How to Fix a Critical Error After Updating WordPress

How to fix WordPress critical error

While updating WordPress or its plugins and themes can bring new features, bug fixes, and security improvements, it can also lead to critical errors. One such error is the “critical error – your site is experiencing technical difficulties” message that appears on the website’s front-end and back-end. In this article, we will explore the common causes of this error and how to fix it.

Understanding the Critical Error Message in WordPress

The critical error message in WordPress is a generic message that indicates that something has gone wrong with the website, and the website is experiencing technical difficulties. This error message can appear on the website’s front-end, preventing visitors from accessing the website, or on the back-end, preventing website owners from accessing the WordPress dashboard. Understanding this error message is the first step in fixing it.

Common Causes of the Critical Error in WordPress

There are several reasons why a critical error may occur after updating a WordPress website. The most common causes include plugin or theme incompatibility, PHP compatibility issues, and memory limit exhaustion.

Plugin or Theme Incompatibility

Plugins and themes are essential components of WordPress websites, but they can also cause conflicts and compatibility issues. When WordPress or its plugins and themes are updated, they may not be compatible with each other, leading to conflicts that can cause the critical error.

PHP Compatibility Issues

WordPress runs on PHP, a server-side scripting language. If the website’s server is running an outdated or unsupported version of PHP, it can cause the critical error. It is essential to ensure that the website’s server is running a compatible version of PHP.

Memory Limit Exhaustion

If the website’s PHP memory limit is too low, it can cause the critical error. This can happen when the website’s plugins or themes use too much memory or when the website has too many plugins installed. Increasing the PHP memory limit can help fix the critical error caused by memory limit exhaustion.

How to Fix the Critical Error in WordPress

Fixing the critical error in WordPress requires identifying the root cause of the problem and taking appropriate steps to resolve it. Here are some steps that can help fix the critical error:

Deactivate All Plugins

If the critical error occurs after updating a plugin, it is best to deactivate all plugins temporarily. This can be done by renaming the “plugins” folder in the WordPress directory. Once all plugins are deactivated, try accessing the website to see if the critical error has been resolved. If it has, reactivate the plugins one by one to identify the plugin causing the issue.

Switch to a Default Theme

If the critical error occurs after updating a theme, it is best to switch to a default theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One. This can be done by renaming the current theme’s folder in the WordPress directory. Once the default theme is activated, try accessing the website to see if the critical error has been resolved. If it has, contact the theme developer to resolve the issue.

Increase PHP Memory Limit

If the critical error is caused by memory limit exhaustion, it is best to increase the PHP memory limit. This can be done by editing the website’s wp-config.php file or by contacting the website’s hosting provider.

Update WordPress and Plugins

If the critical error is caused by outdated software, it is best to update WordPress and its plugins to the latest version. Before updating, it is recommended to create a backup of the website to prevent data loss.

The critical error in WordPress can be frustrating, but it is not uncommon. By understanding the common causes of the error and taking appropriate steps to resolve it, website owners can quickly get their website back up and running. Remember to always keep a backup of the website before updating WordPress, its plugins, or themes.

FAQs

1. What should I do if I am unable to fix the critical error on my own?

If you are unable to fix the critical error on your own, it is recommended to seek help from a professional WordPress developer or a WordPress support community.

2. How can I prevent the critical error from occurring in the future?

To prevent the critical error from occurring in the future, it is recommended to keep WordPress, its plugins, and themes up to date, ensure plugin and theme compatibility before updating, and regularly backup the website’s data.

3. Can I fix the critical error by simply restoring a backup?

Restoring a backup may fix the critical error if the backup was created before the error occurred. However, restoring a backup may also result in data loss, especially if new content has been added to the website since the backup was created.

4. How long does it take to fix a critical error in WordPress?

The time it takes to fix a critical error in WordPress depends on the root cause of the error and the complexity of the website. Some errors can be fixed quickly, while others may require extensive troubleshooting and debugging.

5. What should I do if my website is still experiencing technical difficulties after fixing the critical error?

If your website is still experiencing technical difficulties after fixing the critical error, it is recommended to seek help from a professional WordPress developer or a WordPress support community to identify and resolve the issue.

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