How to Fix a Broken WordPress

Some broken WordPress causes:

  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Upgrading your WordPress install
  • Hacked

The first thing you need to do, before proceeding with any fix – is to make sure you have a backup of your blog! This includes the database and your WordPress files. I cannot stress this enough.

Plugins and Themes

The two main reasons you may have a broken WordPress are plugins and themes. They are also the easiest to fix. You find a great theme or plugin, login to your WordPress admin, install the plugin or theme, go take a look at your site, and uh oh! you get a big old error message. You try to go back to the dashboard and you can’t get in there either.

You’re stuck. What do you do?

First, don’t panic. Your content is not gone. All content is stored in the database and won’t be affected, unless of course you somehow managed to delete your database.

The problem looks huge, but it really isn’t. This is one of the great things about WordPress. All you need to do is remove the last plugin or theme that you installed, and WordPress will work again.

But wait! You can’t log in! That doesn’t help!

If you can’t login, you will need to FTP to your site, browse to your wp-content folder, go into the plugins folder and delete that last plugin. Test your install. If WordPress is still broken, then delete the next most recently installed plugin. You can determine this by looking at your dates while connected via FTP.

If the theme is broken, FTP into your site, go into the wp-content/themes folder and rename the broken theme name to something like broken-themename. Then, select the default theme or the twenty ten theme and rename it to the original broken themes name – without the broken. Then refresh your blog page via a browser. This will give you a new theme and you’ll be able to log in. Re-upload a clean copy of your original theme, and you will have fixed your broken WordPress.

(If you don’t know how to ftp, then it’s time to learn: FTP Tutorial)

If all that’s happening is error messages after installing a plugin, but you can log into the WordPress admin, login and delete or deactivate the plugin you just installed.

If it’s a plugin you absolutely must have, a good way to test if it’s the plugin is change your theme to the default theme and install the plugin. If the plugin works with the default theme, the plugin isn’t the problem. It’s your current theme. Change themes, or contact the plugin creator for resolution.

Upgrading your WordPress install

With the last couple of WordPress upgrades, I’ve seen a couple of issues. I found when updating one of my blogs that I had to switch out every single one of my plugins, even after upgrading them. This isn’t good for a gal who doesn’t like change.

Some folks are having issues upgrading their WordPress installs thru the WordPress admin. I’ve seen these errors:

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: Failed to connect to wordpress.org IP number 1: Permission denied.

An Unexpected HTTP Error occurred during the API request

Check with your host. They may have turned something off that prevents you from updating. In that case, FTP is the way to go in order to fix your broken WordPress installation. This also applies if you use a free host.

If you were hacked, then read How to fix a hacked WordPress site.

Do you need someone to fix WordPress for you?

If you cannot fix your installation of WordPress, or you are not comfortable enough with WordPress to mess around with it, feel free to contact me! I will charge you $25 to fix WordPress and get you up and running again.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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