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6 Checks to Carry Out When Your WordPress Site is Down

Moeez — December 17, 2019 5 Minutes Read
WordPress website is down

Disclaimer: WPblog is a part of Cloudways, a Managed Cloud Hosting service, but any assumptions or analysis made on this property belong solely to their writers.

Jump straight to the checks you need to perform to bring your website back live if it’s currently down!

There is nothing worse than a crashed website. It’s a horror show that triggers a panic attack. Site owners, especially online store owners, dread the hit on revenue and traffic they have to face when their WordPress website is down.

Yes, it’s frustrating, but a down website is not the end of the world.

There could be plenty of reasons why your WordPress site is down, and performing the necessary checks will help you bring your website back up and running.

To help you through the process, I’ve done the necessary research to help you figure out the reason behind your crashed website, so buckle up and let’s dive in.

Checks to Carry Out When Your WordPress Website is Down

Make Sure That It’s Really Down

Yes. It can happen. You might not be able to access your website but it doesn’t mean that it has crashed. It’s possible that your internet connection is at fault, so just make sure all your wires are tethered or your wifi is connected before going into panic mode.

Once you’ve made sure your WiFi hasn’t betrayed you, you can use these tools to make sure your WordPress website is really down (or not).

  • Isitdownrightnow
  • Downforeveryoneorjustme
  • Down
  • Uptimechecker
  • Site24x7

Hopefully, you’re pulling your hair because of nothing. But if these tools are telling you that your WordPress website is down, it’s time to spring into action.

Have You Renewed Your Domain and Hosting?

The domain you purchased when you started your website comes with an expiry date. It has to be renewed on a yearly basis and if it isn’t, you won’t be able to access your website. Make sure that you have paid your dues to your domain registrar; it’s easy to forget since it’s not a common occurrence.

If your domain is in the green, it’s time to check with your hosting provider. Most hosting providers (like Cloudways, for example) bill you automatically each month/year so you don’t have to worry about it.

However, sometimes, payment methods get rejected or reach their limit which results in unpaid invoices. If that’s the case, just check with your hosting provider, pay your dues, and hopefully, that will be the end of your website down issue.

What You Should Do?

Pay for your domain and hosting if they’ve expired.

So you’ve paid for the entire year and it’s only the third or fourth month? Let’s see what else could be the problem then.

Check Your WordPress Update

When you update your WordPress version automatically, it often stops in the middle due to a poor internet connection or other technical reasons that can result in a crashed website. Partial update of your WordPress means that your data is still in the backup and is not fully restored to the new version which can put your website on maintenance mode and can become inaccessible.

Make sure that you remove the .maintenance file to retrieve your WordPress website. You will, however, receive the notification of “installation failed” until you fully update your WordPress.

But before you do that, make sure that you’ve updated the htdocs/Yoursite/wp-content/upgrade file and made it writable.

What You Should Do?

Remove the .maintenance file to retrieve your WordPress Website.

Hmm. So your WordPress was already updated to the latest version? Let’s see if it’s a problem with your hosting provider.

Check With Your Hosting Provider

One of the most common reasons behind a crashed website is an overloaded server. Your server overloads and suffers downtime when you exceed its bandwidth and it can happen easily if you are running a campaign that is driving significant traffic on a daily basis.

Downtime is common with cheap hosting providers who don’t have the proper infrastructure or the resources to guarantee 100% uptime.

If your website is hosted on such hosting providers, the only way to retrieve your website is to go on a call with the support team and waste a couple of hours before resolving your issue.

A good hosting provider, on the other hand, makes sure that your website is up 100% of the time and if, in any case, it does suffer downtime, the matter is resolved swiftly without losing any time. These hosting providers also have a ticketing system where you can open a support ticket and have a chat with one of their representatives who can retrieve your website in no time.

Cloudways is one such hosting provider that provides cloud infrastructures and a managed hosting solution that guarantees maximum uptime. You can also scale your server yourself from their platform if you have exceeded its bandwidth so you don’t have to ring up their support for such issues.

What You Should Do?

Host your website with a good hosting provider if you’re hosted on a cheap provider.

(Shameless, but genuinely worth it plug)

If you want to make sure that your WordPress website is always up and running and performs like a breeze, try Cloudways Managed Hosting for WordPress. We couldn’t have asked for a better hosting solution. We’re an affiliate, and to help you get started, we’ve struck a pretty cool deal with them. You can get 3 Months of FREE hosting on Cloudways by using our discount code: WPB30

Already hosted on an awesome hosting provider? Perhaps it’s your theme or a misbehaving plugin.

Outdated Themes and Plugins

It’s common for WordPressers to use free themes and plugins to save costs but sometimes it could be at the expense of their website. Free themes, though, can cause more harm to your website than free plugins.

Most free themes aren’t updated regularly. Since the WordPress core rolls out releases frequently, these free themes become incompatible with newer WordPress versions which result in broken sites. In case you’re using a free theme for your WordPress website that hasn’t been updated since the medieval ages, it’s time to burn a hole in your pocket on a good quality theme from a reputed theme provider.

Paid & free plugins on the WordPress.org repository, meanwhile, are checked thoroughly before being made available for the public. Even then, however, you go for the plugins with the most active installs or the best ratings.

What You Should Do?

Use a paid, reliable theme from reputable sources. And be careful while choosing your plugins.

Already using paid themes and plugins? Someone may have hacked you.

You Might Be Hacked

If you have made all the above checks and everything is okay, there’s a high chance that your website is hacked. WordPress has the largest user base of all the CMSs out there, so it’s fitting that it has always been the target of hackers. You might have fallen prey to one such attack.

To retrieve your website from the jaws of hackers, you need to work with your hosting provider. If your website is hosted on a reputed hosting provider, they will dedicate a resource or a team of engineers to work with you and get your website back up.

You can prevent your site from such malicious attacks by keeping your themes and plugins up to date. Often hackers find a way into your website through loopholes in your outdated themes and plugins. Also, a secure login page by installing added security measures such as two-factor authentication and Google Captcha can go a long way in tightening your security.

What You Should Do?

Work with your hosting provider to get your website up and running. And secure your website by tightening your security measures.

Final Words

It’s not fun to see your website down even for a few seconds. If it does, though, the best thing to do is to not panic and start performing all the checks mentioned above in the article. Doing so will most probably help you resolve the issues before any real damage is done.

If this guide on the checks to carry when your WordPress website is down helped you restore your website, could you share where the problem was? You can use the comment section below or shoot me an email on moeez@wpblog.com.

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Moeez is ‘The’ blogger in charge of WPblog. He loves to interact and learn about WordPress with people in the WordPress community. Outside his work life, Moeez spends time hanging out with his friends, playing Xbox and watching football on the weekends. You can get in touch with him at moeez[at]wpblog.com.

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