It’s a situation that we’ve all been through. You’ve just set up your WordPress page, everything looks great and you’re ready to go live and unveil your awesome website or blog.
Instead of loading, you get the following message: Error establishing a database connection
WordPress is a slick and intuitive system, but sometimes, errors can happen. And it’s dealing with those errors that can be frustrating for website owners and bloggers who just want their WordPress website to work. Fixing those errors should be your priority as visitors won’t be understanding towards a site that is slow, unresponsive, compromised, or even non-existent.
Lucky for you, a lot of the problems that affect WordPress can be fixed. And, it can be fixed easily as well. However, in order to quickly resolve these issues, it’s best to understand the root of the problems, so that you can solve them effectively.
Read on to understand the server issues that affect WordPress and what you can do about them.
Your pages are loading slowly
You’ve optimized your website and you’ve done all you can to speed up WordPress. You’ve checked the internet connection (with a speed testing tool) on your end and it’s not the reason for your website being slow.
Odds are, you might be suffering from hosting server issues.
What you should do then is to check on the server status of your current hosting company. Any issue that gets reported by your hosting company will most likely affect your website, or even take it down altogether. So, it’s best to keep an eye on the status of your hosting company.
Every host providers should have a “Server Status” or “System Status” page where you can check if there’s anything wrong with the servers.
If the hosting company are the ones causing the issue, then you should contact them immediately to know when it will be resolved. However, if you notice a pattern to the slow-downs, contact customer support to see if a neighboring website is affecting your server. Should that be the reason, then you might want to consider upgrading to a VPS or cloud hosting plan.
There is an “Error Establishing Database Connection”
One of the terrifying things to see when you load your website is the message, “Error Establishing Database Connection.” It can be frustrating for anybody to see that message, doubly so if you have to debug and fix it yourself.
Technically, a lot of the issues that can cause this message tend to occur from within your database. So, the first thing to do is to make sure that all of your data are correct. Check and confirm the information in your wp-config.php file, look at your username, password, and hostname fields. Make sure all of it is correct, then update, save, and check your site.
Should the problem still persist and you’ve made sure everything’s fine on your end, then it’s most likely that you’re looking at a security breach or you’ve been disabled by your hosting company.
To check whether your WordPress website has been breached, you need to use a security plugin such as WPscans or Plugin Security Scanner to run a scan. If there was no breach, then you might need to contact your web host as they might have temporarily disabled your database due to excessive use or for contractual infringement.
The “server does not exist” situation
If visitors load up your website and are greeted with a blank page and a message that says “Server does not exist,” then you need to contact your hosting provider immediately!
This tends to happen when a hosting provider has placed some sort of suspension on your account and your website. There could be many factors to this, such as domain names or hosting plans that have not been renewed and exceed the bandwidth and storage limitation of your hosting plan.
Regardless of the reason, the only way to get your website back online is to contact them immediately and resolve the issue.
Your email does not seem to be working
Most of the hosting plans will offer you the ability to create an email; in fact, you can even have your own branded email hosting with your domain name. For example, with a website called awesomeblog.com, you can create emails such as [email protected], [email protected], or even [email protected]
The problem comes when you’re not receiving your emails even after you’ve connected all of your forms to those emails and have published the address on your WordPress website. Assuming that visitors are not misspelling your email address (and neither did you), then there are a few ways that you can troubleshoot the issue.
First things first, test whether the address is working properly or not by emailing it using different accounts. In fact, try to have a number of people do it at the same time. If no one receives any message about the inbox being full, then you can rule out maxed-out server space as an issue.
Those that have set up the hosting emails to forward them to another account, you might want to check whether they’ve been configured properly. Check the email settings on your account and look at the email accounts and forwarding section. Make sure that your hosting email is listed there.
Finally, you can check whether the emails are coming through to your hosting provider by looking at the hosting account’s inbox. If there’s no mail, then it’s likely to be a configuration problem and you have to talk to your hosting provider to solve the issue.
It keeps showing “connection timed out”
When the server memory limit of your website has overrun, then you will probably see the “connection timed out” message when you load up your website.
There can be many causes for your website to exceed its memory limit. You might have experienced a surge of traffic in a short period of time, use too many plugins that eat up your server resources or even apply themes that are not fully optimized.
What you need to do is uninstall plugins that might be causing memory issue. Disable your current theme and revert back to the default WordPress theme to rule out any theme-related causes. You should also consider upgrading your hosting plan to handle more traffic.
Finally, you can also try to increase the maximum execution time in your php.ini file by contacting your web host provider or try doing it yourself by following WordPress Codex’s guide.
When something goes wrong with WordPress and your website ends up with an error, it definitely sucks. Especially if the problem is something that’s beyond your control. Here are more common WordPress errors you can study.
We know it’s impossible to cover everything that can go wrong with WordPress but with the server issues we’ve detailed above, you should have a better idea of how to tackle most of them. Even if you’re not able to fix it by yourself, you’ll at least have the knowledge to get the right help.