How to Fix “There has been a Critical Error on this website” on WordPress

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WordPress is a popular tool for creating websites. However, occasionally, users may encounter a message stating, “There has been a Critical Error on this website.”

This indicates that there’s an issue with the website’s functioning. Think of it as a machine malfunctioning and needing attention.

In this topic, we will explore this error message and discuss methods to resolve it, ensuring the website operates smoothly again.

What is “There has been a Critical Error on this website” on WordPress?

There has been a critical error on this website” is a message that WordPress displays when a severe problem occurs that prevents the website from loading.

This error is a part of WordPress’s built-in mechanism to handle major issues. It indicates that the site has encountered an unrecoverable error and cannot display the requested page or perform the requested action.

This message is typically shown to users instead of a white screen of death (WSOD) to signal that the site administrator needs to take action to resolve the issue.

What Causes WordPress Error “There has been a Critical Error on this website”?

In addition to the specific causes mentioned above, let’s take a closer look at some common scenarios that can lead to the critical error.

  1. Plugin Conflicts: Conflicts between plugins or between a plugin and the current theme can cause critical errors. This often happens after installing a new plugin or updating an existing one.
  2. Theme Issues: Similar to plugins, errors in the theme, especially after updates or changes, can cause this error.
  3. Exhausted Memory Limit: If your WordPress site exceeds the PHP memory limit set by your hosting server, it can result in a critical error.
  4. Corrupted Files: Corrupted files in the WordPress core, plugins, or theme can lead to this error. This can occur due to failed updates or external tampering.
  5. Database Connection Issues: Problems with the database, such as incorrect database credentials, corrupted database, or a downed database server, can trigger this error.
  6. PHP Version Compatibility: If the PHP version on the server is not compatible with the WordPress version or with the installed plugins/themes, it can result in a critical error.
  7. Faulty Custom Code: Custom code snippets, either in a plugin, theme, or the site’s functions.php file, if not properly written, can cause this error.
  8. Security Issues: If the site has been hacked or files have been infected with malware, it can lead to a critical error message.
  9. Hosting Server Issues: Problems on the web hosting server, like outages or configuration issues, can also lead to this error message.
  10. Update Interruptions: Interrupted or incomplete updates of WordPress core, plugins, or themes can leave files in an unstable state, causing errors.
  11. Permission Issues: Incorrect file permissions on the WordPress files and folders can prevent WordPress from running properly.

How to Fix WordPress Error “There has been a Critical Error on this website”?

The WordPress error can be fixed in multiple ways. We have narrowed down the popular ones and shared them below. Follow it sequentially as it is mentioned.

1. Create a Backup:

  • Install a WordPress backup plugin directly from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Follow the plugin’s instructions to create a full backup. This includes your WordPress database, WordPress files, plugins, and themes.
  • Store the backup in multiple locations like your computer, an external hard drive, and cloud storage for redundancy.

2. Deactivate All Plugins:

  • Use an FTP client like FileZilla or the File Manager in your hosting control panel to access your site’s files.
  • Navigate to the wp-content directory.
  • Find the plugins folder and rename it to something like plugins.deactivated.
  • Check your website. If the error is gone, rename the folder back to plugins and then reactivate each plugin one at a time in your WordPress dashboard to find the offending plugin.

3. Switch to a Default Theme:

  • Download a default theme from the official WordPress theme directory.
  • Unzip the theme to a folder on your computer.
  • Access your site via FTP or File Manager and go to wp-content/themes.
  • Backup existing themes by downloading them to your computer.
  • Delete the theme directories from your site.
  • Upload the unzipped default theme folder to the themes directory.
  • If you can’t access the WordPress admin, rename your current theme’s folder which will force WordPress to revert to the default theme.

4. Reinstall WordPress:

  • Download the latest version of WordPress from
  • Unzip the file locally and you will see a wordpress folder.
  • Connect to your website using an FTP client or File Manager.
  • Upload the contents of the wordpress folder to your web host, overwriting the existing files.

5. Clear Browser Cache:

  • Open your browser settings or preferences.
  • Navigate to the Privacy or History section.
  • Find the option to clear browsing data or cache.
  • Select the option to clear cached images and files.
  • Confirm the action to clear your browser cache.

6. Clear WordPress Cache:

  • If you have a caching plugin, go to its settings page in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Look for the option to clear the cache and click it.
  • If your host provides caching, look for a caching option in your hosting control panel and clear it from there.

How to Prevent the WordPress Error in Future?

Now that you’ve successfully resolved the critical error on your WordPress website, it’s important to implement preventive measures to minimize the likelihood of encountering similar issues in the future. Here are some best practices:

  1. Keep Regular Backups: Automate your backup process to ensure you can always restore your site to a functioning state.
  2. Update Regularly: Keep WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated to the latest versions.
  3. Use Quality Themes and Plugins: Only use reputable themes and plugins with good reviews and regular updates.
  4. Implement Security Measures: Use security plugins to protect against malware and hacking attempts.
  5. Optimize PHP Memory Limit: Ensure your PHP memory limit is adequately set for your site’s needs.
  6. Monitor Your Site: Use uptime monitoring services to get alerted if your site goes down.
  7. Avoid Editing Core Files: Do not edit WordPress core files directly, as this can lead to critical errors.
  8. Use Staging Environments: Test updates and changes in a staging environment before applying them to your live site.
  9. Regularly Check for Conflicts: Test for a plugin or theme conflicts after each update or installation.
  10. Keep PHP Updated: Use a supported PHP version that is compatible with your WordPress version.
  11. Consult Professionals: If you are not sure about a technical change, consult with a WordPress professional.


In conclusion, encountering a critical error on your WordPress website can be a frustrating experience.

Remember to troubleshoot plugin conflicts, address these issues, and consider restoring or updating core WordPress files as necessary.

With a resilient and well-maintained WordPress site, you can ensure seamless functionality, provide visitors with a superior user experience, and optimize your online presence.

WordPress Error “There has been a Critical Error on this website” FAQs

1. What does “There has been a critical error on this website” mean?

It means something went wrong with your WordPress site, and it can’t show your content right now.

2. Can I fix the critical error on my WordPress site by myself?

Yes, you can often fix it by deactivating plugins, switching themes, or updating WordPress.

3. What’s the first thing I should do when I see this error?

The first thing is to stay calm and check if you have a recent backup of your site.

4. How do I know if a plugin is causing the error?

Deactivate all plugins. If the error goes away, reactivate them one by one to find the problem.

5. Will updating WordPress fix the error?

Sometimes, yes. If the error is due to a bug, an update might fix it. Make sure to backup your site first!