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Common WordPress Issues and How to Solve Them

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Common WordPress Issues and How to Solve Them

Common WordPress Issues and How to Solve Them

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Each day there are questions posted on WordPress forums about some of the most common issues that new users face. WordPress is easy to install and fun to work with, new users get excited with powerful features offered by many of its plugins and themes. Eventually they come across questions, issues and problems, asked by many before them. WordPress has a huge global community of users behind it, so no matter what issue a user is facing, there is a good chance that some other users have already faced it and there is solution available to fix that problem or answer that question. In this post we will discuss a few of such common issues and their solutions.

WordPress Memory Consumption

When a WordPress powered website grows in popularity and page views, this is the first problem that the site owners face. If they are on a shared hosting or a VPS, their webhosts will email them about their memory usage crossing the allocated limit. At least some good web hosts will do that, others wouldn’t even bother and your website would just go down on over usage, and chances are that you will not even notice it for a while.

There are several solutions to this problem:

There could be a plugin or theme misbehaving on your website. To find out install WP-Memory-Usage plugin. Deactivate all your plugins except wp-memory-usage and then activate them one-by-one. Noticing memory usage after activating each plugin could help you find out the misbehaving plugin or theme.

If your themes and plugins are working normally then you need to install a cache plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache.

If cache plugins do not reduce memory significantly with default settings then you need to configure them by changing settings such as compression, minify scripts, increase cache intervals, etc.

Read these excellent articles to further optimize your WordPress powered website:

Hacked WordPress Websites

Another common and a serious issue that new WordPress users come across is discovering that their website is hacked. The chances of such things happening on your website can be significantly reduced by following these WordPress security practices.

There are different kinds of hacks that WordPress users face. Most common of them are when a website redirects to some other website with illegal or obscene content, injected links to other websites, strange code in theme files, etc. Remember, that most of the time it is easy to fix these issues.

  • Keep WordPress updated to the latest version
  • Always backup your database and files regularly.
  • Run WP-Security-Scan, an excellent plugin to detect suspicious code in your theme, plugins and core wordpress files. If you find something suspicious in plugins or themes, delete it. If you find something suspicious in your core WordPress files replace them with fresh ones.
  • Check your .htaccess file for changes and suspicious code.
  • Check the file permissions on your website.
  • Read this article on WordPress Codex, Ask for Help in Support Forums, Ask for help from your hosting provider to be sure that it is not a hosting related attack.

Recovering Admin Password and Email

It is really surprising how many people install WordPress and forget the username, password and email address used during the installation. There are several ways to recover your password and username. But these two are the easiest:

Recover your WordPress Password using phpMyAdmin

If you have access to your database through phpMyAdmin then go to phpMyAdmin and in your WordPress database find the table wp_users. Click on the browse icon and then find your user_login and click Edit icon next to that row. Now you will see an encoded code for your previous password, delete it and replace it with any password you want. There will be a drop down menu ‘Function’ next to it. Click on it and select MD5. Click go and you have updated your password.

Recover your WordPress Password Through FTP

Connect to your website via FTP, go to wp-content/themes/Your Theme. Replace ‘your theme’ with the name of the theme active on your website. Edit your currently active theme’s functions.php file, if you don’t have one in your theme create it. Add this line:

wp_set_password('NewPassword',1);

Replace NewPassword with any password you want to use. The 1 is for user_ID, we are assuming that you are admin of the website and you did not delete the first user you created during the installation.

Upload the file back to your server. Now login using the password you added in functions.php. Once you are logged in, don’t forget to delete this line from your functions file.

Writing Code in Posts and Widgets


To make WordPress more secure and provide a reliable and consistent environment, WordPress by default does not allow any users to insert code into posts, comments, or widgets. However, after a while most new users get comfortable enough with WordPress that they want to add different functionalities into these areas. For example, if I want to show you a nice PHP code in this post, I can’t just paste the code in here. It will be stripped by WordPress and it will not be readable anymore.

Adding Code to Posts in WordPress

WordPress Codex suggests using HTML Entities to encode code, this is a very painful way to do that. Still you should probably do this if you share code only once in a blue moon. But if you plan to regularly share pieces of code with the visitors of your website, then you need Syntax Highlighter Evolved.

Syntax Highlighter plugin allows you to write code in your posts and stylize the code with in shortcodes. It is very easy to use, customizable and supports many languages including PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Adding Code in WordPress Sidebar Widgets

Now you may want to either display a snippet of code in Widgets or add a function or template tag to a widget to do something magical there. To do the later, you would need to install a plugin that allows you to do that. I would like to recommend PHP code widget by Otto42, or Widget Logic plugin.

Adding Mashable like Social Widgets

Mashable is not only an important source of information, it is also a source of inspiration for many marketers, designers, developers, and bloggers. The content published on Mashable gets shared across the social web like a wildfire. A lot of people want to add Mashable like social sharing widgets on their blogs and websites. Few months ago we published a very nice tutorial on How To Add a Mashable Style Social Sharing box to WordPress using Easy Mashable Social Bar plugin.

Mashable has several options for social sharing. For example, there is a box in the right sidebar with all Mashable profiles across the social web which you can follow. Then there are sharing buttons below the title of each item published. You can add a similar bar by using the Digg Digg Plugin.

You can also use Simple Reach Slide plugin to add a slider at the bottom right corner of your single posts. Just like the one that appears on Mashable when you scroll down to the end of an article.

Conclusion

There must be many other common questions, issues and problems that new WordPress users often come across. The first tool to find a solution for any problem you are having with your WordPress powered website is Search. Lookup the web by using multiple queries and you will see that so many people have already provided a solution for those problems. If not then remember you can always ask your questions at WordPress Support Forums, IRC chatrooms, or other WordPress related forums on Webmasters World and Digital Point forums.

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