WordPress Help

Fix my WordPress site when it's experiencing a critical error

When a plugin or a theme is incompatible with your WordPress site, it can prevent the site from displaying content. Instead, your site displays the notification: "There has been a critical error on this website."
WordPress critical error notification
You can fix the issue from your WordPress dashboard, even if it's not loading properly, through the recovery mode feature. Follow the steps below to get your site back online.

Note: If your WordPress site is older than version 5.2 you'll see a blank white screen instead of the critical error, and you need to investigate the issue with FTP. The steps from this article can help only when you see the Critical Error notification.

Warning: You should always make a backup of your site before performing any troubleshooting.
  1. Check the inbox of your WordPress administrator email address for a message: "Your Site is Experiencing a Technical Issue." If you don't see the message, check the spam/junk folder.
    • If you do not receive the email that your site is experiencing a technical issue, and you still see the Critical Error on your WordPress site, add the suffix /wp-login.php?action=entered_recovery_mode to your domain to get to recovery mode. After that, skip to Step 3.

      Example: If your domain is coolexample.com, you should visit coolexample.com/wp-login.php?action=entered_recovery_mode to access the sign in page for recovery mode.

  2. In the email text, find the link to the WordPress recovery mode sign in page.
  3. Enter your WordPress admin username and password and then select Log In.
  4. In the WordPress dashboard, at the top, there's a notification about what went wrong.
    Note: If you don't see the notification, deactivate all your active plugins one by one and repeat Step 5 until you find the one that caused the issue. If you still see the error with all plugins deactivated, switch to a different theme.
    • If the error is caused by a plugin, you'll see the following notification: One or more plugins failed to load properly. Then, from the left-side menu, select Plugins and deactivate the faulty plugin.
    • If the error is caused by the active theme, you'll see the following notification: One or more themes failed to load properly. In this case, from the left-side menu, select Themes and activate a different theme.
      Warning: If you change a theme while troubleshooting a critical error, it affects the way your site looks and functions, but it provides a quick fix for errors caused by a faulty theme. It can help get your site back online, but it will look different.
  5. If you're using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browser, you can enable incognito or private browsing to check if your site is working properly.
  6. If the issue is resolved, go back to the WordPress dashboard, and if you see it in the top-right corner, select Exit recovery mode.
  7. If you need to continue using a problematic plugin or theme, update it to the latest version and then enable it. If the error appears again, try the following:
    • Search for the faulty plugin or theme in the WordPress repository. On your plugin's/theme's homepage, select View support forum. Search the forum for a solution specific to your issue.
    • If you purchased your plugin or theme from somewhere else, review the documentation provided by the developer.

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