When WordPress Fails: Strategies for Diagnosing and Fixing Site Issues

If you notice that your WordPress website is down or unreachable, don’t panic. The first step is to verify that your website is actually down by attempting to access it from a different device or network. It’s possible that the issue is simply a temporary glitch or a problem with your internet connection.

If you don’t have an easy way to try a different device or network, run a website speed test with GTmetrix. We’re not interested in seeing how fast the website loads – we just want to make sure GTmetrix is able to complete the website speed test and display a screenshot of the website, instead of an error message.

If the website is loading and the screenshot looks like your website, then the downtime is local to your device or network. If you happen to have a slow loading website, consider hiring a professional to optimize  your website speed.

If the website is still down after trying to access it from a different device or network or after running the speed test, then it’s time to move on to the next steps.

The next steps to take depend on the cause of the issue. It’s important to check for potential security breaches, incomplete WordPress auto-updates, conflicts between plugins and themes, exceeded hosting package limits, server crashes, and issues with your hosting provider’s infrastructure. By identifying the root cause of the issue, you can take the necessary steps to resolve it and get your WordPress website back up and running.

Is Poor Security The Reason Your Website is Offline?

Website downtime can be caused by a compromised website due to malicious attacks or unauthorized access. These attacks can impact your website’s functionality and leave it vulnerable to further attacks. To detect any malware affecting your website, consider running a Sucuri site check. This service can help identify any malicious code or vulnerabilities, giving you the opportunity to fix the issue and prevent further attacks.

If no malware is detected, consider other possibilities that could be causing your website’s downtime. Check your website’s configurations, including your DNS settings, to ensure that they are properly set up. Additionally, conflicts between plugins and themes, unfinished WordPress auto-updates, server issues, and exceeding your hosting package limits can all contribute to website downtime. Taking the time to investigate the issue and address any underlying problems can help minimize website downtime and ensure that your website is up and running smoothly.

Network connection issues

Check Your WordPress Configurations

Another potential cause of website downtime is improper configurations. WordPress configurations must be checked to ensure that they are set up correctly. It is important to verify that your website’s settings are in line with your hosting provider’s requirements. Check your DNS settings as well and ensure that they are pointing to the correct server. Sometimes a small misconfiguration can lead to your website becoming inaccessible.

It is important to periodically review your website’s configurations to prevent future issues. Consider using a reliable website monitoring service that will alert you when any issues arise. This will help you resolve the issue quickly and prevent prolonged downtime. Taking the time to ensure that your website’s configurations are correct can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

What Can Cause Downtime on Your WordPress Website?

Your Domain Expired

Website downtime can be caused by a range of factors, but one of the most common is when a domain name has expired. This can happen when you forget to renew your domain registration or if there is an issue with your payment method. In this case, you’ll need to check if your domain name has expired and take steps to renew it. Most domain registrars will send you a reminder when your domain is about to expire, but it’s always a good idea to keep track of the expiration date yourself to avoid any unexpected downtime.

To renew your domain, simply log in to your domain registrar’s account and follow their instructions to renew your domain registration. Be sure to double-check that all of your contact and payment information is up to date to avoid any issues with the renewal process. Once your domain registration has been renewed, it may take a few hours for your website to become accessible again, so be patient and monitor your website’s status.

Unfinished/Incomplete WordPress Auto-updates

When running a WordPress website, it’s important to keep up with the latest updates to ensure that your website remains secure and functional. However, sometimes these updates can cause issues, resulting in downtime. One common problem is when automatic updates fail, leaving your website in an incomplete or unstable state. To prevent this from happening, you can either disable automatic updates or manually update WordPress yourself.

Disabling automatic updates can give you more control over when and how updates are performed on your website. However, this means that you’ll need to keep a closer eye on updates and make sure you’re manually updating WordPress in a timely manner. On the other hand, manually updating WordPress can be more time-consuming, but it allows you to ensure that updates are properly installed and that your website remains stable and functional. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to regularly check for updates and take action to prevent downtime on your website.

WordPress Plugin/Theme Conflicts

At times, conflicts between WordPress plugins and themes can cause your website to go down. WordPress plugins are third-party applications that can add various functionalities to your website. However, it is essential to ensure that the plugins you install are compatible with your WordPress theme. Using incompatible plugins may result in conflicts and website downtime.

To avoid such issues, make sure you only use reputable and well-supported plugins. If you experience website downtime, try disabling all plugins, and then enable them one by one to identify the problematic plugin. You can also try changing your WordPress theme temporarily to see if the issue persists. By identifying the cause of the problem, you can fix the issue and ensure your website runs smoothly.

Website is Offline

Your Website is Down Because the Server is Crashing

When your website is down or unreachable, it could be due to a problem with the server that hosts your website files. A server crash can be caused by various factors, such as high traffic, insufficient resources, or technical problems. In such cases, it is essential to contact your hosting provider immediately to resolve the issue.

Your hosting provider should be able to provide you with insights on the cause of the server crash and advise on the best course of action to take. They may also recommend upgrading your hosting plan or optimizing your website to prevent such issues from occurring in the future. It is crucial to have a reliable hosting provider that can handle your website traffic and provide quick support in case of any technical difficulties.

Your Hosting Provider Has Issues

The reliability and quality of your hosting provider’s infrastructure can significantly impact the uptime of your WordPress website.

Your hosting provider’s infrastructure includes their hardware, software, and networking components. If any of these components experience technical issues, your website may go down. It’s crucial to choose a reputable hosting provider with a reliable infrastructure that can ensure your website remains up and running. You can research hosting providers online and read reviews from other customers to ensure you select the right one.

In addition to the infrastructure, it’s also important to consider the level of support your hosting provider offers. Technical issues can occur at any time, so it’s essential to choose a hosting provider that provides 24/7 support. This way, if your website goes down, you can quickly contact them to resolve the issue. It’s important to note that not all hosting providers offer the same level of support, so it’s worth doing your research to ensure you choose one that meets your needs.

Have You Reached Your Hosting Package Limits?

One of the reasons for website downtime is exceeding the limits of your hosting package. If you have a shared hosting plan, your website shares resources with other websites hosted on the same server. If your website consumes too much resources, such as CPU or RAM, your hosting provider may temporarily suspend your account or even shut it down. To prevent this from happening, regularly monitor your website’s resource usage and upgrade your hosting plan if necessary.

Upgrading your hosting plan may give your website more resources, allowing it to handle more traffic and reduce the risk of downtime. You can also consider switching to a different hosting type, such as a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server, to get dedicated resources and greater control over your website. Make sure to choose a hosting provider that offers scalable plans and provides a smooth migration process.

Your Website Has Been Hacked or is Under a DoS/DDoS Attack

Website security is critical to ensure the smooth operation of your website. A compromised website can be a result of hacking or a DoS/DDoS attack. Hacking occurs when a malicious actor gains unauthorized access to your website’s files or databases. In contrast, a DoS/DDoS attack aims to make your website unavailable by flooding it with traffic. The quality of your hosting provider plays a key role in mitigating these attacks. Contact your hosting provider immediately if you suspect a DoS/DDoS attack, as they can assist you in mitigating the attack and restoring your website’s functionality.

Preventative measures can also be taken to reduce the likelihood of a compromised website. Regularly update your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins. Use strong and unique passwords for all user accounts and limit access to only those who need it. Additionally, consider using a security plugin to monitor and protect your website from potential threats. Taking these measures can help keep your website secure and minimize the risk of downtime due to cyber-attacks.

When in doubt, leave it to the professionals and hire a website security consultant or provider.

Website management team

Address The Above Issues if WordPress Site is Down

In summary, dealing with website downtime can be a daunting experience, but it’s important to keep calm and take the necessary steps to get your website back online. By identifying the root cause of the issue and taking the appropriate action, you can minimize the downtime and ensure that your website is up and running as soon as possible. It’s essential to choose a reputable hosting provider, maintain your website’s security, and regularly backup your website to avoid data loss.

Moreover, staying up-to-date with the latest updates and configurations of your website and keeping an eye on your website’s traffic can help prevent website downtime. Remember to regularly monitor your website and promptly address any issues that arise to ensure that your website visitors have an uninterrupted browsing experience. In addition, it’s a good practice to have a plan in place for dealing with website downtime to minimize the impact on your business or organization.

Bocain Designs
Bocain Designs

Dan is a founding partner of Bocain Designs, a web design company that specializes in WordPress web design and WordPress management. We've earned over 2,000 five-star reviews for our work with 2,500+ clients from over 80 countries. Let's talk about how we can make your business awesome online!