Critical error site error, WordPress website won’t load

There can be various causes for this issue. Most often it is plugin related, where a plugin automatically updated and started causing an error. Or maybe you have updated PHP to a newer version.

Steps to solution: #

  1. To troubleshoot you should get onto your server, whether it is through the providers website, like GoDaddy or Flywheel, or if you use a host with cPanel or WHMaccess. Most providers offer a file browser of some sort and in cPanel or WHM you can open the file explorer in Cpanel to view the file contents of your website.
    • Alternatively, FTP access would allow you to rename a folder.
  2. Navigate to your sites root folder (public_html or the domain name is common) and then to /wp-content.
  3. Locate the plugins folder. Rename this to “pluginsTEMP“.
  4. Now access your WordPress admin, it should detect the plugins are missing and disable them all.
  5. Next, you can then rename the folder back to plugins.
  6. After that go to the WordPress admin and on the left menu go to Plugins>Installed Plugins.
  7. Activate each plugin one at a time to figure out the culprit.

Now What? #

There may be pending updates for that plugin, or for WordPress core that you can apply that will fix it. This is rare in my experience and usually its cause is an older plugin no longer supported and it stops working without errors at some point.

In this case you may need to search the web or search the add new plugins page on your site for an alternative plugin with the same feature(s). Or it may be one that wasn’t critical to begin with and you can simply do without it.

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