WordPress Automatic Update, Error Pages, Broken Plugins – How to Fix Them

Whenever a new release hits and my dashboard suggests I update WordPress, I have found it’s best to wait on that update. I wait because many of the plugins I use and depend on need time to update too.

Once in a great while I still manage to update a bit early for one or two plugins. If you happen to update too soon, you know it by the error page or blank page you see when trying to access your website. The first couple of times this happened, I panicked. I was unable to access my admin dashboard to even begin disabling the culprit.

I learned a nifty little trick to help with this problem rather quickly and without a great deal of stress.

WordPress Backup & WordPress Automatic Update

The first thing I do is visit my website control panel and conduct a backup. I use c-panel through HostGator.

Once I have my complete backup, I click on the WordPress Automatic Update option at the top of my WordPress dashboard. Within a few seconds, WordPress alerts me that my update is successful. It’s actually a very easy and quick process.

Errors can happen quickly or as in my case, it usually appears broken overnight. So, after conducting and update, I run a quick check of my websites the following morning.

WordPress Error – Page Not Found – WordPress 404 Page

Just like this morning, I went to my blog’s main page to ensure that everything was working properly, and what I found was an error page reading "Not Found" with links to other possible content. For instances where this may happen, you may wish to create a Wordpress 404 page. I’ve written a brief tutorial on how to create a 404 page here.

In many cases, an entirely blank page will be found. By blank, I mean absolutely NOTHING. Some people have referred to this as the “WordPress White Screen of Death“ or the “Blank Screen of Death“ or just “WSOD“. It’s a very scary thing but once you know how to deal with it quickly, it’s not so bad.

After a few minutes of troubleshooting you can correct this issue. I hope this solution works well for you. If it does, please leave a comment and let me and other readers know. There are three things that you can try: plugins, wp-config and wp-settings. While there can be many other reasons, most times you’ll find the issue is related to a plugin.

The first step in my troubleshooting process is Plugins. I’d say it’s been the culprit in 90% of my broken WordPress cases. When it comes to the wp-config and wp-settings, I usually hop over to WordPress Codex and research the fixes to ensure I’m getting the most current code recommendations.

Troubleshooting & Fixing Broken WordPress Plugins

To very quickly determine if it’s a plugin that’s being problematic do the following:

* From within my FTP client (I use Fire FTP) rename “plugins” folder TEMPORARILY to something else. I change my plugins folder to “plugins_temp”. Then I attempt to login. If I’m able to login, I knew there’s an issue with one of my plugins.

* Once you log into WordPress after renaming the plugin folder, WordPress will automatically disable ALL of your plugins as a safety precaution. Because of this, you will need to know which plugins were active. Change the name of your plugin folder back to its original name of “plugins”

* Enable all your plugins at once from within the plugins section of the WordPress admin. All plugins have been automatically disabled because of the step above. You can use “bulk enabling” to accomplish this. WordPress will then enable anything that does not crash it and will disable any plugins that produce “fatal errors.” If any of the plugins are automatically disabled, that will likely be the problem child.

If you have problems with the bulk enabling feature, you can always enable plugins one at a time.

* Once you identify the problem plugin(s), check the plugins website to see if there are updates or tips available for your updated WordPress version. The plugin website is usually linked in the description of the plugin from within your menu. If you find an update, delete the existing plugin from your dashboard and replace with the newer version.

If this doesn’t work, I leave the bad plugin in de-activated status until an update comes available.

Help with WordPress

Short on time and can’t update WordPress yourself? Is your WordPress broken and you can’t figure out how to fix it? I’d be happy to help. I do ask for a $25 “up front fee” paid via Paypal (other arrangements may be considered). With that, I will review your FTP and WordPress accounts.

If I am able to fix the problem, I will let you know and provide an estimate. You can then decide if you would like me to proceed. In many cases, additional fees will run around $25. Depending on the amount of work and time involved, the additional fee could be a bit more. I have never charged more than $150. I’ve never been one to charge astronomical fees, but I can’t support my family on blog loving alone.

Drop me a message through my contact page and I will get back to you promptly. I will be asking for both your FTP login information and WordPress admin credentials. You can easily change those once I have reviewed and fixed the issue.

My assistance is not limited to WordPress error pages – I have assisted with iFrame virus recovery, WordPress reinstallations, scheduled updates, new installations, template changes and more – see a list of my New Media Services. If you have an issue, let me know – if I can’t fix it, I will at least be able to refer you to someone who can.

I do offer free WordPress and Plugin installations for NEW websites as well.

I hope these instructions have helped.

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