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How to Fix WordPress Critical Error: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Aug 7 2023

WordPress, often hosted on platforms like Malaysia Web Hosting, is a robust platform. But like any software, it can sometimes run into issues. One of the most daunting messages a WordPress user can encounter is the “There has been a critical error on your website.” But don’t panic! This guide will walk you through the steps to diagnose and resolve this error.

1. Understand the Error A critical error typically indicates a problem with your theme or plugins. It could be due to a recent update, a conflict between plugins, or corrupted files.

2. Access Recovery Mode With the increasing popularity of services like Malaysia Web Hosting, WordPress 5.2 introduced a feature called “Recovery Mode.” When a critical error occurs, an email is sent to the admin email address with a link to enter this mode. In Recovery Mode, plugins or themes causing the error are paused, allowing you to access the backend and troubleshoot.

3. Check for Plugin Conflicts

  • Deactivate All Plugins: From the WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Plugins’ and deactivate all plugins.
  • Reactivate One-by-One: Start reactivating each plugin one by one. After activating each plugin, check your site to see if the error reappears. This process will help you identify the problematic plugin.

4. Switch to a Default Theme If plugins aren’t the issue, the next step is to check your theme. Switch to a default WordPress theme like ‘Twenty Twenty’ or ‘Twenty Twenty-One’. If the error disappears, the issue likely lies with your theme.

5. Debugging If you’re comfortable with coding, you can enable debugging in WordPress to get more detailed information about the error.

  • Edit the wp-config.php file in your WordPress root directory.
  • Find the line that says define('WP_DEBUG', false); and change it to define('WP_DEBUG', true);
  • Save and refresh your site. Detailed error messages will now display, providing clues about the issue.

6. Restore a Backup If you regularly back up your website (and you should!), consider restoring to a version of your site before the error occurred. This can quickly resolve the issue, especially if it was caused by a recent change.

7. Check File Permissions Incorrect file permissions can sometimes cause critical errors. Ensure that directories are set to 755 and files to 644.

8. Increase Memory Limit A memory exhaustion can lead to critical errors. Increase the PHP memory limit by editing the wp-config.php file and adding the line define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

9. Consult with Your Hosting Provider Sometimes, the issue might be server-related. If you’re using services like Malaysia Web Hosting, their support team might be able to assist you.

10. Seek Expert Help If you’ve tried the above steps and still can’t resolve the error, it might be time to consult with a WordPress expert or developer.

Conclusion While encountering a critical error on your WordPress site can be stressful, it’s essential to approach the situation methodically. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-equipped to diagnose and fix the issue. Remember, regular backups and updates are your best defense against future errors, especially when using reliable hosting services like Malaysia Web Hosting.