WordPress Site Down? Common Issues and Fixes
If your WordPress website is down, offline, isn’t loading, or you are seeing an error when visiting your site, there are a few possible reasons. In this guide, we discuss the most common issues that cause sites to be inaccessible and how to resolve them.
Domain Name and/or DNS settings
If you’re using a custom domain name for your website, your site could be offline for any of the reasons below:
- Domain Connection: Your domain’s name servers or A records may not be properly set up. To assign a domain to your Pressable site, you will need to point the domain to Pressable correctly. Please see how to point a domain using the nameserver method and how to point a domain using the A record method for more details. Some common errors you may see here are DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN or ERR_SOCKS_CONNECTION_FAILED.
- Domain Propagation: Changes made to DNS (domain name settings) are usually resolved in a few hours but can take up to 24-72 hours to load correctly across all servers around the world. You can check your domain’s DNS propagation to make sure that the correct IPs are set for worldwide locations.
- Domain Assignment: Ensure that the domain is added and attached to your site and specified as the primary domain.
- Domain Expiration: If your domain name has expired, your site will no longer work through the domain name. Check with your domain registration provider to make sure the domain name is still active. A typical error message for expired domains is DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.
There has been a critical error on your website
The most common type of WordPress site down error is the critical error:
There has been a critical error on your website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.
If you see this error, start by checking your WordPress Admin account email, as an email should be sent that contains more information about the error and can help you identify the theme or plugin causing the issue.
This can happen on a site for a variety of reasons, including a plugin or theme being added or updated, an outdated plugin or theme, a plugin or theme conflict, PHP version issues, WordPress version issues, and more.
You can take the following steps to resolve the issue:
- Check the PHP errors log for the site, specifically for Fatal errors.
- Once you’ve identified the theme or plugin causing the issue, you can disable it using SFTP (by renaming the theme or plugin folder) or SSH/WP-CLI (by using
wp theme deactivate theme-name-here). That should get the site back up and working.
- Once the site is back up and working, you can then log in and check if an update is available for the theme or plugin causing issues. If an update is available, please update the theme/plugin, then check to see if that resolves the issue.
- If there is still an issue, you’ll need to contact the theme or plugin’s support team for help troubleshooting the issue.
The PHP errors log won’t always show a clear culprit related to the fatal error message. In some cases, you’ll need to clone the site and then perform a conflict test to identify the exact source of the issue.
For fatal errors that are related to the PHP version a site is using, you may see a PHP Fatal Error mention in the PHP errors log or an Uncaught TypeError notice within the error details (which indicates a PHP 8+ conflict). You can troubleshoot by changing the PHP version on your site.
If a site is in a disabled state, it will return a 480 Temporarily Unavailable error similar to the screenshot below.
There are a few reasons why a site may be disabled, listed below:
- Disabled site due to an issue with Payment or Pressable Account – Multiple failed payment attempts trigger an automatic cancellation of your Pressable account. This will result in your sites being in a disabled state and will return a 480 Temporarily Unavailable error similar to the screenshot above. To resolve this, make sure your card on file is enabled for automatic payments and if you need to update your payment method, you can do so through the Pressable Control Panel. Once the payment gets through, the site/s should be back up. If you have trouble making the payment, feel free to reach out to our Billing team via live chat or email for assistance, and we’ll be happy to work through the process with you.
- Disabled site due to an issue with malware or violating TOS – A site may be disabled if it has been flagged as compromised (e.g. malware, phishing) and the site owner does not respond to our notification within 7 days. It may also be disabled for violating our Terms of Service.
Please contact our support team for assistance in determining why the site was disabled and what needs to be done to have it re-enabled.
ERR TOO MANY REDIRECTS
If you are seeing an ERR TOO MANY REDIRECTS error and also using Cloudflare, the issue may be caused by incorrect Cloudflare SSL settings. Setting Cloudflare’s SSL/TLS Encryption Mode to Full should resolve that.
It may also be necessary to deactivate any SSL or HTTPS plugins activate on the site.
If your site is loading on other devices and/or networks, but you are seeing an error on your end, it most likely is a local network issue.
You can verify that by checking the site on another network such as a mobile data connection. To fix network issues, you might try turning off your Wi-Fi router for 10 seconds and then turning it back on to flush the network cache and clear out any temporary connection issues. If the issue persists after that, check and verify that your network is not blocking access to the site.
It may be necessary to work with your Internet Service Provider or the organization’s IT department to troubleshoot network issues further.
Browser caching is a typical culprit for not seeing updates made to a site, and sometimes can also be the cause of a recently added site not displaying. Testing from an incognito / uncached browser window is a quick way to bypass any browser cache. You could also try using a different Internet browser.
429 & 500 Errors
If you’re receiving a 500 or 502 error when trying to view or access the site, that typically indicates that you have an issue with a plugin, theme, or custom code snippet on the site. Audit the site’s PHP errors log and perform a conflict test to identify the exact source of the issue.
429 errors may indicate that a specific user, IP, user-agent, or other connection signature is accessing a resource too quickly and has been rate-limited to protect your site. 429 errors can also be caused by plugins, themes, and code snippets that are making too many requests, breaking cache, leveraging admin-ajax improperly, or using too many PHP or SQL CPU resources. Troubleshooting 429s may require creating a staging clone, performing conflict tests, and auditing both PHP error and traffic logs.
If you are still having an issue with your site not working as expected please contact our support team, we’re always happy to help!