If you’re facing the issue “there has been a critical error on this website,” you have arrived at the right place to find a solution to fix this error. As a website developer, I’ve faced this issue numerous times, not only on my website but also on my client’s website.
Fortunately, I successfully solved this problem every time. It mostly happens because of using bad themes, plugins, PHP versions, etc. The solution is to consider all of these causes and identify which one is the main problem.
Once you identify the problem, you’ll be able to know how to fix there has been a critical error on this website. So let’s get into the details below, which will help you understand the reason and the best solution!
What Is “There Has Been A Critical Error On This Website” & Its Causes?
You might have encountered the dreaded notification, “There has been a critical error on this website.” Don’t worry; I’ve got your back! Let me break down the possible causes so you can understand what’s happening.
One of the common culprits is using bad themes or plugins. Yep, those seemingly harmless additions can sometimes cause chaos behind the scenes. I recommend using trustworthy premium themes like Astra, Divi, Kadence, etc.
Besides that, the PHP version and memory limit also create the issue. Using an outdated PHP version can lead to compatibility issues. At the same time, the PHP memory limit is the default memory limit which is usually 32MB.
When your website hits its PHP memory limit, it’s like running out of elbow room. It can’t handle the tasks it’s supposed to perform, resulting in a critical error. It’s like your site raising its hand and saying, “Hey, I can’t do this; I need more memory!”
Lastly, the other two main causes are the website cache and malware. Luckily, all these problems are easy to solve; you only have to follow the step-by-step guideline, which I’ll discuss below. Shall we start?
8 Efficient Ways To Solve Critical Error On This Website Error
Here are the eight efficient ways to solve the “critical error on this website” problem. Remember, it’s best to follow from the first solution, “checking the theme,” then move towards the second, third, and so forth.
1. Check The Theme
Whenever I or my clients face this “there has been a critical error on this website” issue, I first check the theme. A good theme is one of the most important points to consider if you don’t want issues, as it directly affects user experience and causes errors.
Some themes might be poorly coded, lack proper updates, or clash with other elements on your website. When a theme is coded haphazardly or contains errors, it can easily affect your site’s operations badly.
So, how can you avoid this mishap? It’s simple, choosing a reliable theme from reputable sources! Opt for premium or free themes developed by trusted authors who actively maintain and update. Here’s how you can change the theme on WordPress with cPanel.
- Login to the cPanel.
- Click on the “File Manager” option.
- Then choose “Public_HTML”> WP Content”> “Themes.”
- Select the “Upload” option in the “Themes” file.
- Upload the zip file of the theme you want to use and extract it in the same folder.
- After extracting, delete the “zip file.”
- That’s it; you’ve successfully changed the theme.
I recommend three WordPress themes to build your site!
2. Deactivate Faulty Plugins
The next common issue after the theme is the plugin. I’m not saying all plugins are bad, but some can create major issues. That’s the main reason I only download necessary plugins. The more plugins you have, the more issues you may face.
Try to remember the plugin you’ve downloaded in the past few days. Most of the time, recently downloaded plugins cause this critical error. After discovering the plugin, please remove it from the cPanel following the guideline.
- Login to the cPanel of your website.
- Select “File Manager” and find the “Public_HTML” file.
- Then choose “Wp Content“> “Plugins.”
- Search for the plugin you want to remove, and delete its file.
You must deactivate all plugins if you don’t know which plugin creates the issue. Since it’s impossible to access the WordPress dashboard due to the error, the only way to perform this action is from the cPanel.
- Go to the “File Manager” of the cPanel.
- Find the “Public_HTML” file then > “WP Content.”
- Rename the “Plugin” folder to “Plugin XXX.”
- Go back to your site and check if it’s working.
- Rename the file “Plugin XXX” to “Plugin” again.
3. Increase PHP Memory Limit
The PHP memory limit in WordPress is the maximum memory that PHP, the scripting language powering WordPress, can use while executing scripts. WordPress sets a memory limit of 32MB by default to ensure compatibility.
When the script surpasses this limit, PHP can’t handle the workload, leading to a “memory exhausted” situation. This exhausted memory condition triggers the “There has been a critical error on this website.” The simple way to Solve this issue is to increase PHP memory.
- Access to your cPanel.
- Select file wp-config.php and open it.
- Edit this file by adding the code at the end: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘128M’);
- Save the changes and check if the website works or not.
4. Clear Website Cache
If visitors report strange behavior or errors on your site, clearing the cache can be a quick troubleshooting step to resolve issues. By doing this, I’ve solved the “there has been a critical error on this website many times.
- Login to the cPanel of your hosting.
- Click on the “LiteSpeed Web Cache Manager.”
- Scroll the page and select “Flush all” under the “Flush LSCache” section.
- Clear the cache with the “Flush all” option and try to log in to your website.
- If you’re still seeing the same error, follow the other solutions.
If you use Cloudways hosting, check the simple cache-clearing process to fix this common WordPress error.
5. Update PHP Version
In simple terms, the WordPress PHP Version refers to the version of PHP that your WordPress site is currently using. Bear in mind it’s important to keep up with the latest PHP versions for the safety of your website.
Older PHP versions might lack the necessary functions to support new WordPress functionalities, themes, and plugins built for the latest PHP releases. This mismatch in compatibility can lead to conflicts and errors.
- Login to your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on “Tools > Site Health” among all options.
- Switch to the “Info” tab and scroll down to find the “Server” option.
- In the Server settings, check the PHP version.
If you’re not using an updated version, update it as soon as possible using the cPanel. The current version is PHP 8.2; it might be different if you’re reading this guide in the future. So always check the official WordPress website for updates.
- Select the option “Multi PHP Manager, if you want to update it on all websites.
- In case you only have one site choose “Select PHP Version.”
- Click on the “PHP versions” drop-down menu and select the latest one.
- After selecting the latest version, click on “Apply.”
Note – Cloudways hosting users can easily change or update the PHP version.
6. Fix Error Logs
Error logs are super helpful for developers and website administrators to diagnose and troubleshoot problems. In WordPress, error logs are files that record any errors, warnings, or notices that occur during the execution of PHP scripts on your website.
- Access your cPanel to check error logs.
- Go to the “Public_HTML” folder and find the “Error Log” file.
- Open the “Error log” file and check the last few entries.
- In the last entries, you can see the main issue in the error logs.
Note: After finding the issue, solve the issue. I can’t discuss the solution to the error because I have no idea what’s the issue. So if you’re not an expert, I suggest taking help from a professional.
7. Restore The Website From Backup
Backups act as a safety net for your website. This action creates a copy of your website’s files and database at a specific time. In case of any issues, like critical errors, hacks, or accidental data loss, you can revert your site to a working state using the backup.
Find out whether you’re using any backup plugin or creating a backup manually. If you’re following this tip already, download the backup file and upload it again using plugins, or you can also do this manually using cPanel.
Note: Check Cloudways Backup and Restore process if you use this managed hosting for your Business site.
8. Check For Malware
The last best solution is to check your website for malware. Malware can infect your website and potentially harm your visitors. Malicious code also steals sensitive information, spreads malware to their devices, or redirects them to harmful websites.
It’s a technical process; you must check the database, site code, website files, website content, etc. Hiring a professional to discover the malware and solve the error problem is best if you are not an expert.
I’ve discussed the issue “how to fix there has been a critical error on this website” and its possible solutions. Now it’s time to wrap up my blog guide with some final tips to eliminate the chances of these errors in the future.
Remember, encountering any error on WordPress is not the end of the world. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and become a savvy website caretaker. Here are a few tips that will tackle any future errors that come your way.
- Keep your website secure by updating themes, plugins, and WordPress itself.
- Before making any changes, back up your website.
- Download malware detector and website cache plugins.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re stuck.