How To Fix “There Has Been A Critical Error On Your Website” (Screenshots)

If you’re seeing “There Has Been A Critical Error on Your website” then you’re looking at one of the most common errors of WordPress.

There is no doubt that this error looks extremely scary. But like most WordPress errors, this error can also be fixed by doing some changes in the files.

This critical error can cause by several things, we’ll know about everything. So, I request you to calm down, and DO NOT PANIC! it will surely get resolved.

What Can Cause “There Has Been A Critical Error On Your website

The most common reasons for “there has been a critical error” are memory limit being surpassed, errors in the code, issues with the plugins, or theme. It may also be an issue of database corruption.

“There has been a critical error” is quite similar to the White Screen of Death error.

The error White Screen Of Death would cause your entire website, and sometimes your backend, to load as a blank white page.

But with Critical Error, you receive an email from WordPress, and when you open your site, you see a clear message that your site is currently suffering from a critical error.

I think getting an email or message from WordPress about the error is much more helpful than seeing a completely blank page.

However, WordPress doesn’t help us know how we can resolve this issue clearly, and that is the reason why many people use Google or Youtube to find the solution.

When I had this issue, I had to open multiple articles and watch several videos because the error was quite new, so, it was quite tough to find a perfect post or video. But now, things are different, so let’s see how to fix “There has been a critical error on your site. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.”

How To Fix The Error

The ways that I’m about to show include so editing core WordPress files. So, please focus and do not skip any step. I know you want your site up and running but skipping steps will only delay things.

Make sure you have backup copies of your site. It is really important to create backups.

Solution 1: Contact Your Host ASAP

This is the smartest way to resolve the issue, I don’t know why bloggers aren’t mentioning this in their posts. Your host’s job is to fix any issue you’re facing regarding your site. They have almost every tool require to fix any kind of error.

I don’t think there is any hosting company that doesn’t provide customer support. So, contact them right now. Once you’re chatting with them or talking to them, explain the issue you’re facing. Tell them you’re unable to log in to your site’s admin panel.

You might know, but those customer support employees encounter these kinds of calls every day. They help hundreds of people, they are professionals. Trust them and call them now.

Emergency Support Numbers Of Some Popular Hosts:

HostGator – 0824 661 4102

Bluehost – 00 1 801-765-9400

Godaddy – 040 6760 7600

SiteGround – Chat Support 24/7 – Read How To Contact SiteGround Customer Support

Hostinger – Live Chat Support 24/7 – Contact Now

Kinsta – 24/7 Live Chat Support

Cloudways – +35635500106

A2Hosting – 888-546-8946

DreamHost – 24/7 Live Chat Support

Solution 2: Change The Plugins Folder Name In The cPanel (Effective Method)

This is a quick solution to fix the critical error caused by the plugin. This error mostly occurs when someone tries to update a plugin or activate it. And, I’m guessing 90% of people are here because of it.

So now let’s see how we can disable all the plugins by changing the folder’s name.

Step 1: Login to the cPanel

Your cPanel contains every folder and data of your site, so log in to it quickly. if you don’t remember your password, then click on forgot, you’ll receive an email, then you can reset your password.

Step 2: Open the File Manager

The file manager is easily visible under the FILE section, but in case you’re still unable to find it, then use the search tab.

Step 3: Open Public_html folder

Once you open the File Manager, this folder should be visible to you on the left menu. Click it once you find it.

Step 4: Open WP-Content Folder

Clicking on the Public_html folder will provide you some more folders and one of them would be WP-Contents. In that folder, all your plugins and theme details are located.

Step 5: Change The Name Of The Plugin Folder (From Plugins to Plugins*)

Click on the name of the folder and you’ll be able to edit the name. Once you edited it, go back to your site and refresh it.

If your site is working, then go to the cPanel and reset the name from Plugins* to Plugins. Now, again go to your site, and now you’ll see something different, you’ll see all the plugins are disabled. Activate everyone except the plugin that created the issue. If you know which plugin caused the issue then simply delete it.

Solution 3: Go Back To Default Theme

(Source of info – Kinsta.com)

Like plugins, a theme can also cause this issue. The most reliable way to check whether the theme is causing this error or not is to temporarily delete it and return to a default theme, which should instantly clear up the problem.

Make sure to create a backup of your site first, as you’ll require a way to get your theme files back once they are gone. Simply reinstalling the theme may make you lose your custom styling.

If you are able to log in to your dashboard, then this is easy. Just go to Appearance > Themes, select the theme, and then click on Delete in the lower right corner of the pop-up window.

If you do not see the option, try downloading and changing to a different theme. The most reliable bet is to try a default theme like Twenty Twenty-One.

In case you don’t have access to your WordPress dashboard, then follow these instructions to revert to a default theme with FTP.

  • Step Number 1: Connect to your site with FTP.
  • Step Number 2: Go to wp-content/themes. You will have two choices : either rename/edit your theme folder (it will allow you to turn the theme back on later) or just delete it.
  • Step Number 3: If you don’t have a backup theme ready already, then manually download Twenty Twenty One and put its files into the themes folder.

Your site should now revert to Twenty-Twenty. If it loads well now, you know it was a theme conflict.

To recover your theme files, simply reinstall the theme or change the folder back to its original name.

Solution 4: Turn On Debug Mode In WordPress

Enabling debug mode could be a great way to find out the error, and it is the first thing you should do. once the debug mode is enabled, you’ll be able to see the several PHP errors happening on your WordPress site, and you can use this to track back to the root of the issue.

You’ll also have to enable debug log, it will write all PHP errors to a file.

How To Enable Debug Mode

For beginners, it is really hard to enable debug mode as they are new to WordPress and all this technical stuff. So, I’ll try my best to show you how to enable debug mode.

  • Step 1: Log in to your cPanel

Some cPanel might look different, but the process is the same. Log in to your cPanel, if you have not remembered your I’d and password, then check your old emails, you’ll find it there.

  • Step 2: Open File Manager
File manager in cPanel

The file manager option is visible under the FILES section, click on it to open it.

  • Step 3: Open Public_html folder and then Open WP-Config.PHP file
wp config.php file

On the left side menu, the folder Public_html is easily visible click on it and then find the WP-Config.PHP file. Use CTRL+F to find the WP-Config.PHP file quickly.

WP Config edit

Once you find it, click the right mouse key and select EIDT. You’ll see a warning or permission, click on edit again.

Step 4: Find ('WP_DEBUG',false);

wp config sample.php cPanel File Manager v3

Use CTRL+F key to find ‘WP_DEBUG’, false quickly. Or, you can scroll down a bit to see this piece of code.

  • Step 5: Add the Code

Copy and paste this code snippet over the line of code define ('WP_DEBUG',false);

// Enable WP_DEBUG mode
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
 
// Enable Debug logging to the /wp-content/debug.log file
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
 
// Disable display of errors and warnings
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
@ini_set( 'display_errors', 0 );
 
// Use dev versions of core JS and CSS files (only needed if you are modifying these core files)
define( 'SCRIPT_DEBUG', true );

This code will need to be inserted before the comment /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ in the wp-config,PHP file.

It should look something like this –

cpanel debug code
Image Credit: WPFORMS.COM

Click on Save Changes once everything is done.

This will allow debugging and, importantly, stop any logged data from displaying on your site. Instead, a debug log will be kept to your site files.

  • Step 6: Replicating the issue

After saving these modifications to wp-config.php, you’ll need to go back to your site and replicate the issue you noticed earlier. This will assure that it gets shown in the new error log.

  • Step 7: Viewing the debug log

Then, you can go back to your site files and open /wp-content/debug.log.

The contents of an error log can vary much depending on the cause and number of problems, but now you should be able to observe extra details, like a file path to the source of a code error, to serve you better track down the problem.

When you’re completed debugging, make sure to erase these lines of code.

Solution 5: Increase The PHP Memory limit to 256MB

PHP memory_limit is similar to a highway speed limit per vehicle. And a highway can have an unlimited amount of lanes (parallel processes), and an endless amount of cars. PHP Memory limit is the highest amount of memory one PHP process is permitted to use. One PHP process normally means a specific page view. 

This error often has to do with PHP. Either the PHP memory limit has been surpassed, or your plugins or themes are having problems.

If we increase the PHP memory limit then we may fix the issue quickly. Raising the PHP limit is easy if you’re logged in, but right now I’m guessing most of you are unable to log in. So, we’re gonna do this by adding/adjusting a code in our WP-Config.PHP file or using cPanel.

How To Raise PHP Limit Using cPanel

  • Step 1: Login

Login to the cPanel of your website. Again, if you don’t remember your password, check the emails that you got after creating the site.

  • Step 2: Multi PHP Ini Editor

After login to cPanel, search for MultiPHP INI Editor. You will find it under the Software part.

  • Step 3: Select the domain name

now, you’ll see a drop-down, select your domain name from there. Once you selected the domain name, all the advance options will appear, and one of them would be the PHP memory limit.

  • Step 4: Increase the memory and click apply

If you see 32M, 64M, or even 128M, then change it to 256M. Click on Apply to save it.

Note: Do not exceed 256M because anything higher is clearly unnecessary except specifically called for in plugin documentation. Also, some hosts do not permit you to increase the PHP memory limit, in that case, you should either leave the host or talk to their customer executive.

Solution Number 6: Update The PHP Version

If you’re using an outdated PHP version on your site, then you’re unintentionally inviting these kinds of errors. Using an older PHP version not only makes your site error-prone but also raises security concerns.

It’s better to keep your site’s PHP updated, let me show you how to do this. (Create a backup before updating PHP version)

Note: I’m only showing how to upgrade the PHP version using cPanel, if you wanna know how to do it in Godaddy, Kinsta, SiteGround, Cloudways, Bluehost, and some other hosts, then read the article: How To Update PHP Versions In WordPress (PHP 8.0 & 7.4) Every Host Covered

Step 1: Login To cPanel

To login to your site’s cPanel, you can type YourDomainName.com/cPanel in the URL section of the browser or go to the link you’d received after purchasing hosting.

Step 2: Open MultiPHP Manager

MultiPHP Manager is where you have to visit to update the PHP version. Scroll down and under the Software section, you’ll find the MultiPHP Manager option.

cPanel PHP Manager

Step 3: Now Select The Latest PHP Version And Click Apply

Select the domain name, choose the latest PHP version, and then hit apply.

PHP setup Hostgator

The steps are performed (refresh your site), now your site will work on the latest PHP version.

I recommend using 7.4 PHP, the reason why I don’t suggest the 8.0 PHP version is that it might not be suitable for every plugin and theme.

Solution 7: Increase The Maximum Upload Size Limit & Text Processing Functions

If you’re seeing this critical error only on a few parts of your site, then this could be helpful for you. When you upload something that is too heavy on your site, the probability of this error increases. Also, some large pages breaking can be fixed by raising recursion and backtrack limits.

Step 1: Check what is your maximum upload size and compare it to the file you are trying to upload

You can see this by visiting Media > Add New and checking under the file uploader.

If you wanna change or fix either of these issues, you’ll have to log into cPanel/FTP and edit the wp-config.php file, you’ll need to place the new code right above the final comment line.

To increase the max upload file size, add this code:

ini_set('upload_max_size' , '512M' );
ini_set('post_max_size','512M');

And to fix the breaking of large pages on your site, add this code:

ini_set('pcre.recursion_limit',20000000);

ini_set('pcre.backtrack_limit',10000000);

It’s A Wrap

This error is one of the most common WordPress errors. It happens because of some error in PHP caused by plugins, themes, or PHP limitations.

The most trusted way to solve this issue is by contacting your hosting provider. They can help you solve this issue quicker. However, if you wanna solve it by yourself, then you can try upgrading your PHP version, disabling plugins, reverting back to your default theme, using backups, or enabling debug mode.

Thanks For Reading!

Checkout My Other Works –

How To Eliminate Render Blocking Resources (Powerful Ways)

How To Detect Plugins Which Are Slowing Down Your WordPress Site (Ultimate Guide)

How To Make Fewer HTTP Requests (12 Master Tips)

Sumit
Sumit

Sumit is a regular contributor to Hostinggrow.com. He has 6 years of experience in blogging, and he loves football, his favorite player is - Lionel Messi (GOAT), but he has no hate for Ronaldo.

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