Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them

This article explains 3 common WordPress errors a user may come across while developing a WordPress site. This article is broken up into three parts:
  • A blank white screen, no output
  • Internal Server Error
  • Error establishing database connection
Please note: It is highly recommended that if you are making any changes to the site that you back up the site and database prior to making any changes. See How to Backup and or Restore a Website in cPanel or How to Back Up Your Website Using Plesk.
A Blank White Screen Shows with No Output
In most cases issues with WordPress not displaying content or just a white screen can be one or all three of the suggestions listed below:
  • Exhausted memory
  • Plugins
  • Themes
To help troubleshoot the issues outlined above you can use the below steps for each to correct the issue and the site showing content again.
Exhausted Memory
In a most cases reaching the memory limit is the factor and increasing the memory limit as long as this doesn't exceed the memory limit of the server but increasing it to just 64MB will be enough to help.
To increase the memory allocation for your WordPress site you can do the following by accessing your wp-config.php file:
  1. FTP to your site
  2. Download the wp-config.php file
  3. Within the PHP tags i.e. <?PHP ?> you need to add the below code to the file:
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');
  4. Save the file and re-upload to the home directory(public_html or httpdocs depending on whether your site is on a cPanel or Plesk server)
  5. If your memory limit is already set to 64MB then it may be a plugin or theme issue
To troubleshoot issues with plugins it is best to have access to the dashboard, if you have access to the dashboard, you can go to Plugins and select all the plugins to deactivate or you can select each individual one to narrow down the actual plugin that may be the issue.
If you do not have access the dashboard, you will need to FTP to the site's directory and go to wp-content/plugins folders. To disable plugins all you need to do is rename the folders to a different name or just append .disabled to the end of the folder name. If you want to reactivate the plugins you can simply just rename the folders back to the original names.


If deactivating plugins didn't resolve the issues than it is possibly the theme; it can be multiple factors. If you delete the theme via FTP in the wp-content/themes folder, WordPress will switch over to the default theme. If this works than it is surely an issue with the theme. The developer will need to be contacted to help narrow down the issue.

Internal Server Error

Internal Server Error

If you are receiving an error message stating there was an Internal Server Error, the troubleshooting ideas are the same as above:
  • Exhausted memory
  • Plugins
  • Themes
Follow the steps above to resolve the error.
Error Establishing Database Connection
It is possible that there are many reasons for a database connection error. There are two things you can do to help establish a connection to the database:
  • Repair the database
  • Verify database configuration in wp-config.php file
Repair Database
If you are seeing a message about database connection issues, the database may need to be repaired. The below steps will help you repair the database:
  1. FTP to your site
  2. Download the wp-config.php file.
  3. Within the PHP tags i.e. <?PHP ?> you need to add the below code to the file:
    define('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true);
  4. Save the file and re-upload to the home directory(public_html or httpdocs depending on whether your site is on a cPanel or Plesk server)
  5. To be able to repair the database you need to go to the following:
    Wordpress database repair
  6. Run Repair Database. Depending on the size of the database it may take awhile.
Verify Database Configuration in wp-config.php File
If you are unable to get to the front and back ends of the WordPress site you will need to verify that the database configuration is set up correctly in the wp-config.php file.
  1. FTP to your site
  2. Download the wp-config.php file
  3. Verify the below information is correct:
    define('DB_NAME', 'YOURDBNAMEHERE');
    define('DB_USER', 'YOURDBUSERHERE');
    define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
    Please note: The database-name, database-username, and database-password will be different than the example provided.
If all the above troubleshooting tactics didn't resolve the issues please submit a ticket with our support department and we will troubleshoot the issue as well.

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