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    How to recover your WordPress website after a crash

    by Lewis Reeves QA & Testing

    While WordPress is generally reliable, there may be instances where your website crashes or becomes inaccessible. This can happen due to various reasons such as plugin conflicts, theme issues, server errors, hacking or even accidental deletion of files.

    When this happens, it is important to act quickly to recover your website and minimise any potential damage. Let’s discuss the steps you can take to recover your WordPress website after a crash.

    1. Identify the Problem

    The first step in recovering your WordPress website is to identify the cause of the crash. This can be done by checking error logs, contacting your web hosting provider or consulting with a professional WordPress developer.

    Understanding the root cause of the crash will help you take appropriate steps to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future. If you don’t identify the problem and simply re-install, it’ll probably happen again pretty quickly.

    2. Restore from Backup

    If you have been regularly backing up your WordPress website, restoring from a backup is the easiest and fastest way to recover your crashed website.

    With a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus, Duplicator or Jetpack, simply follow the plugin’s instructions to restore your backup, and your website should be up and running in no time.

    Most web hosting providers keep backups too, so check if they have a recent backup available. If you’re self-hosting, making backups and keeping them on a separate device or server should be a daily routine (or even more regularly if practicable).

    3. Use a Maintenance Mode Plugin

    While you work on recovering your website, it is a good idea to put it in maintenance mode to prevent visitors from accessing a broken or incomplete website.

    There are several maintenance mode plugins available for WordPress, such as LightStart or SeedProd.

    These plugins allow you to display a temporary page or message to your visitors while you work on fixing your website. Some visitors might otherwise think you have simply gone out of business.

    4. Troubleshoot Theme and Plugin Issues

    If restoring from a backup doesn’t resolve the crash, the next step is to troubleshoot any theme or plugin issues.

    Start by deactivating all your plugins and switching to a default WordPress theme (such as Twenty Twenty-Three). If your website starts working again, it means that one of the plugins or themes was causing the crash.

    You can then reactivate your plugins one by one until you identify the problematic one, or contact the plugin or theme developer for support. It’s possible you have missed an important plugin update, so check you have no outstanding ones, or that your automatic updates are activated.

    5. Check Server Logs

    If the crash is due to server errors, you can check the server logs to get more information about what went wrong. The server logs will provide details about any errors or warnings that occurred during the crash. You can access the server logs through your web hosting package or by contacting your hosting provider.

    6. Scan for Malware and Hacking

    In some cases, a website crash may be the result of malware or hacking attempts. If you suspect that your website has been compromised, scan your website using a security plugin like Sucuri or Wordfence.

    These plugins will help you identify any malicious files or code on your website and remove them. Change your passwords and update all your plugins, themes, and WordPress core files to their latest versions to maintain security.

    7. Seek Professional Help

    If you have exhausted all the above steps and your website is still not recovering, it is advisable to seek professional help. A WordPress developer or a web hosting support team can assist you in identifying and resolving complex issues that may be causing the crash. They will have the knowledge and expertise to troubleshoot and fix the problem effectively.