WordPress is the best platform for blogging and podcasting. And with so many parts, something could break. Here is how to fix the most common problems you may face with WordPress.
The common WordPress troubleshooting steps
Review the “11 WordPress Troubleshooting Tips” (#226, /wptroubleshooting) I have previously shared:
- Consider hiring help
- Trace the problem logically and linearly
- Test with “incognito” and other browsers
- Revert changes
- Deactivate WordPress plugins
- Try a default WordPress theme
- Optimize performance (and clear the caches)
- Ask your web host
- Tighten security
- Hire help
The most commonly successful steps are to clear (or disable) caching or deactivate plugins.
Review the official “Common WordPress Errors” resources
Most of the common problems you’ll face are already addressed by the WordPress team:
- The White Screen of Death—You visit your front-end or back-end and the screen is blank and white
- Internal Server Error—Also called “error 500”
- Error Establishing Database Connection
- Failed Auto-Upgrade
- Connection Timed Out—Stuff takes a really long time to load and may eventually give up
- Maintenance Mode Following Upgrade
- You Make Changes and Nothing Happens
- Pretty Permalinks 404 and Images not Working—Also called “page not found”
- Custom Post Type 404 Errors—Also called “page not found”
- Specific Error Messages
Numbers appended to URLs or a slug/URL is already taken
A “slug” is a section of a URL usually after the domain and usually between slashes. For example, TheAudacitytoPodcast.com/this-is-a-slug/. WordPress makes a slug for most content (pages, posts, products, pretty links, and custom post types) and taxonomy (tags, categories, and some other taxonomy for custom post types).
With few exceptions, these slugs must be unique. Thus, if you have two items with the same name, WordPress will usually append a number to the slug to prevent duplicates.
This is also why you may have trouble making a /podcast URL with PowerPress installed, but there’s a workaround.
To avoid duplicate slugs, you may need to check your pages, posts, categories, tags, and other plugins to delete or rename anything already using the same slug (for example, I recommend you make your category slug “podcast-episodes” or “audio-podcast” instead of “podcast”).
Some URL-creating plugins, such as Pretty Link, may be more sensitive to pre-existing slugs. In fact, I discovered and reported a bug in a version of one such plugin where it would not allow a new slug to end with anything the same as another slug (for example, you can’t make “/mypodcastfeed” because “/feed” was already used).
Stuff doesn’t update
In addition to WordPress’s own recommendation for clearing your browser cache (under “You Make Changes and Nothing Happens”), you may need to clear or disable your website cache, as well. Remember that there may be multiple layers to clear or disable, such as WordPress cache, server cache, and external/CDN cache (like CloudFlare).
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- 5 stars in iTunes by Sleep with Silk from USA on June 7, 2016: “… His information has assisted us greatly to improve our “Sleep with Silk” podcasts. Daniel’s tips have allowed us to create better podcasts to help our stressed and sleepless listeners to relax and fall asleep easier to nature sounds, calming voices, background noise, and binaural beats. He is also enthusiastic and engaging – so he won’t put you to sleep like our podcasts will! …”
- Thank you for your patience while I was absent with illness and a death in my extended family.
- Support The Messengers, an upcoming podcast documentary.
Need personalized podcasting help?
Ask your questions or share your feedback
- Comment on the shownotes
- Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
- Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)
Connect with me
- Subscribe to The Audacity to Podcast on Apple Podcasts or on Android.
- Join the Facebook Page and watch live podcasting Q&A on Mondays at 2pm (ET)
- Subscribe on YouTube for video reviews, Q&A, and more
- Follow @theDanielJLewis
This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.