5 Most Common Ways WordPress Websites Break

WordPress remains among the largest CMS ecosystems with plenty of support forums and this makes it one of the most user-friendly and trouble shootable platforms ever when having problems with the WordPress websites. However with all these, things always sometimes break, As Murphy’s law states, Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Being a stable yet super complex system with tools to simultaneously serve your content, manage customer transactions, and other large amounts of data mean sometimes it’s bound to lose its self.

We have narrowed down some the most common ways WordPress sites break down, here is how that happens:

1. Installing too many plugins

Being a platform of choice, WordPress tends to get its users tonnes of plugins to manage all sorts of things, be it block editors and page builders, custom CSS code, caching, or even later the GDPR.

WordPress typically has no standard or magic number limit of plugins to install, however, it is surely key to ensure you install only the bare minimum to avoid overloading, slowing down or creating script conflicts within the ecosystem.

Plugin updates also sometimes cause errors due to unforeseen bugs or untested code, such errors could in “Error Establishing Database Connection,” “Internal Server Error,” and “Connection Timed Out.” You may even see strings of code on your site.

Here are some resources we have compiled in the past to help you in times of need when the WordPress websites are broken

2. Downloading or Installing plugins or themes from untrusted or suspicious sources

In our last blog, we wrote about the most common WP-VCD malware infection scam and warned our readers about installing pirated themes or plugins which then unintentionally create a backdoor to your website to become a hacking and malware trojan horse.

These are called “Nulled” or “cracked” premium themes or plugins which most probably have been modified and injected with malicious code, which can not only lead to being hacked, defaced or even break down leaving it either inaccessible or down.

Always ensure that you only purchase and download plugins and themes from trusted vendors. WordPress.org is one of these, but ensure that you purchase premium plugins from their official developers.

3. Editing website code without backup files

Sometimes we locate problemes on our website and we want to solve it fast, meaning that whenever you research an error and its solution, you tend to quickly copy and paste some code. Some of that may trigger errors. Therefore to be on the safe side, always back up any files before editing, also always use a test environment or sandbox to ensure its ok before going live.

4. You have been hacked

Being the most used content management system in the world also means that there is a fair share of hackers always on the prowl for sites that are easy to breach, deface or steal data.

Other open doors for hackers include Plugin vulnerabilities which are discovered daily. It is this important to keep your plugins and themes up to date and also regularly back up.

To get first-hand info, always check our regular WordPress security news, the WordFence blog, the WPScan Vulnerability Database. These are some of the best resource sites for checking the latest bugs, vulnerabilities, back doors, etc.  You could also protect your site by implementing available security solutions like WordFence, Jetpack. Some of these give you tools for security scanning, brute force attack prevention, downtime monitoring, and automatic plugin updates.

5. Outdated server software

The web CMS just like all other software, most definitely always undergo constant updates and patches, this means that you have to apply these updates regularly such as PHP versions, theme upgrades, Plugin updates, etc., but first ensure you have tested them for bugs to avoid errors on your WordPress websites.

What can you do when your WordPress site breaks

Backups to the rescue!!!, This remains the best way to ensure minimal downtimes or loss of data by having a comprehensive, off-site backup strategy. You shouldn’t just rely on your regular host for backup. Apart from the cPanel back-up, there are some recommended free and premium WordPress plugin backup solutions.

Therefore always back up.

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