WordPress ERROR

WordPress ERROR

Posted 27th September, 2019 by Nadejda

You may have noticed that after the last WordPress 5.2 version update, most WordPress websites are displaying the error message “The site is experiencing technical difficulties. Please check your email for instructions” instead of a typical white page with a PHP error.

If you are working in the field of Web Design, Blogging or Freelance, then you are most certainly aware how popular the WordPress Content management system is. It’s one of the most used CMS on the web, powering over 33% of all websites. Most WordPress sites face technical issues which have been fixed in the latest WordPress core updates.

The site is experiencing technical difficulties

The latest 5.2 version went live on May 7th 2019. The new version came with several new features mainly focused on fixing configuration issues, troubleshooting and fatal errors.

Unfortunately, with this update, some users are faced with an error, restricting them with from accessing the whole website and/or the login page.

With each new WordPress release, it’s very likely that users might witness some

new errors. The most common reasons include:

- Plugins

- Themes

- PHP version Error

Attempting a quick troubleshoot will get you a rough idea why you have are facing such issues.

Here are some of the reasons and fixes which would give you access to your WordPress Dashboard and potentially make your site work again.

Check the Log File

First thing you need to do is check your email from WordPress installation. It may contain important data on the issue and may help you in fixing it quickly. With the new version, WordPress by default won’t display the actual PHP fatal error but the default message saying that your site is experiencing technical difficulties. Instead, you’ll receive an email with the error and all the details about it.

Make sure to check your SPAM folder if you can’t find the email in your inbox.

Some users are saying that after the initial update there were no issues but once they started playing around with plugins and settings the error message popped up.

The reason is incompatibility with plugins and themes or slight PHP version incompatibility. Try to recollect what exactly you were doing before the error message.

You were most likely doing one of the following:

- Updating/ Installing new plugin

- Updating/Installing new theme

- Using the wrong PHP version

If you have made changes with any of the above here are some tips on how you can solve them:

Plugin Issue


Make sure you have access to Site Directory through FTP or cPanel.

Access the site directory trough FTP using FileZilla or File Manager in cPanel.

Go to wp-content/ directory and rename the plugins/directory to pluginbackup/ and try to load your website. If the site loads then the issue is plugin related.

Rename it to the original name and go to the Plugins directory.

Rename every plugin directory by adding “backup” to the directory name. Do this with every plugin and after each time you rename a directory try reloading the website.

This way you can see which plugin is causing the issue. After locating the plugin simply delete it.

Theme Issue

If you couldn't find any problems with the plugins then the culprit is most likely the theme.

Every WordPress version comes with a certain number of default themes, although most users never use them. We can suggest to deactivate and delete themes which you don’t use.

Changing the site’s active theme while you don’t have access to the WordPress dashboard is a little bit more complex and requires playing a bit with the site’s database. Open your web hosting control panel and navigate to the database management tool (phpMyAdmin). Select the database to show it’s tables and click on the table called “_options”. Here’s what you should be looking at:


Once there, you will see 2 options that you should be looking at: template & stylesheet. You need to change those 2 values to a default theme that is already installed on your site (most likely twentyifteen).

Refresh the site every time you change them check if it’s working. Repeat the same process for reverting.

PHP Version Issue

Most shared hosting plans still use older PHP version web hosting. However, WordPress 5.0 and higher recommend PHP version 7.0 or later for security reasons. In almost all cases this will solve the issue.

Login to your cPanel

Go to Select PHP Version

Choose PHP Version 7.1 or 7.2

If you are using an older PHP version this will make you vulnerable to incompatibility and security issues, which in turn could be affecting your website.

Try switching to PHP version 7.1 or 7.2 to solve the issue.

Alternative solutions

In some cases, reverting back to previous WordPress version can solve the issue. We don’t however recommend this for security reasons.

Simply follow these steps:

Download the zip file for WordPress CMS from the WordPress directory.

Access your web hosting site directory trough FTP and delete all files and folders except wp-config.php and .htaccess.

Upload the other files and folders from your computer to the web server directory.

We hope this article was useful. If you face any other difficulties feel free to share them with us in the comments bellow!

Categories: Wordpress, PHP, Website Security, Website Maintenance