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“There has been a critical error on this website.” – Easy Fix

wordpress error output "there has been a critical error on this website"

WordPress, the popular content management system, is widely used for creating websites and blogs. However, users occasionally encounter the dreaded “There has been a critical error on this website” message, which can be frustrating and alarming. This error typically indicates a problem that needs attention, but fear not – resolving it is often a manageable task. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to diagnose and fix the “Critical Error on This Website” message on WordPress sites.

Step 1: Identify the Problem:

The first step in resolving any error is to determine its cause. The “Critical Error” message might be triggered by various issues, such as incompatible plugins or themes, PHP errors, or memory exhaustion. Start by checking the error message and note any additional information provided. You can find more details about the error in the WordPress error log or by enabling debugging.

To enable debugging, add the following lines to your wp-config.php file:

PHP
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true ); define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true ); define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );

Once debugging is enabled, reproduce the error, and then check the wp-content/debug.log file for more information about the problem.

Step 2: Deactivate Plugins and Themes:

Incompatibility issues with plugins or themes are common culprits for critical errors. Access your WordPress site via FTP or your hosting file manager, navigate to the wp-content directory, and rename the plugins folder to something like “plugins_old.” This will deactivate all plugins on your site.

OR if you suspect an old and buggy plugin, just simply rename that plugin folder to deactivate.

Reload your website. If the error is gone, you can conclude that a plugin was causing the issue. Rename the plugins folder back to “plugins” and reactivate each plugin one by one until you find the problematic one.

If deactivating plugins does not resolve the issue, repeat the process with themes. Rename the current theme folder in the wp-content/themes directory to deactivate it temporarily. Switch to a default WordPress theme, like Twenty Twenty-One, and check if the error persists.

Step 3: Increase PHP Memory Limit:

Insufficient PHP memory can lead to critical errors. To address this, access your WordPress site’s root directory and locate the wp-config.php file. Add the following line of code just before the “/* That’s all, stop editing! */” line:

PHP
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );

This will increase the PHP memory limit to 256 megabytes. If the error persists, you may need to contact your hosting provider to further increase the memory limit.

Step 4: Check for Theme and Plugin Compatibility:

Ensure that your WordPress theme and plugins are up to date. Outdated software may be incompatible with the latest version of WordPress, leading to critical errors. If a plugin or theme has not been updated recently, consider finding alternatives that are actively maintained and compatible with your WordPress version.

Step 5: Consult with Hosting Support:

If none of the above steps resolve the critical error, it’s time to reach out to your hosting provider’s support (or may we offer our services with a quick and free consultation?). Provide them with details about the error and the steps you’ve taken to troubleshoot. Hosting support teams are experienced in dealing with WordPress-related issues and can often provide valuable insights and solutions.

Encountering a critical error on your WordPress site can be unnerving, but by following these steps, you can identify and address the root cause. Whether it’s a plugin conflict, theme compatibility issue, or a memory limit problem, the majority of critical errors can be resolved with a systematic approach to troubleshooting. Remember to back up your site before making significant changes, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance from your hosting provider or the WordPress community if needed.

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