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One of the newest features of the Total Upkeep WordPress backup plugin is the Site Check feature, which tests your site on a regular schedule to make sure that no fatal errors have occurred. When enabled, it checks your website every 15 minutes (by default) and sends you an email if an issue has been detected.
If you receive this email, don’t panic! Follow these steps to make sure your website is up and running smoothly.
Troubleshooting WordPress Fatal Errors
- Make sure it is not a false alarm. Visit your website using at least two different devices, browsers, and networks. For example, visit your website from your computer, using Firefox and Chrome, and then from a mobile device that is using mobile data, not WiFi. On each of these devices, log into your WordPress Dashboard. If your site works reliably on each device, the error may have been resolved by WordPress’s own Site Health system.
- Check the error message from your email. Your email will contain the fatal error message that triggered the Site Check failure. Specifically, look at the file path mentioned in the error, which may look like …/wp-content/themes/theme-name/… or …/wp-content/plugins/plugin-name/…
Most fatal errors in WordPress are related to PHP and learning how to troubleshoot PHP problems can help you reduce your website’s overall downtime in these situations.
- If you also received an email from WordPress Site Heath, it contains a link to log into your dashboard in recovery mode. Use this link to regain access to your site.
- If your error mentioned a theme, try switching your Theme via WP-CLI or switching your Theme via phpMyAdmin.
- If your error mentioned a plugin, try disabling the Plugin via WP-CLI or disabling the Plugin via FTP or File Manager.
- Try switching your PHP version. WordPress now requires PHP version 5.6, and by the end of 2019, it will require PHP 7.1 or above. We recommend running PHP 7.2 or above. The steps to change this will depend on your WordPress hosting provider.
- Ensure your WordPress Core files are unmodified. If the error message you received in your email did not contain a Theme or Plugin, your WordPress Core files may be modified, which could be a sign of a hack or data corruption. Use these instructions for checking your WordPress Core Files with WP-CLI.
- Restore a backup. If all of the above steps have failed, you may need to restore one of your backups. Use these instructions to restore a Total Upkeep Backup from the Command Line or utilize your hosting provider’s backup restoration process.
Congratulations! You now know all about troubleshooting WordPress fatal errors, and your website is back up and running. With Total Upkeep, you can rest assured that your site is always able to recover from a fatal error.
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