Why “The site is experiencing technical difficulties.” is frustrating you in WordPress. WordPress has a few particularly frustrating issues that can completely shut down your site, but a few tools are available to help you identify what’s causing these errors.
This error is one of the most common errors, and it doesn’t tell you much at all. A few simple steps should take care of the problem, and you will never see this error again.
When a WordPress error shows up on your site, you may see some issues caused by plugins or themes you’ve installed, the theme you’re using, or anything else affecting your site.
An Introduction to the “The Site Is Experiencing Technical Difficulties.” WordPress Error
You’re getting a fatal WordPress error “The site is experiencing technical difficulties.” This means that your website will be down and likely unavailable on both the frontend and back end.
It may look like this: On the backend, the message appears like this: A variation of this error in newer WordPress versions reads: “There has been a critical error on your website.” Here’s how it will appear on the frontend of your site: And here’s the backend view: As you can see, the newer variation is quite similar to the old one, apart from a slight difference in wording.
As you’d expect, WordPress is very good at working to resolve any problems with your site. However, this is an error message that doesn’t give you a lot of details to work with. You’ll want to look through the system logs for more information.
While WordPress has a lot of open-source plugins available for free to its users, it doesn’t mean that any developer can make a new plugin without any checks. Some of the best and most trusted WordPress developers have made many high-quality and popular plugins.
This means that plugins and themes from different developers sometimes don’t work together. When two other pieces of software are installed on a WordPress site, it can lead to a wide range of issues.
It’s sometimes easy to figure out why a plugin stops working. Other times, however, you’ll run into a fatal error such as the “Site is experiencing technical difficulties.” message.
Step 1: Check Your Email for a Fatal Error Notification
As we mentioned earlier, in some cases, WordPress will send the site’s admin an email containing more information about what may be causing the error. In this email, the admin will include the following critical pieces of information that can help you troubleshoot the error faster. The name of the plugin or theme causing the conflict.
A link to put your site into recovery mode. It is possible to troubleshoot the error without this information. However, it will require a lot of guesswork to determine which extension is causing the problem.
I’ve seen this problem several times and can attest to the fact that it is a pervasive issue. Make sure that the message you are receiving is in reference to the site and that the site admin has not been alerted to this issue.
Next, use the instructions for troubleshooting your site below. However, if you can’t reach the site admins, or your error message doesn’t mention an email, don’t worry.
You can still use the steps for troubleshooting using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) below.
Step 2: Troubleshoot for a Plugin or Theme Conflict
When I first installed your plugin, everything was fine, but now I’m having a problem accessing the backend of my site.
Whether you have access to a recovery mode link will depend on the model of your phone.
Resolving a Conflict in Recovery Mode
You are recovering from a Conflict. If you have access to a recovery mode link, click on it. This will take you to your site’s backend, where you will be prompted to log in using your WordPress credentials: You do not have to use an admin account.
If the site’s administrator wants to send the recovery mode link to another user and allow them to troubleshoot the error, the latter party can use their own credentials. It’s important to note that, while you’re working in recovery mode, the fatal error will persist for other users and your site’s visitors.
The user who logged in via the recovery mode link will be able to access the website normally. In recovery mode, the plugins and theme that WordPress has identified as causing the error will be paused.
When the page loads, you’ll see that there are three plugins and two themes installed: On the left side of the plugin’s name, click on the Activate button: Then select the option that says “Continue Activation”:
Determining the Source of the Problem With FTP
If you’re running into issues while setting up your WordPress website, this guide is a must-read. You’ll discover how to determine if WordPress is the source of the problem and, if not, what other solutions might be at play.
You should be able to find the latter on your website’s server: Log in to your site via your FTP client, using your FTP credentials. Then navigate to wp-content > plugins: There, you’ll find subdirectories for each of your plugins.
In order to identify and fix the problem, right-click on it and rename the folder to something like “plugin-name-deactivated” so that the plugin won’t be found. Then you should be able to return to your site and access the backend normally.
We’ll cover how to solve the problem next. First, rename the offending plugin and move it down the list. If you can’t figure out which one is the culprit, delete the plugins in the list one by one. Once you’ve made your changes, rerun the script and make sure everything is back to normal.
You’re going to need to update your browser to use the latest version of Java. If you’ve done so already, make sure you’ve got the latest version installed and update your browser again. Then, open up your site to see if the issue has been resolved. Suppose it hasn’t; use this process of deactivating plugins one by one until you find out which one is causing the issue.
You can then remove it or contact the developer accordingly. This same process will work for themes, and you’ll find the relevant subdirectories in wp-content > themes. Are you struggling with downtime and WordPress issues? Kinsta is the hosting solution designed with performance and security in mind!
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Step 3: Ensure That You’re Running a Supported Version of PHP
Make Sure That Your Hosting Environment Is Up to Date It’s not unusual for hosting platforms to have security patches and bug fixes applied to them in advance of their release, which could make your web server vulnerable to an attack. If your web server is up-to-date, then it’s highly unlikely that you are seeing this error.
If you haven’t already migrated to the latest version of PHP, your next step should be to do so. Your WordPress installation requires the latest version of PHP in order to function.
1. Furthermore, PHP developers themselves no longer provide support for versions older than
2. You should be able to determine which version of PHP your site is using by logging into your hosting account.
It’s essential to make sure that each of your websites has the latest version of PHP because that’s where you can find out the current version of each of your websites.
If your web host does not offer the Kinsta tool, they’ll have an FTP client that allows you to upload files. It’s probably not as user-friendly as the Kinsta tool, but it will work.
The best way to protect your site is to make sure that your web server is running the most recent version of PHP. If you don’t have access to a command line, you can use the “PHP -v” command to check your version and upgrade if necessary.
Once the update is complete, go to your site to see if the fatal error has been fixed.
Read more: Complete Guide of On-Page SEO
Step 4: Enable WordPress’ Debug Mode
Clean Up Your Server’s Database If none of the previous steps helped, try removing the offending plugin or theme files and uploading a fresh copy. Make sure you clear out your server’s database in between attempts.
When using the WordPress Visual Editor to make edits to your theme or plugin files, you must return to the Visual Editor after making any changes. This allows your site to be updated. Once you are done making changes, save and re-upload the file, then return to your site and refresh the page.
Review the error messages displayed by WordPress in debug mode. You’ll then need to go through some steps relevant to that issue. Note that WordPress is not intended to be left in debug mode permanently.
This mode should be used for troubleshooting purposes only since it makes sensitive information potentially available to anyone. To turn it off, change the status in the wp-config.php code snippet from “true” to false,” then save and upload the file again.
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Step 5: View Your Server’s Error Log
If you don’t see any suspicious messages in debug mode, you can also check your server’s error log. You should be able to access this via your hosting account. Kinsta customers can do so by selecting the Logs tab in the relevant site’s profile: From the drop-down menu, select error.log.
It would be best if you also made sure that any other programs or services running on your device are shut down.
Step 6: Contact Your Hosting Provider
If you’ve exhausted all of the above steps and you still haven’t been able to eliminate the “This site is experiencing technical difficulties” error in WordPress, then it’s time to bring in some help.
The issue might lie with your server, and you’ll want to contact your host by whatever means they offer. Kinsta customers can reach our support team 24/7 via chat, email, or our Contact page.
When something goes wrong with a site, it may be easy to overlook the alert email, but that’s a mistake that many website owners make. A more severe error should trigger a notification email to the site owner. In any case, you can resolve the error in just six easy steps.
Instantly troubleshoot for a plugin or theme conflict. Ensure you’re running a supported version of PHP. Enable WordPress’ debug mode. View your server’s error log. Contact your hosting provider. Save time and costs and maximize site performance with: Instant help from WordPress hosting experts, 24/7.
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