How to Get into a WordPress Website That Is Down?
Many times a day I get a notification from WordPress that my website is unavailable. This happens when a site is down, when I’m being temporarily restricted from using my account, or when I’m just not allowed to access the site because I’m not in good standing with the owner. Regardless of the cause, I always feel inconvenienced and annoyed because the content is not available when I need it.
What’s frustrating is that there is usually no clear way for me to know why or how to fix it. I have to just keep reloading my browser in hope that eventually I’ll see something that will allow me to access my content.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems out there, and for a good reason. It is extremely user-friendly, and the learning curve is pretty low. If you’re looking to get your site up and running quickly, or if you just want to upgrade your blog’s design, WP is the perfect solution. Just remember to backup your site first in case something goes wrong!
The First Step: Identify The Problem
Before you can begin to fix anything, you have to first identify the problem. And when I say “problem,” I mean precisely that. There are several possibilities that could be causing your site to go offline sometimes. Here are the most common:
One of the first things you should check when troubleshooting is the domain name system of your website. The DNS is what translates your website’s URL into an internet address that computers can understand. It’s quite possible that your DNS is not configured properly, and that is causing your site to intermittently go offline when a name resolution error occurs. For instance, maybe your site’s address is moesiacs.com and you’ve configured your DNS to resolve that to 188.8.131.52. However, when a computer tries to access that IP address, it can’t because it does not know how to talk to that hostname. When a site is down because of a DNS error, the only solution is to temporarily change your DNS to a well-known public DNS such as google’s or Open DNS’s. Once your site is back online, you can change your DNS settings to the previous values.
IP Address Problems
Another common cause of website downtime is an IP address problem. An IP address is an IP address, which determines the location of a device on the internet. Your IP address can be thought of as the phone number of your website. So, if you’ve ever gotten a call from a numbers provider asking for the name of the person who will be picking up the phone, that is your IP address. If someone tries to access your site with a link, and the link is broken, it is because they are using an incorrect IP address, and that is why your site is unavailable to them. This can occur because you’ve changed your IP address without properly updating your site’s IP address, or because your IP address became invalid (i.e. you’re on shared hosting and the IP address that is assigned to you is about to expire). In either case, if you want your site to be available, you’ll need to update your IP address with your hosting provider as soon as possible.
SSL Certificate Problems
Last but not least, we have the dreaded SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a security certificate that is used to verify the identity of a website when a user interacts with it via secure HTTPS connections. Essentially, when you have an SSL certificate, all the data that is transmitted between a user and your site is encrypted. This is a good thing, because up until recently, all the credit card info that is entered accidentally by users while on an unencrypted site was easily accessible by hackers. However, it is important to note that an SSL certificate does not make your site completely safe from cyberattacks. The best way to secure your site is through good security practices, such as keeping your WordPress password safe, using a strong password, and keeping your server’s operating system updated. An SSL certificate only adds an additional layer of security and is a good thing to have if you’re looking to protect the information that you gather while on your site. When you have an SSL certificate, you can be sure that all the data that is entered is encrypted and that cannot be accessed by any third parties. When an SSL certificate is activated, you’ll notice little green lock icons appear next to the URLs in your browser bar as well as the address of the site when you’re logged in.
The Solution: Find The Root Cause
Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, you’ll have to determine the exact cause. In most cases, this will be either one of the two problems mentioned above. However, in some rare situations, a third party might be causing your site to go offline. To troubleshoot this, you’ll have to consider all the possible root causes and eliminate them one by one. In other words, you might have to do some research and find the original programmer who made the change, or figurehead, if you will. In any case, once you’ve located the person who can fix this, you can rollback the changes safely and get your site back online quickly.
Back Up Your Data Often
In addition to identifying the root cause, you should also make sure that you back up your data often. Since this is a critical part of any programmer’s job, you can bet that they’ll save every bit of data that they touch, even if it’s just a backup file. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and make sure that you have several backups just in case. This will help you avoid data loss, and get your site back up and running as soon as possible. Plus, having several backups will also help you restore your site quickly in case something happens. If your site is important to you, then you should never underestimate the importance of having redundant backups.
The Final Step: Restore From Backup
Once you’ve fixed the root cause of the problem and verified that it is safe to reboot your site, you can finally restore it from backup. In most cases, this will be a simple matter of uploading the backup file to the root directory of your site. However, if you’ve changed any code since the last backup, you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to get it up and running again. In any case, this will be a critical step in order to prevent any issues in the future. If you’ve done it right, this will be a piece of cake and you’ll be able to enjoy your site again without any downtime issues.
In most cases, fixing the above-mentioned issues will be sufficient to get your site back online. However, in some rare instances, it might also be necessary to contact your web host for assistance. In most cases, this will be a simple matter of adding a few lines of code or uploading a new image. In other words, it’s not that complicated. The important thing is to find the root cause of the problem and eliminate it.