Detailed Checklist for Troubleshooting and Fixing WordPress Problems
- Take a Backup: Before making any changes to the website, it is important to take a backup of the existing site. This will ensure that you can restore the site to its original state if anything goes wrong during the troubleshooting process.
- Check Domain Expiration: Use a whois lookup tool like https://www.godaddy.com/whois to check if the domain has expired. If it has, it will need to be renewed before you can access the website again.
- Verify DNS Configuration: Use a tool like https://www.whatsmydns.net/ to check if the A record for the domain is pointing to the correct IP address (you can see the shared IP address in cPanel). If it’s not, you’ll need to update the DNS configuration to point to the correct IP address.
- Check .htaccess and wp-config Files: Check the .htaccess and wp-config files for any errors or misconfigurations. These files can be found in the root directory of the WordPress installation.
** To see what the contents of a basic .htaccess file should look like, see https://wordpress.org/documentation/article/htaccess.
** WP-Config file – if the file is empty as sometimes happens, just copy/paste the contents of a backup version of the wp-config.php file into the current file.
- Check WordPress Version: Check the version of WordPress being used on the website by looking at the “version.php” file located in the “wp-includes” folder.
- Replace WordPress Core Files: the WordPress core files could be the cause of the problem. You can replace them with a fresh set of files from https://wordpress.org/download/releases/. Make sure to download the same version of WordPress that is currently installed on the website.
- Restore Database: The problem may be related to the database. You can restore the database using PHP MyAdmin in cPanel to a backed-up version, which may resolve the problem.
How to Restore a WordPress Database
- Check the wp-config.php file to determine which database the website is using.
- Take a backup of the existing database to ensure that you have a backup in case anything goes wrong during the restoration process.
- Access the database using PHPMyAdmin in cPanel.
- Drop (delete) the tables in the database by selecting all tables and then clicking on the “Drop” button.
- Import the SQL file that contains the backup of the database by clicking on the “Import” button and selecting the file from your computer.
- Check the wp-config.php file to make sure that the table prefix matches the table prefix of the newly imported database backup file. If it does not match, update the wp-config.php file.
- Check the website to see if the problem has been resolved.