Why WordPress websites go down and solutions to fix downtime

Is your WordPress website experiencing frequent downtime? This article covers ten practical solutions to get your site back up and running smoothly. As a company specializing in WordPress solutions, including website hosting, support, maintenance, security monitoring, and hack restoration, we understand the importance of a reliable online presence. Let’s dive into your questions about your WordPress site’s downtime and how to fix it.

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Why Does Your WordPress Website Keep Going Down?

It’s crucial to understand the root causes of your website’s downtime. Several factors could be at play, from server issues to code errors. Identifying the specific problem will help you apply the right solution.

WordPress has emerged as one of the most popular and versatile content management systems, powering over 40% of all websites today. Its ease of use, extensive plugin library, and customizable themes have made it a top choice for bloggers, businesses, and organizations. However, like any other website, WordPress sites are often vulnerable to technical issues that can lead to downtime without a quality setup and hosting. In this blog post, we will delve into the common causes behind why WordPress sites go down and explore potential solutions to keep your website running smoothly.

1. Server Overload

One of the primary reasons WordPress sites go down is server overload. Shared hosting plans, while cost-effective, can lead to issues when a site experiences a sudden surge in traffic. If the server’s resources are insufficient to handle the increased load, the site can crash or become extremely slow to respond. Seeing a 500 or 502 error is a clear sign that the issue is server related.

Solution: Consider upgrading to a more robust hosting plan or opt for managed WordPress hosting to ensure your website has enough resources to handle traffic spikes.

2. Plugin Conflicts

WordPress’s plugin ecosystem is one of its greatest strengths, allowing users to add various website functionalities. However, using multiple plugins from different developers can sometimes result in conflicts. An incompatible or outdated plugin may lead to errors and crashes, causing your website to fail.

Solution: Regularly update all plugins and themes to their latest versions. Before installing new plugins, research user reviews, ratings, and compatibility with your current setup. Regularly audit your installed plugins and remove any unnecessary or causing issues. Have an experienced WordPress expert manage your site’s plugin updates. If anything goes wrong, your developer will be able to correct it.

Related: 7 Reasons to Hire a WordPress Development Agency for your website

3. Theme Issues

Just like plugins, themes can also contribute to WordPress site downtime. Poorly coded or outdated themes may conflict with plugins, leading to critical errors that bring down the entire site.

Solution: Choose themes from reputable sources and ensure the developers regularly update them. Opt for lightweight and well-optimized themes to minimize the risk of issues.

Related: Why you shouldn’t use purchased WordPress themes

4. DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are attempts to overwhelm a website’s server by sending massive traffic simultaneously. DDoS attacks can cause your WordPress site to slow down significantly or crash entirely.

Solution: Invest in a reliable DDoS protection service or firewall to mitigate the impact of such attacks. Many hosting providers offer built-in DDoS protection features as well.

5. Server Maintenance and Upgrades

Sometimes, your WordPress site might go down due to scheduled server maintenance or upgrades performed by your hosting provider. These downtimes are usually brief but can still cause inconvenience to your visitors.

Solution: Stay informed about any scheduled maintenance or upgrades from your hosting provider and plan your website activities accordingly. Consider setting up a maintenance page during such periods to inform users about the temporary downtime.

How do I fix a WordPress website that is down?

1. Check if It Is Just You or if the Website Is Down for Everyone

Sometimes, the problem might be on your end. Use online tools to verify if your site is down for everyone or just you. This helps determine if it’s a site-wide issue. Go to Is It Down or Just Me to check on your website immediately. If the site is down for just you, check your internet connection. If you see a 403 error, you cannot access your site. This could be related to your website firewall. Contact your website administrator or hosting company to ensure your IP is not blocked by mistake.

2. Check if your domain or SSL Certificate has not expired

A similar issue can occur with domain registrations. Check your domain’s expiration date and renew it if needed. You can go to ICANN Lookup to find this out quickly if you do not have access to your domain’s registration immediately.

You can use SSL Shopper to check the status of your SSL certificate. Contact your website host or administrator to resolve this issue if it’s expired.

3. Make Sure Your WordPress Hosting Plan or Credit card on file Has Not Expired

Expired hosting plans can lead to website downtime. Ensure your hosting plan is active and up to date. One benefit to hosting a website with a WordPress agency is that you don’t have to worry about tracking your credit card expiring and your website going down.

4. Check Your Plugins and Themes

Incompatible or outdated plugins and themes can disrupt your site’s functionality. Please review and update them regularly. WordPress plugins or themes have the potential to lead to periods of website inactivity.

Plugin software can become outdated or possess vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit to disrupt your site’s operation.

In addition, a WordPress theme might clash with a specific version of WordPress or a plugin installed on your website.

To determine whether a plugin or theme is responsible for downtime, deactivate all your plugins and switch to a standard default theme.

Go to Site Health > Troubleshooting on a production site to deactivate plugins for your user session only.

5. Check Your WordPress General Settings

Incorrect configurations in your WordPress settings can lead to downtime. Double-check your General Settings to ensure they’re correctly configured with the domain you’re using.

Broken permalinks can result in 404 errors and site downtime. Verify that your permalinks are set up correctly. A quick way to resolve pages not showing up is to re-save Permalinks. Sometimes this is necessary after plugin or core updates.

7. Check the Integrity of your site’s WordPress Core Files

Corrupted WordPress core files can cause issues. Reupload the core files to ensure they’re intact. WordPress allows you to re-install WordPress under the Updates Tab. Sucuri Security checks for files not in the WordPress core system.

8: Install a Website Application Firewall

Security breaches can lead to downtime. Installing a firewall adds an extra layer of protection against malicious attacks.

Related: 10 things you should do right now to safeguard your WordPress website

9: Check for PHP programming errors that may be causing your website to go down

PHP errors can indeed be a culprit. Regularly check and resolve your site’s error logs for PHP-related issues promptly. Have a developer check the server logs or turn on debugging.

10: Move to a Managed WordPress Hosting Provider

If your current hosting provider is causing recurring downtime, consider switching to a more reliable hosting plan. Managed hosting companies often provide enhanced security features, automatic updates, and server-level protection. Providers like Kinsta and Flywheel offer managed hosting plans prioritizing website security and performance.

As a company specializing in WordPress solutions, we offer top-notch hosting services tailored to keep your site running smoothly.

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Website Uptime Monitoring: Ensuring Round-the-Clock Availability

Website uptime monitoring is the practice of continuously tracking your site’s availability. It involves regularly checking your website from multiple locations to ensure it’s accessible to users around the clock. At Afteractive, we offer this service as part of our maintenance plans.

How can I monitor when my site goes down?

Monitoring your site’s uptime is crucial for timely intervention. A tool we recommend for monitoring uptime is Uptime Robot. Uptime Robot constantly checks your website’s availability and sends real-time alerts if any downtime is detected. This proactive approach ensures that you can address issues promptly, minimizing disruptions to your online business.

What is the most effortless way to prevent downtime?

Experiencing downtime on your WordPress site can be frustrating, but with the right solutions and expert support, you can minimize these disruptions and keep your online presence strong. Remember that proactive maintenance and regular checks are essential to prevent future downtime issues.

At Afteractive, our expertise in WordPress solutions, hosting, support, maintenance, security, and hack restoration, is available for all sizes of websites. Our maintenance plans include uptime monitoring on all plans. If you require further assistance or face persistent issues, please get in touch with us.

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