Solutions to Common WordPress Problems

I’ve learned a lot of tricks over the years about WordPress, and I’ve found that many of the same issues come up over and over again. I figured I would explain how to solve these issues all in one place. This list is ongoing and I will add to it as more issues come up!

Only the Home Page Comes Up: Rest of Site Offline / Returning “Not Found”
This is an easy one. Your permalinks are probably messed up! Reset them by going to Settings -> Permalinks -> Click “Save Changes.”

A Single Page or Form is Missing / Not Displaying
Check the trash for your forms or pages / posts, whichever it is. I’m not sure why, but I find people accidentally delete their stuff all the time. If the form is simply missing, when other forms from the same plugin are working fine, again, verify it’s not in the trash. Then match the embed code to make sure there really is a form associated with it.

Some / All Images Not Showing Up, Especially When Some Links Bring You to 404 Pages
Resetting permalinks like in the first issue may solve it, otherwise, inspect where the images and links are; check the URL. If you find that the URL points to a different location than your actual website, you have a problem. You may be pointing to an old site location or possible the test site location. If you happen to be hosting with Cloud Access, you can follow the numbered steps from this article. Otherwise, I recommend the Search and Replace DB tool, which has instructions and the download on that page.Search for the old URL (e.g. example.com) and replace it with your new URL (e.g. brianjohnsondesign.com).

The Website Is Completely Offline With or Without a Blank White Screen
I have a comprehensive tutorial on troubleshooting a downed WordPress site.

Fatal Error Message On Some Pages with Any Amount of Page Loaded
Take a look at the error. Is the file pluggable.php mentioned? If so, it’s almost definitely a plugin issue. Are there any other files mentioned? Usually it will mention another file and give an entire path to that file. If that path includes wp-content/plugins/ and then a plugin directory, that plugin is probably the one causing the problem. If you can get to the WordPress backend, disable that plugin. With FTP access, you can also rename that plugin’s folder and it will disable it. If it’s out-of-date, updating the plugin (and WordPress) will often solve the issue. If not, you may want to leave it disabled until you can figure out the problem.

A Plugin Stops Functioning
Is it updated? Update it! Make sure you run a backup first. But short of custom coding and themes, typically updated plugins will play nice and actually function just fine. Make sure WordPress is updated too! Occasionally you may need to reconfigure something too. Go through step-by-step and make sure each piece of it is set up correctly; the shortcode, the widget, the form, the settings; whatever is involved!

That’s it for now! I’ll be adding more of these as I think of them.

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Lakeville, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

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