After WordPress 5.2 or latest upgrade most of people are getting the error message. While they are trying to reach wp-admin/ they get message.
The site is experiencing technical difficulties. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions. And if they are trying to reach home page they are getting message. The site is experiencing technical difficulties.
This is really frustrating while you are doing something and site suddenly stop working. Before you jump into trying to solve the issue please try to remember what you last did in site?
If you are installing theme or plugin, or if you are in process to update a theme or plugin via FTP or via WordPress dashboard. During the update process site is under maintenance mode when you start update or installation process through WordPress dashboard. But if you are doing this some other way and during the update or installation process someone tried to load your site. Its very common site produced error cause of missing files of plugin or theme as they are in process to upload. So please wait until the process is complete once its done its most probably error will go away.
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What’s causing this error?
This is the message WordPress now displays when a PHP Fatal Error is thrown. It should send notice to the administrator email shown in Settings > General. Please check your email’s spam folder also if you have not received any Email from your WordPress installation.
I think WordPress have changed how fatal errors display. That’s why you are seeing this issue. You can say its 505 error by server’s new design.
No email? Check server error logs (error_log)
If you’re not receiving the email from WP, could you check the server logs and grab the entry that relates to this issue? That may can help you figure out the solution also. You can access error log via FTP or cPanel going to root directory of WordPress installation.
What Email Contains which WordPress send?
Below you can find exact email which WordPress send to admin_email whenever a FATAL error is produced for any reason. Errors details can differ and the recover mode URL can differ from site to site.
Subject: [Your Site Title] Your Site is Experiencing a Technical Issue
Since WordPress 5.2 there is a built-in feature that detects when a plugin or theme causes a fatal error on your site, and notifies you with this automated email.
In this case, WordPress caught an error with one of your plugins, Name of Plugin.
First, visit your website (yoursiteurl) and check for any visible issues. Next, visit the page where the error was caught (youradmin url) and check for any visible issues.
Please contact your host for assistance with investigating this issue further.
If your site appears broken and you can’t access your dashboard normally, WordPress now has a special “recovery mode”. This lets you safely login to your dashboard and investigate further.
To keep your site safe, this link will expire in 1 day. Don’t worry about that, though: a new link will be emailed to you if the error occurs again after it expires.
Here WordPress include the list of errors which caused this error.
Have not received email? Can you enter recovery mode?
As recovery mode recently introduced and still needs to extend for more features. So if you have not received email in even your spam folder. Then you are not able to enter recovery mode for now cause WordPress require a special link which includes the token and key. In this case you can only try the following methods. The most rapid method is turn on debug mode. View quick tip below to see what exactly errors are about without email.
Quick Tip To Investigate
The quickest way to know why WordPress is throwing this error or what’s causing the problem. Edit your wp-config.php from WordPress’s root folder then follow final steps on this post below. Turn on debug mode so you can find more details about the issues you are facing. Try to find errors log in your FTP that can also guide you about problem.
//Turn on Debug Mode. //Find following like in wp-config.php and replace FALSE with TRUE //FIND define('WP_DEBUG', false); //And replace with define('WP_DEBUG', true);
What you did and got this issue/error?
Yes there are so many things in WordPress which you have done and this problem generated. So try to remember what was your last action for example.
- Did you delete a plugin?
- You added a new plugin?
- You deactivated or activated an installed plugin?
- Have you uploaded a new theme?
- Or you changed theme or deactivated the theme?
- Tried to update anything through FTP ?
The reason behind memorizing this it will help you sort out the issue quickly. Mostly this issue is related to plugin so let’s see how we can troubleshoot our plugins.
Is this issue related to a plugin?
As you are unable to access your WordPress admin area so please try to access your file manager in cPanel or access public_html directory via FTP.
Go to wp-content/ Directory them rename plugins/ directory to pluginsbackup/ now try to load your site. If this works that means you have problem with a plugin.
If problem is with plugin change back the directory name pluginsbackup/ to plugins/ Enter in plugin directory. Now rename each plugins directory by placing backup at end of that directory name.
Once you have changed all plugins directories names, start getting original directory names one by one and make sure you check the website if that’s still working after each plugin start working. As soon as you see which plugin is making problem just delete that plugin.
Sucuri Security plugin is reported to make this problem mostly so i would recommend test with this plugin first. No matter if its related to Sucuri or any other plugin you can try to troubleshoot by given information below.
Troubleshoot your WordPress Theme
Just to make sure if issue is not WordPress theme again go to file manager in cPanel or public_html via FTP. Go to directory wp-content/ and there you can find themes/ directory.
Enter in themes directory and rename the theme which is active on your website. By adding backup on its directory name. Then see if wp-admin/ start working if that do so this means problem is with your Theme.
Otherwise rename your theme back to its original name and try something else problem is not with your theme.
If in condition problem is with theme and you are not theme author try to reach theme author ASAP they can help you to solve issue. If you are developer then follow steps below.
Make PHP Version 7.2 Or Greater
Yeah php 5.xx or 6.xx is good for you because there are several scripts and plugins which work only on older versions of php. But world is really fast anything which does not change with time remain behind.
WordPress 5.2 even 4.xx recommend to use PHP 7.2 so i think this is the time you should upgrade your PHP version and this can be the solution of problem you are facing.
How to check and Upgrade PHP Version?
While several hosting providers gives you option to upgrade your PHP version through cPanel or updating php.ini file. In case your hosting provider does not provide you option to do so please contact them and request them for upgrade to php 7.1 or latest available stable version.
If you are using cPanel hosting then its really easy just sign in your cPanel and type PHP selector in your cPanel’s search field. If your website already using PHP 7.1 or greater then problem is something else skip to next step. If your PHP version is less than PHP 7.0 then click PHP selector Select latest PHP version and update.
So its now established you can change PHP version for whole site or you can enter into a specific directory and use different PHP version for that directory also. Its always recommended to go update with your platform and tools because of security and new release issues.
Last but not least 🙂 Debug mode on
Working as a developer since 2009 now i know how difficult sometime it can be to find the actual issue. Actually solving problems in Web development are test and error mostly.
Go to your FTP or file manager in public_html/ directory download wp-config.php file. Try to locate the following line in that file and change False to True so you can debug your website.
>> Find define('WP_DEBUG', false); //And replace with define('WP_DEBUG', true);
Since you have turned debug mode on. WordPress start giving you more details about issue that where the issue is actually. If this is related to Core WordPress for newest version issue or some missing files which might broken or got corrupt or could not upload during installation process. I would recommend you to go re install WordPress and if there is need you can also go to previous version of WordPress. Just in case if problem is related to a new update of core WordPress.
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of xx bytes exhausted
When WordPress or your script try to use more than available memory which is shared to you by your host. Then PHP throws a FATAL error: Allowed memory size exhausted. If the issues is related to Allowed memory exhausted please follow our article. WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory.
Re Install WordPress through FTP or cPanel
Before moving forward if you are curious you can break your website. Please don’t worry about anything the directories wp-content/ holds all your plugins, themes, uploads and other plugins data. While wp-config.php holds your database logins and other useful stuff. wp-includes/ and wp-admin/. can be deleted and re installed.
Access WordPress directory through cPanel file manager or FTP client recommended FileZilla. Now select everything except following files and press delete.
- Don’t delete wp-content/ directory
- Don’t delete .htaccess file
- Don’t delete wp-config.php
Other than these files delete everything else just like the selection i made in image below to delete from FTP.
Once you have deleted the mentioned files and directories above. You should now have only wp-content/ directory and wp-config.php .
Now download the latest version of WordPress. Extract that on local directory and upload the files and directories you deleted previously once upload is complete you have successfully re installed the WordPress through FTP.
For cPanel everything is same like FTP just interface is a little different of File Manager that’s it.
Install Previous Version of WordPress
So you think the older version of WordPress works well or does not produce issues. Then download the version which you think is reliable or you want to install. Go to WordPress releases and download your desired WordPress version.
After you have downloaded the WordPress zip file please extract that file in your local directory. Open WordPress/ directory and delete wp-content/ folder from it.
Now access your public_html/ directory via FTP. Now delete the items listed below.
- Delete wp-admin/ folder completely
- Delete wp-includes/ folder completely
- Delete all other files except wp-config.php, .htaccess and wp-content/ directory
Once you are done deleting these items listed above. Now time to upload following items from your local machine.
- Upload wp-admin/ directory completely
- Upload wp-includes/ directory completely
- upload everything else from your local folder.
You have successfully installed older version of WordPress now.
Video about Troubleshoot and Re Install WordPress
We also have created a video which explains how you can troubleshoot plugins, themes and WordPress. Also how you can enable WordPress debug mode on. Furthermore video explains how you can re install WordPress. For details please view related section above also. The video is just a quick go through and require basic knowledge of FTP, cPanel and WordPress files system. Any questions or problems can be posted in comments below.
Good luck! If your problem could not resolve, or resolved let us know in comments below so we can improve article according to your installation requirements.
Note: This post is completely relevant for There has been a critical error on your website. However we have another post to cover There has been a critical error on your website in more detail.
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