WooCommerce errors can drive even the most experienced of WordPress developers mad so for business owners, a broken WooCommerce site can be even more frustrating. WooCommerce is an amazing plugin but with so many extensions and requirements (payment gateways, shipping plugins etc), things can and do go wrong from time to time.
A broken WooCommerce website will cost you money and will ensure that prospective customers won’t bother coming back which is why fixing WooCommerce errors is something that needs to be done quickly.
Fixing WooCommerce Errors
The good news is that most WooCommerce errors are easy to fix. The bad news is that incorrectly fixing some WooCommerce Errors can make things worse.
Before attempting to fix a WooCommerce error on one of our client’s websites, our expert WooCommerce developers will always take a full backup of the WooCommerce website and we urge you to do the same.
Fatal Error: Out of Memory
Error Description: One of the most frustrating WooCommerce errors that can occur on your website is the “Fatal Error: Out of Memory” message. This error indicates that your website has run out of memory, causing it to become unresponsive and inaccessible.
Solution: Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution to resolve this issue. By increasing the memory limit in your WordPress configuration file (wp-config.php), you can overcome this error and restore the functionality of your website. Here’s how you can do it:
- Locate the wp-config.php file: To make the necessary changes, you’ll need to access the wp-config.php file, which is located in the root directory of your WordPress installation. You can use a file manager provided by your hosting provider or an FTP client like FileZilla to access this file.
- Define the memory limit: Once you have opened the wp-config.php file, search for the following line of code:
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
This line defines the memory limit for your WordPress site, which is set to 256 megabytes (M) by default.
- Increase the memory limit: To resolve the out of memory error, you need to increase the memory limit value. Change the ‘256M’ to a higher value, such as ‘512M’ or even higher if necessary. For example:
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '512M' );
By increasing the memory limit, you allow your website to utilise more memory, which can prevent the out of memory error from occurring.
Pro Tip: If you’re unsure about the optimal memory limit for your specific website, it’s advisable to consult your hosting provider or refer to the official WordPress documentation. They can provide guidance on the ideal memory limit based on your website’s requirements and resources.
500 Internal Server Error
Error Description: Another common error that WooCommerce site owners encounter is the “500 Internal Server Error.” This error message can be frustrating as it doesn’t provide specific details about the problem but rather indicates a general server issue.
Solution: Resolving the 500 Internal Server Error requires a systematic approach to identify and fix the underlying cause. Follow these steps to troubleshoot and resolve the error:
- Cheque for plugin or theme conflicts: Begin by deactivating all the plugins installed on your WooCommerce site. Switch to a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-One or Twenty Twenty, which ensures compatibility. If the error disappears after deactivating the plugins and switching themes, it suggests a conflict with one of them.
- Reactivate plugins and themes: To identify the conflicting plugin or theme, reactivate each one individually and cheque if the error reoccurs. This process helps pinpoint the specific component causing the issue.
- Verify server resources: In some cases, insufficient server resources can trigger the 500 Internal Server Error. Ensure that your hosting environment meets the requirements of your WooCommerce website, including adequate memory, CPU, and disk space.
- Cheque the .htaccess file: The .htaccess file, located in your WordPress root directory, can sometimes cause conflicts and trigger server errors. Temporarily rename or remove the .htaccess file and cheque if the error persists. If the error disappears, you can regenerate a new .htaccess file by going to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress admin panel and saving the settings.
Payment Gateway Not Working
Error Description: If your customers are unable to complete purchases due to a malfunctioning payment gateway, it can lead to frustration and lost sales opportunities.
Solution: When encountering issues with a payment gateway, follow these steps to troubleshoot and resolve the problem:
- Verify payment gateway settings and credentials: Double-cheque that you have entered the correct API keys or credentials provided by your payment gateway provider. Mistyped or invalid credentials can prevent the gateway from functioning correctly.
- Test with a different payment gateway plugin: If the issue persists, consider testing a different payment gateway plugin compatible with WooCommerce, such as PayPal or Stripe. This allows you to determine if the problem lies with the specific plugin you are currently using.
Missing Styles and CSS Issues
Error Description: A visually appealing design is crucial for your WooCommerce store’s success. If you encounter missing styles and CSS issues, it can significantly impact the overall appearance and user experience of your website.
Solution: Follow these steps to address missing styles and CSS issues:
- Clear browser cache: Start by clearing your browser cache to ensure you’re viewing the most recent version of your website. Sometimes, outdated cache files can interfere with the rendering of styles and CSS.
- Cheque for conflicting CSS styles: Conflicting CSS styles in your theme or plugins can cause design issues. Use the browser’s inspector tool (usually accessible by right-clicking on a web page and selecting “Inspect” or “Inspect Element”) to identify and fix any conflicts. Modify or override conflicting styles to ensure consistency and proper display.
- Update theme and plugins: Ensure that your theme and plugins are up to date. Developers frequently release updates to address compatibility issues and bug fixes. Keeping your website’s components up to date can help prevent CSS-related problems.
White Screen of Death
Error Description: Your WooCommerce store displays a blank white screen, making it inaccessible to both you and your customers.
Solution: Begin troubleshooting by enabling WordPress debug mode. Open your wp-config.php file and add the following lines of code:By enabling debug mode, you can identify the underlying error causing the white screen.
Cheque the debug.log file generated in the wp-content folder for error messages. Common culprits include incompatible plugins or themes, memory limitations, or PHP syntax errors.
define('WP_DEBUG', true); define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
Enabling debug mode allows you to identify the underlying error causing the white screen. Cheque the debug.log file generated in the wp-content folder for error messages. Common culprits include incompatible plugins or themes, memory limitations, or PHP syntax errors. By reviewing the error log, you can pinpoint the specific issue and take appropriate steps to resolve it.
Slow Page Load Times
Error Description: Your WooCommerce store takes an eternity to load, resulting in a poor user experience and potential loss of customers.
Solution: Start by optimising your website’s performance. Install a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket to cache static content and reduce server load. Caching plugins store static versions of your web pages, allowing them to be served quickly to visitors without requiring dynamic processing every time.
Additionally, compress your images without sacrificing quality to reduce their file size and improve loading speed. You can use tools like Photoshop or online services like TinyPNG for this purpose.
Consider using a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your website’s resources globally. CDNs have servers in different locations, which means your site’s content can be served from a server that is geographically closer to your visitors. This reduces the distance the data has to travel and improves load times for visitors across different regions.
Database Connection Issues
Error Description: Your WooCommerce store fails to establish a connection with the database, rendering your website inaccessible.
Solution: Begin by checking your database credentials in the wp-config.php file. Make sure that the database name, username, password, and host are correct. If you recently migrated your website, double-cheque the database details for accuracy, as incorrect credentials can cause connection issues.
If all credentials are correct, try repairing your database using the “Repair Database” feature in the WordPress admin panel or through a database management tool like phpMyAdmin. This feature attempts to fix any corruption or inconsistencies in the database tables, which may be causing the connection problem.
Plugin Compatibility Issues
Error Description: After installing or updating a plugin, your WooCommerce store experiences functionality issues or crashes.
Solution: When encountering plugin compatibility issues, the first step is to deactivate the recently installed or updated plugin. By doing so, you can determine if the problem is caused by that particular plugin.
If the issue resolves after deactivation, it is advisable to contact the plugin developer for support or search for an alternative plugin with similar functionality. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that all your plugins are compatible with your current version of WooCommerce and WordPress. Regularly updating plugins and checking for compatibility can help prevent these issues.
Shipping Calculation Problems
Error Description: The shipping costs displayed during checkout are incorrect or not calculating properly.
Solution: If you are experiencing shipping calculation problems in your WooCommerce store, it is essential to verify that your shipping zones, methods, and rates are set up correctly in the WooCommerce settings.
Double-cheque that your products are assigned to the correct shipping classes and that any additional fees or conditions are accurately configured. In case the default shipping options are not sufficient for your needs, consider utilising a dedicated shipping plugin like WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping.
This plugin offers more advanced shipping options, allowing you to customise the calculations to match your specific requirements.
Unable to Update WooCommerce
Error Description: You’re unable to update WooCommerce to the latest version, potentially missing out on new features and bug fixes.
Solution: If you encounter difficulties updating WooCommerce to the latest version, it is crucial to take a systematic approach. Begin by creating a complete backup of your website to avoid any data loss. Next, deactivate all WooCommerce extensions and switch to a default WordPress theme.
Attempt the update again and see if it succeeds. In case the update fails, you can manually update WooCommerce by following the official documentation’s instructions. Once the update is complete, reactivate your extensions and ensure they are compatible with the new version of WooCommerce.
This step will help you maintain the functionality of your extensions while enjoying the benefits of the updated WooCommerce version.
These WooCommerce errors are amongst the most common errors we see on a day to day basis but this list of WooCommerce errors is not exhaustive. We’ll no doubt cover more WooCommerce errors in a future post as some WooCommerce plus plugin combinations can cause errors which we haven’t covered here.
Remember, maintaining a smoothly running online store is essential for driving sales and delivering a great user experience. By resolving these issues promptly, you can provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers and boost the success of your WooCommerce-powered e-commerce website.
If you find these troubleshooting steps challenging or need further assistance, WP Focus and our Sydney WooCommerce development team is here to help. Our team of experts specialises in WooCommerce and can assist you in fixing any issues outlined in this article. Contact us today to optimise your WooCommerce store and unlock its full potential.
What should I do if I encounter an “Error Establishing a Database Connection” on my WooCommerce site?
When facing the “Error Establishing a Database Connection” error, first ensure that your database credentials are correct in your wp-config.php file.
Additionally, check if your database server is running correctly. If the issue persists, consult your hosting provider’s support or refer to the WordPress documentation on troubleshooting database connection errors.
How can I fix the “WooCommerce pages returning 404 error” problem?
If you’re experiencing 404 errors on WooCommerce pages, reset your permalinks by navigating to “Settings” -> “Permalinks” in your WordPress admin dashboard and clicking “Save Changes.” This action refreshes your permalink structure and can resolve the issue.
Is it possible to change the order of the checkout fields in WooCommerce?
Yes, you can customise the order of checkout fields in WooCommerce. You can achieve this using various plugins, such as Checkout Field Editor for WooCommerce, which allows you to rearrange and add custom fields during the checkout process.
How can I troubleshoot issues with WooCommerce shipping methods?
If you encounter problems with WooCommerce shipping methods, first verify that you have correctly configured your shipping zones, methods, and rates. Ensure that your shipping plugins are up to date and compatible with your WooCommerce version. If the issue persists, consult the official WooCommerce documentation on troubleshooting shipping methods.
My WooCommerce store is displaying “Out of Stock” for all products. How can I resolve this?
If your products are incorrectly showing as “Out of Stock,” ensure that your product inventory is correctly managed. Cheque the stock quantities and ensure that products are set as “In Stock” in their respective settings. If you’re utilising a plugin for inventory management, ensure it is properly configured and up to date.
What can I do if my WooCommerce site is experiencing performance issues during high traffic periods?
To handle performance issues during high traffic periods, consider implementing a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your website’s assets across multiple servers. Additionally, optimise your database by removing unnecessary data and enable object caching with plugins like Redis Object Cache or Memcached.
How can I fix the “The site is experiencing technical difficulties” error on my WooCommerce store?
When encountering the “The site is experiencing technical difficulties” error, try disabling plugins and themes that may be causing conflicts. You can do this by accessing your WordPress site’s files via FTP or using a maintenance mode plugin. After deactivating the plugins or themes, cheque if the error persists.
Are there any recommended security measures for a WooCommerce store?
Absolutely! To enhance the security of your WooCommerce store, ensure that you keep WordPress, plugins, and themes updated to their latest versions. Utilise a reputable security plugin like Sucuri or Wordfence. Additionally, implement strong passwords, use SSL certificates for secure connections, and regularly backup your website to safeguard your data.
Can I translate my WooCommerce store into multiple languages?
Yes, WooCommerce supports multilingual functionality through plugins like WPML or Polylang. These plugins allow you to create translations for your product descriptions, categories, and other content, enabling you to reach a wider audience.
How can I optimise SEO for my WooCommerce store?
A: To optimise the SEO of your WooCommerce store, focus on keyword research and optimise your product titles, descriptions, and meta tags accordingly. Utilise SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math to assist you in optimising your content. Additionally, ensure your website has a clear site structure, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness.