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The message “This site is experiencing technical difficulties” typically appears on WordPress sites as a result of a fatal error that prevents the website from functioning properly. This error was more commonly referred to as the “White Screen of Death” (WSOD) before WordPress introduced a more user-friendly error message in version 5.2. Here’s how you can troubleshoot and fix this issue:
Check Your Email
- When this error occurs, WordPress sends an email to the admin email address with details about the issue and a link to access the website in recovery mode. This email can help you identify which plugin or theme is causing the error.
- If you received this email, follow the link to enter recovery mode, which allows you to safely manage plugins and themes without affecting site visitors.
Deactivate All Plugins
Since plugins are a common cause of this error, deactivating all plugins can help identify if a plugin is at fault:
- Connect to your website using an FTP client or the File Manager in your hosting control panel.
- Navigate to the
- Find the
pluginsfolder and rename it, for example, to
plugins_old. This will deactivate all plugins.
- Check your site again. If it starts working, then one of the plugins is causing the error.
- To find out which plugin is causing the issue, revert the folder name to
pluginsand then deactivate each plugin one by one through the WordPress dashboard (if accessible) or by renaming each plugin’s folder within the
Increase PHP Memory Limit
Insufficient memory can lead to this error as well:
- Edit the
wp-config.phpfile located in your WordPress root directory.
- Add this line:
- Save the changes and check if the issue is resolved.
WordPress has a debugging feature that can provide more information about the error:
- Open the
- Look for the line that says
define('WP_DEBUG', false);and change
- If this line doesn’t exist, you can add it above the line that says, “That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.”
- Save your changes and refresh your site. Error messages should now be displayed, pointing you towards the specific issue.
Check File and Folder Permissions
Incorrect file and folder permissions can also cause this error:
- Ensure that folders have permissions set to
755and files to
- You can check and change permissions using an FTP client. Right-click on the folder or file and select “File permissions” to view and modify them.
Contact Your Hosting Provider
If none of the above solutions work, your hosting provider may be able to help:
- Contact your hosting provider’s support team for assistance. They can check server logs that may provide more details on the error.
Restore from a Backup
If you’ve tried everything and the site is still not working, restoring from a backup can be a last resort:
- Hopefully, you have a recent backup of your site. Restoring from this backup can get your site working again, but you may lose any changes made since the backup was taken.
Remember to always back up your website regularly to minimize data loss in case of such errors. Working methodically through these steps will often resolve the “This site is experiencing technical difficulties” error, allowing you to get your WordPress site up and running again.