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WordPress Critical Error message. Print

  • WordPress, Critical, Error, Troubleshoot, wp-config.php, wp-config, There has been a critical error on this website
  • 9

WordPress is a powerful and feature packed content management system. This article explains how to troubleshoot issues with a white page or 'Critical' error within WordPress. Please reach out to our Technical Support team if you need help troubleshooting. 

WordPress critical error example.

Example image of the WordPress critical error notification.


What can cause this error?

There are a few things that can prevent your WordPress site from loading correctly. We have listed the most common causes below. 


  • Updates to your WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
  • Recent changes to your content or site configuration. 
  • WordPress exhausting the PHP memory allocation.
  • Database connection issues or corruption.


How to find the cause of the error.

WordPress may email the sites Administrator with more verbose information about the error. If you did not receive this message the following explains how to enable debugging. 


cPanel File Manager icon

1. Navigate to your hosting cPanel control panel. 

2. Choose the 'File Manager' option from the list. You can type 'File' into the cPanel search box to find this section. 


3. This step has multiple parts. Please note your interface may list different folders depending on your sites file structure. 

  • You will need to find the wp-config.php file for your WordPress site. If this is your 'primary' domain the file should be located within the public_html directory. [1]
  • Click once on the wp-config.php file to select it. [2]
  • Click 'Edit' to open the file for editing. [3]


4. When the file is open for editing you need to modify one line.

  • Find and edit the 'define( 'WP_DEBUG', false );' line and change 'false' to 'true'. [1]
  • Click 'Save Changes' to finalize the change. [2]


What do I do now?

Now that debugging is enabled you can now refresh the critical error page. If the changes were successful you should see a more verbose error to assist with troubleshooting. Here are some example options to correct the issue. 


  • Roll your site back to a previous backup point using JetBackup in cPanel. (Or your own personal backup.)
  • Investigate the error using a search engine like Google.
  • Check the site PHP Version to see if it needs updated. 
  • If the error lists a plugin path you can Disable the Plugin Manually or within the WordPress Admin area. 
  • If the error lists your theme you can switch themes or contact the theme developer. 


I was not able to correct the problem.

Please reach out to our Technical Support team if you need help troubleshooting. Please ensure you include the steps required to reproduce the error. 


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