How to Fix WordPress There has been a Critical Error on This Website

WordPress is a widely used content management system (CMS) that powers millions of websites around the world. It’s known for its ease of use, flexibility, and extensive customization options. However, like any technology, it’s not immune to issues. One such problem is the There has been a critical error on this website message. This error can be frustrating and leave you wondering where to begin to resolve it. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to diagnose and fix this critical error on your WordPress website.

Table of Contents

wordpress there has been a critical error on this website

Understanding the Critical Error

The There has been a critical error on this website message typically indicates that there is a problem with the PHP code on your website. This could be caused by a plugin, theme, or even a core WordPress file. The message is designed to protect your website from displaying sensitive information to your users or exposing security vulnerabilities.

Enable Debug Mode to Identify the Error Source

To diagnose the issue, you’ll first need to enable WordPress debug mode. This will provide more information about the error, making it easier to identify the source. To enable debug mode:

  • Access your website files via FTP or your hosting control panel’s file manager.
  • Locate the “wp-config.php” file and open it for editing.
  • Search for the line “define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false);”. If it doesn’t exist, add it just above the line “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */”.
  • Change ‘false’ to ‘true’ and save the changes.

Now, when you refresh your website, you should see a more detailed error message, pointing to the problematic file and line number.

Deactivate Plugins and Themes to Identify the Culprit

Since most critical errors are caused by either a plugin or theme conflict, the next step is to deactivate them and reactivate them one by one to find the culprit.

Deactivate All Plugins

If you can access your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to “Plugins” and deactivate all plugins. If you can’t access the dashboard, use an FTP client or your hosting control panel’s file manager to navigate to the “wp-content” folder and rename the “plugins” folder to “plugins_old”. This will deactivate all plugins.

Switch to a Default Theme

Navigate to “Appearance > Themes” and activate a default WordPress theme like “Twenty Twenty-Three”. If you can’t access the dashboard, use an FTP client or your hosting control panel’s file manager to navigate to the “wp-content/themes” folder and delete or rename all themes except for the default one.

Reactivate Plugins and Theme One by One

Once all plugins and the theme have been deactivated, reactivate them one by one, refreshing your website after each activation to see if the error reoccurs. If it does, you’ve found the culprit. Keep it deactivated and proceed to the next step.

Update or Replace the Problematic Plugin or Theme

If you’ve identified the problematic plugin or theme, follow these steps:

Check for Updates

If there’s an update available, update the plugin or theme and see if the issue is resolved.

Contact the Developer

If the issue persists after updating or no updates are available, contact the developer for assistance. They may be aware of the issue and provide a fix or guidance.

Replace the Plugin or Theme

If the developer is unresponsive or cannot provide a fix, consider replacing the plugin or theme with an alternative that offers similar functionality.

Check Core WordPress Files

If the issue is not related to a plugin or theme, it could be due to a corrupted core WordPress file. In this case, follow these steps:

Download a Fresh Copy of WordPress

Visit the official WordPress website and download the latest version of WordPress.

Replace Core WordPress Files

Using an FTP client or your hosting control panel’s file manager, navigate to your website’s root directory. Delete the “wp-admin” and “wp-includes” folders. Then, upload the fresh “wp-admin” and “wp-includes” folders from the downloaded WordPress package. Be cautious not to delete the “wp-content” folder, as it contains your themes, plugins, and uploads.

Verify the “wp-config.php” File

Ensure that your “wp-config.php” file contains the correct database credentials and other configurations. You can compare it with the “wp-config-sample.php” file from the fresh WordPress package for reference.

Contact Your Hosting Provider

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it’s time to contact your hosting provider. They may be able to provide more information on server logs or potential server-side issues that could be causing the critical error.

Restore from a Backup

As a last resort, consider restoring your website from a recent backup. This can help you revert your site to a state before the error occurred. Be sure to make a backup of your current website files and database before proceeding, in case you need to reference them later.


Fixing the There has been a critical error on this website message on your WordPress site can be a challenging task. However, with this guide, you should be able to diagnose and resolve the issue.

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