Tools for fixing WordPress

Quick Fixes for Common WordPress Problems


This post is intended to provide some quick answers to common WordPress problems that wouldn’t otherwise merit a full post or tutorial. I’ll be keeping this updated with new information, so if you have a quick problem, or suggestion, leave a comment and I’ll look at including it.

My feed takes forever to update

Do you have a caching plugin installed? If so, it’s likely caching your feed. There may be an option to stop it from doing that though. For example, on W3 Total Cache, under the Page Cache settings, uncheck Cache Feeds.

I’ve got a 500 Server Error or White Screen of Death

This is often caused by a conflict with plugins. Start by deactivating all of your plugins. If you can’t do this because you can’t log in to WordPress, rename your wp-content/plugins folder to wp-content/plugins.old. Then see if you can log in and start reactivating your plugins one by one (after you rename your plugins folder back to wp-content/plugins) to find the culprit.

Every page redirects to my homepage

I’m not sure what caused it, but I recently experienced a situation where no matter what page you tried to reach on my site, it displayed the homepage. As it turned out, going into Permalinks and resaving them provided the fix I needed. (This method frequently resolves numerous issues).

Stuck in Maintenance Mode

It’s a horrible feeling – you’re updating either WordPress itself, or some of the plugins, and the upgrade fails somehow. During the update phase, WordPress goes into “Maintenance mode” while it updates the files, but if the update fails, it’ll get stuck in this mode. To fix it, log in to your site using FTP and look for the .maintenance file (you may need to unhide hidden files). Delete that and you should be good to go – you may need to re-upload WordPress, or your plugins depending on what you were updating.

Add to the list?

This is intended to be a community-driven list. What issues have you encountered that had quick fixes? Let me add them to the list.

Categories: The Basics | Permalink

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Dave has been tinkering with WordPress for many years, and he now shares his WordPress knowledge here on Do It WIth WordPress to help others realise its impressive power. He can also be hired to help with your WordPress needs. Dave, who is British, is married to his best friend, Marti, with whom he has a beautiful daughter, Ellie. When he's not dabbling with WordPress, he's probably eating Triscuits or hummus, watching an indie film or British TV show, spending time with friends or family, or exploring the world.


  1. Thank you for this post!!!! Just had someone ask me about the redirect to homepage problem and could not find anything wrong with the site. Will try resaving the permalinks.

  2. The resaving permalinks has got rid of a few headaches for me! So often on developments sites it solves numerous problems.

  3. Yes, thankfully it works beautifully, but what does one do if re-saving permalinks has suddenly become a daily necessity? Is this White Screen of Death issue that is solved by re-saving permalinks only caused by plugin conflicts and custom post types? I realize I’m probably prying the lid off a barrel of monkeys/giant can o’worms but I ask the questions any way!

    • Usually, resaving permalinks is a one-time issue to flush your rewrite rules to account for any changes made by newly activated plugins. It shouldn’t be a repeat issue, and if it is, then you’ve got bigger problems.

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