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WordPress problems I’ve had to fix

From time to time WordPress develops a hiccup or minor problem that I have to fix. It’s usually during the upgrade of a plugin, theme or WordPress itself, or sometimes during the installation of a brand new plugin or theme. Here are a few how to’s on fixing WordPress problems…

Wordpress stuck in Maintenance Mode

Simply delete the .maintenance file in your blog root folder via ftp.

 Error after deactivating W3 Total Cache

After deactivating W3 Total Cache to see if it was causing an issue I was having, I got the WSOD (White Screen Of Death) – I tracked the fault online to an error introduced by W3 Total Cache when it removed its code from the htaccess file, it removed the space at the start of the file between “<?php” and the comment which should be on the next line “/**” – to fix just move /** to the next line.

Remember to check that your disk quota has not been exceeded, I’ve once looked for problems with an upgrade only to discover that I had no disk quota left.

Above usually fixes this error – “Incompatible Archive.: PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature

BackWPup broken after upgrade to WordPress 3.2.x

Warning: mkdir() [function.mkdir]: Permission denied in /home/yourdomain/public_html/wp-content/plugins/backwpup/job/job_start.php on line 115

Fatal error: Call to undefined function rtim() in /home/yourdomain/public_html/wp-content/plugins/backwpup/job/job_start.php on line 221

In former versions the folder for the backups was predetermined in BackWPup 2.0.3 you can now choose your backup folder for every job individually.

Make sure you set the target-folder for every job in your job-settings, or the zip (tar etc.) file gets lost in the temp directory. It needs your full directory path.

Having any of the following errors

Try deactivating BackWPup and then deleting or moving your backwpup folder, don’t worry your settings are in the database, then “Add New” under plugins, search for backwpup and click “Install Now” and “Activate Plugin”. Now manually Run a job to see if the problem is fixed.

Site Broken after Update to WordPress 3.1.2

I was doing maintenance of one of the sites I maintain, first I upgraded all the plugins and then I did an automatic WordPress upgrade to 3.1.2. Although WordPress said the upgrade had completed properly, when I tried to view the site it gave errors and the dashboard was also innaccessible. What to do?

I fortunately had a copy of 3.1.2 on my PC from a recent manual site upload so I logged into the domain in my FTP software and copied the wp-admin and wp-includes folders to my WordPress root. The system asked if I want to overwrite all files but it was late and I didn’t want to waste time so I chose overwrite files of different sizes and/or date. This uploaded the suspicious files within 2 minutes on my archaic 384K line. I then manually updated the files in the root, leaving out my wp-config.php and .htaccess. [I chose this way over deleting the wp-admin and wp-includes folders and then re-uploading just because it was quicker and in the end should accomplish the same thing.] Tested the site and it loaded.

Restoring a Blog Database

Next issue was that somewhere along the line the database had become corrupt. I tried to repair it with no luck so I had to restore a backup. Fortunately I had used BackWPup to keep regular backups of the database so I chose a backup from before the upgrades and downloaded it, copied the DBName.sql into the root folder of the site and then went to the tools tab in the BackWPup and restored my backup. You could also use PHPMyAdmin.

Mail not sending

Mail from CFormsII stopped sending, here is how I got it running again and some additional information if my fix doesn’t work.

Basically PHP Mail stopped working so I had to force CForms to use it’s internal mailer to send. [If you can get your host to implement PHP Mail you should not need these fixes.]




No Posts or Pages displaying in WordPress Dashboard

After a browser crash whilst trying to save a page my dashboard was showing there to be 0 Posts and 0 Pages, even though the site was displaying correctly.

Installed WP-DBManager by Lester Chan and ran a repair, looks like everything is back to normal.

I could of course done a restore but I would have lost the changes I had been making to other pages.


The error can be solved by downloading this new http.php file from official WordPress site and over writing it on your current file.


If you cannot upload this file to the /wp-includes/ directory theny our problem is that you have exceeded your disk quota. Delete some error logs and backup files or get your host to increase your quota.

WordPress Problem Upgrading Plugins, Theme’s or Core Updates

You may get this error if you try to install or update a theme or plugin, or whilst installing a core update directly from wordpress admin area

Warning: ftp_mkdir() [function.ftp-mkdir]: /public_html/wp-content/plugins/plugin-name/: Permission denied in /home/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 240

Could not create directory. /public_html/wp-content/plugins/plugin-name/

Plugin Install Failed.


Downloading update from http://wordpress.org/wordpress-2.8.4.zip.

Unpacking the update.

Could not copy file: /public_html/wp-content/upgrade/wordpress-2.8.4/wordpress/wp-comments-post.php

Installation Failed

Possible Solution 1: Change Permissions

Change the permissions for plugins, themes and upgrade directories to 777. Remember to change  permissions back to 755 when you are done installing.

Possible Solution 2: Deactivate ALL Plugins

Deactivate all of your plugins by clicking the “select all” box at the top left of the plugins table, then selecting Deactivate from the “Bulk Actions” menu and clicking Apply.

Now try your upgrade.

When done, re-activate all your plugins by going to Plugins, selecting “Recently Active”, selecting all and choosing Activate from the “Bulk Actions” menu and clicking Apply.

Possible Solution 3: Remove Old Upgrades

Clear your upgrade directory. This sometimes seems to help.

Login issues after an upgrade to WordPress 2.8.1 & 2.8.4

After automatic upgrade I tried to login and got a plain white screen. To fix I logged onto my site via FTP then renamed the plugins folder and created a new empty plugins directory.

  1. Make a note of all the plugins on your site that are active
  2. Login to your site via FTP
  3. Find the “plugins” directory under wp-content and rename e.g. “plugins.day”
  4. Create a new directory called “plugins” which is empty and will trigger WordPress to deactivate all plugins
  5. Login and view plugins, all should be deactivated
  6. Do the reverse of steps 3 & 4, delete “plugins” then rename “plugins.day” to “plugins”
  7. Back to Plugins and activate plugins, preferably one-by-one

WordPress Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted

  1. Download, backup and then open: wp-settings.php in wordpad/notepad or another editor
  2. Find define(’WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘32M’);
  3. Change 32M to 64M :   define(’WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64M’);
  4. Save and then upload and voila! the problem should be fixed

Occasionaly this will not solve your problem and you’ll need to up your php.ini memory limit.


“Headers already sent” warning problem?

Description: You get a warning message on your browser that says:

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by
(output started at…

Reason and Solution

It is usually because there are spaces, newlines, or other garbage
before an opening '< ?php' tag or after a closing '?>' tag, typically in
wp-config.php. This could be true about some other file too, so please check the file that gave you the error too (mentioned in the error message).

Useful and Helpful WordPress Pages

Installing WordPress
Upgrading WordPress

Increasing Timeout


3 thoughts on “WordPress problems I’ve had to fix”

  1. I have fresh install wordpress 3.8 by Fantastico cpanel tool but when i upload anything in ti get stuck in Unpacking for time. I don’t install any plugin yet it already have askimate and Hello Dolly those are default came with wordpress Anyone know about it help me

    I have change the permission of plugin, theme and upgreat directories by this its stuck now in installing plugIn

  2. Hi Mahesh
    A way to get past this for now is to download the plugin to your computer, unpack the plugin to a folder on your PC and then upload via FTP to your sites wp-content/plugins folder.
    It may be a hosting issue i.e. memory limitations
    Try deactivating any active plugins and then installing, reactivate after the install is complete.
    You can always try a reinstall of WordPress by going to Dashboard > Updates and then clicking on Re-Install Now.
    Best of luck, Grant

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