Whether you built your WordPress website on your own or hired an agency to do it for you, it’s possible that the site will crash at some point. One outage here or there isn’t a big deal…servers are never 100% reliable, and things happen. However, if crashing becomes a recurring problem, then you’ve got something bigger going on that needs to be addressed. Below, we’ll address some of the most common problems that cause WP sites to crash.
The symptom: Error establishing a database connection
This “white screen of death” is one of the most common (and most frustrating) WordPress outage issues. It is particularly concerning because it renders the entire site, including the admin section, completely useless. Fortunately, the two common causes are easy to remedy and will likely bring your site back online in a matter of minutes.
Cause #1: Your database ran out of memory.
For whatever reason, it is possible that your database ran out of memory, so it will need to be restarted in order for the site to start working again. Contact your server administrator and ask him or her to restart your MySQL server.
Then, try refreshing your site, and hopefully it will come back on. If not…
Cause #2: Your database name or password are incorrect in WordPress’ configuration file.
If the solution above doesn’t work, then it’s possible that the database credentials in your WP configuration file are incorrect. In general, there’d be no reason for your database name, username, or password to change…but if you have multiple people responsible for the administration of your site, then anything is possible.
Ask your site admin to log in and do the steps above. Then, you can refresh your website and be good to go.
Wait a minute, I’ve done all of this, but my site keeps crashing!
If this is the case, then your site is most likely at the receiving end of a brute force attack that is continually exhausting your MySQL server’s memory. The best solution would be to install the NinjaFirewall and the Stop XML-RPC Attack plugins. If you still need help, then drop us a line and we’ll lend a hand.