t desired, right? So, you need to be aware of the most common types of server issues that affect a WordPress site and how you can attempt fixing them. Let’s go through them.
Slow loading pages
A very common issue faced by WordPress websites on account of their faulty servers is the slow loading of website pages. While a website admin might have done everything to keep their site’s speed, server-side issues could still cause the website to be slow and frustrating.
If you think that your website is facing a similar issue, you need to begin by confirming the issue through a speed test using websites such as Pingdom. If the issue exists, here’s how you can fix it.
Fix: Check out your web host’s status about the uptime of their server. You might be able to find out this information on your host’s “Server Status” or “System Status” page. If the page notifies of any such information, you can immediately contact your web host to get the issue fixed. And if this keeps happening repeatedly, you better enquire with the support or know that it is time for you to either upgrade your hosting plan or replace the host service with immediate effect.
“Error establishing Database connection.”
Yet another dreaded issue faced by many WordPress websites is the display of ‘Error establishing database connection’ upon website loading. This error obviously points to some trouble with your site’s database.
If you encounter this error, you can begin by inspecting your site’s database to find the culprit. You can do so by checking your wp-config.php file and verifying if it contains the correct information about your username, password, and hostname fields. If everything is in the right place, you can try updating, saving, and re-checking your website. However, if you don’t see the issue getting fixed, here’s what you can do:
Fix: This is where you contact your site’s hosting service support and check if your site has been disabled. If that is not the issue, a security breach might be causing the disconnect. You can verify that by the use of security plugins such as Website Security Check and Security Ninja. If the breach is detected, ask the support to solve the issue.
“Internal Server Error.”
While this issue directly points toward the malfunction of the server, there is still a need to figure out the origin of the error before you try to implement a fix. A corrupt theme/plugin could lead to this error as well. If your website is plagued with PHP memory limit issues, faulty permalinks, or bad .htaccess file, your site will experience the Internal server error. So, make sure that you cross off the above issues before trying fixing the error.
Fix: The redressal of this issue moves in stages. You can begin by checking the PHP memory limit. If it needs to increase, you need to add the following line in your wp-config.php file.
If increasing the PHP memory limit does not seem to work, you should check if your website has a corrupted .htaccess file. If that is the scenario, you will have to replace the corrupted file with a new one. All you need to do: File manager > locate the file and rename it as “.htaccess old”.
Once you rename the file and see the error disappear, you need to go to Settings > Permalinks > Save to reset the file. If everything else fails, it is time to contact the host service support.
The “server does not exist” issue
Well, this one’s an absolute bummer! When the site displays “Server does not exist”, your website is bound to lose a large count of prospective visitors and business. This error is usually related to suspension fo services, can be on account of no renewal of maybe the site’s domain name, hosting plan, bandwidth or plan being exceeded, etc.
Fix: If this error displays on your site, you immediately need to login to the hosting account and check for any notifications that you might have missed. If that isn’t the case, you ended to contact the support immediately.
Connection timed out
The ‘Connection timed out’ error is a rather simple one. It tells you that your website has exceeded its memory limit on account of too much traffic in a short duration and use of such themes/plugins that are eating up your server bandwidth.
Fix: You can try checking for any themes/plugins that might be causing this error to display on your site. If you are able to find them, simply deactivate and uninstall them. If that isn’t the cause, you can try fixing the issue by increasing the maximum PHP memory limit as mentioned in point 3 above. If everything else fails, you need to upgrade your existing hosting plan for increased memory limit.
Failure to receive emails
Yet another common server issue faced by websites created using the WordPress website builder is the failure to receive emails. This might happen even though you made sure that the configuration for the host provided free emailing service was done properly. Here’s how it can be fixed.
Fix: Begin by verifying the applicability of the issue and check if the problem exists entirely and not for specific addresses. You might also want to recheck the email storage space and if that is not the case, you can contact your web hosting support to address the issue.
Failure to access updates
A lot of times, some WordPress websites fail to reflect any changes made to them. Since this is a caching issue, website owners can try accessing the website through different devices and check if the updates are being reflected on the site. This doesn’t work if your site’s cache_temp folder on the server-side isn’t functioning properly.
Fix: It is important to begin by ensuring that your website is well-cached, the browser is cleared, and you have also tried accessing the site via a different device. If that fails, time to ring the support.
Note: As a safe move, it is always recommended to entrust your money and website with a reliable and reputed web hosting provider. Falling for the charm of cheap plans might be easy but it is not going to be easier to work with as days pass by.
No one can end up creating a perfect website that doesn’t malfunction. Errors might be frustrating but with the right fix is readily available, the above common server issues can be easily dealt with. We hope that now you would be able to address the top most common server issues that affect your WordPress site and if not, you will have the right info into what’s wrong and you can hire professionals to get your website running seamlessly.
Mark Coleman is a blogger and digital marketer. He currently manages MarkupTrend and shares his knowledge through his posts.