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Maybe you install a new plugin or a theme, or you modify a CSS or PHP file, and something went wrong in the process, and your WordPress is down.
It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s never impossible not to break things in your WordPress blog.
WordPress’s content management system power over 43% of internet websites, its developer community are talented coders who developed plugins, themes, and scripts to extend functions and performance.
Going by their level of expertise, there shouldn’t be a problem using any plugin, theme, or script on your WordPress blog. But there’s never a guarantee that everything will always be fine and good.
For example, if you installed a nulled theme or plugin, poorly coded plugins, or you edit a file and you don’t know what you’re doing, etc…your WordPress site may be down unexpectedly and you won’t be able to access it afterward.
In this article, I will share with you the 9 most common reasons why WordPress is down and the steps you can take to troubleshoot each error.
So, let’s get started…
8 Reasons Why is WordPress Down
1. Check Your Internet Connection
To begin, you need to check your internet connection. This may look unrelated but from experience, it is the first step to take when trying to resolve an unresponsive WordPress site.
If you are on a wifi network, check the connection or try to load other web pages on your browser. You can load your favorite social media sites or even, just do a google search for a random surf.
What we are trying to do here is to be certain you have a strong internet connection. If other web pages load fast and completely, check other reasons why my WordPress site is down on this list.
2. Is WordPress Down For Everyone?
The next thing you need to do is to check if WordPress is down for everyone or just you.
It may be that your core WordPress installation software is down for maintenance at the time, or just a moment of glitch that has since been resolved automatically.
To be sure, use a downtime monitoring tool like Is it down right now to check if WordPress is down or up at the moment.
Also, you need to confirm if your website is down. Strangely enough, because you can not access it or someone reports a downtime issue does not mean your website is down.
Once again, use the server monitoring tool to check your website’s current HTTPS status code. If the result shows that your website is down, you can follow the rest tips in this article.
However, if the test results show your website is up and running, you can ignore the rest of the article and continue with your daily activities. It’s just a moment of glitch and is likely to resolve itself.
3. Check Your Web Host Server
If WordPress is up and running as expected, but not your website, it may be that your web host server is the culprit.
There are several reasons why your web host server may be down:
- Maintenance – Though if this is the case, you should be notified through email in advance. Your web host may be updating hardware infrastructure, security, and software. This might cause a temporary outage of the server. And it should be back to normal within a few hours.
- Security Patch – It could be that there is a breach in your web host server security system from cyber criminals, such as a DDoS attack, as a result, affected servers are taken down for investigation and patch. A good web hosting company will have prevention and mitigation systems in place against this kind of security threat.
- Low-Quality Web Host – I have been a victim of low-quality web hosting services. The problem is that your website will be offline or down for many hours, and even the admin area will most of the time be unresponsive. If this is the case, you need to migrate to a better web host. If you’re receiving frequent emails from Jetpack that your website is offline, it’s time to switch to another web host.
- Server Problem – This could be a failure in the hard drive, CPU, RAM, or any other component running on the server. If your web host has no backup to minimize or eliminate this type of issue, there could be website downtime.
- Data Center Failure – This is not common but not far-fetched either. If the data center where your website is housed loses power suddenly and there is no emergency power failure backup plan to take over, you will go offline until the power is restored.
These are some of the reasons your website may be down from your web host’s end. That is why it is always a good thing to reach out to your host if you’re having a downtime issue with your website. Your web host is one of the first sources to troubleshoot a downtime issue.
4. Check Your Domain Availability
If you allowed your domain name to expire and didn’t renew on time, or someone has access to your account details and made changes to your domain name ownership information, your website will be unavailable.
This is easy to verify, log into your domain name registration provider and check your account information. If you notice any unrecognized information, there is a chance your domain name has been hijacked by hackers. In the case you can not log in to your account, you need to contact support via chat, email, or social media handle.
In most cases, you’ll need to provide documents to verify your identity and domain name ownership. If you can verify your identity and ownership of the domain name, you will regain access to your domain in time.
5. Check Your Hosting Plan Limits
Another reason WordPress is down is when you exceed the hosting limit. Some web hosts will not notify you before taking your website down for resource overuse. This is common when you’re on a shared hosting server and getting significant website traffic.
Each shared hosting plan comes with bandwidth and storage limits, and even some so-called managed WordPress hosting. If you’re using more server resources than what your hosting plan allowed, your website will be taken down by your host.
But in an ideal scenario, your web host should have sent an email with instructions on how to scale up your hosting plan. You’ll need to upgrade your plan to a more resourceful hosting package. That should resolve the issue.
But if this is not the case, you might want to look into recently installed and activated themes and plugins.
6. Theme and Plugin Compatibility Issue
If the WordPress downtime occurs right after you change to a different theme or activate a plugin, it could be the cause of your WordPress blog downtime. Some plugins or themes are not compatible therefore causing network issues.
And it could also be that you’ve installed a nulled plugin or theme version that is causing the problem
To resolve this issue, you’ll need to connect to your WordPress blog via an FTP program like Filezilla.
You need to enter your server account details to connect via FileZilla. Enter your account hostname, username, password, and port in the required field and click on connect.
First locate the folder Public_html, double-click on it and locate the folder named wp_content, and double-click to open it. Locate the plugin folder and rename it, so WordPress no longer sees it. After that, reload your website and see if you can access it. If your website loads correctly, one of the plugins is the culprit.
If you remember the last plugin you installed before the issue occurred, you can locate and disable it right away. Rename the folder back to plugins so WordPress can identify it.
But if you can’t remember the last plugin you installed, go to your WordPress blog and activate the plugin one after the other to find the one causing compatibility issues.
7. WordPress Configuration
If you currently point nameservers to a CDN service, you need to check your configuration setting. Double-check your A record to confirm it is pointing to the correct IP address in your CDN service provider.
This has happened to me before, I changed the name server to Cloudflare and didn’t configure it properly. The A record in Cloudflare was misconfigured, which caused the blog to be offline.
8. PHP Memory Limits
PHP memory limits can also be the cause of WordPress blog downtime. If you’re getting an error message like “Allowed memory size of 33554422 bytes exhausted. This could be related to the PHP memory limit.
By default, WordPress allocates 32MB memory limits, but some hosts increase this to 64MB. Page builders like Elementor used a lot of memory to function, if you do not prepare for it, you may get the WordPress Memory Limit Exhausted Error message.
What you need to do is to increase WordPress PHP memory limits. For more information on how to do this, read this guide.
How to Protect Your Site From Downtime
There are things you can do to minimize or protect your site from future attacks and downtime issues. Some of the things in your control can help reduce the chance of your WordPress blog ever going down or offline.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Minimize The use of Plugins – There are plugins that can perform multiple tasks so you don’t need to install separate plugins. For example, All-in-one SEO plugins provide on-page SEO, structure data markup, sitemap submission, redirection manager, internal link, robots.txt editor, open graph, local SEO, woocommerce SEO, and more.
- Use a Trusted WordPress Theme – WordPress themes are not created equal, you need to install and use themes from a trusted developer. And always make sure your theme is up to date. If your theme has not received an update for a long time, it could be a sign that the developer has abandoned the project. You need to find a more reliable and supported theme. If you need help with this, try the Astra theme.
- Test Theme and Plugin on Staging Site – Many web hosts will provide a staging environment where you can test changes or features you intend to deploy on a live website in a secure hosting environment. Staging is simply a clone of your live website for development purposes.
- Use Clean and secure Codes – If you’re running custom scripts or codes on your website, make sure they are written with best practices in mind and are not bloated with bugs. If you’re unsure about this, ask your web developer to take a second look.
If you follow these precautions, you would minimize the risk of your WordPress blog ever going down or offline. And if it ever happens, now you know where to look and what to do to speed up the recovery process.