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What is a WordPress Critical Error?
The WordPress critical error is exactly as the message says.

“There has been a critical error on this website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.”

WordPress critical error message
You’re right to think it’s a little vague in its message. That is because various factors, including issues with plugins, themes, PHP code, database corruption, or server problems, could cause the error.

When this WordPress critical error message appears, this CMS usually sends an email to the site administrator with more detailed information about the error. It also includes the potential steps to resolve it. The email typically contains a “Recovery Mode” link that allows the administrator to log into the WordPress admin dashboard in a limited mode. So you can effectively troubleshoot and fix the issue.

What Causes the WordPress Critical Error?
Whether you are creating and launching a WordPress website or have hired a professional WordPress development company, the process and elements would be roughly the same. There are so many dynamic elements that you need to understand which one can cause the WordPress critical error and how. Well, here’s a list:

Plugin or Theme Conflicts: One of the more common causes of critical errors is conflicts between plugins or between a theme and a plugin. When different plugins or themes have conflicting code, it can lead to errors that render the website inaccessible.
PHP Errors: WordPress is built on PHP, and errors in PHP code can lead to critical errors. These errors can be caused by custom code added to themes or plugins or even by server misconfigurations.
Theme Issues: Themes that are poorly coded or not updated can cause critical errors. A theme might rely on outdated functions or features that are no longer supported in newer versions of WordPress.
Server Problems: Server issues such as low memory limits, insufficient resources, or misconfigured settings can trigger critical errors. For example, if your server runs out of memory while processing a request, it can cause the website to crash.
Database Corruption: Issues with the WordPress database, such as corruption or incomplete updates, can lead to critical errors. This can happen due to server crashes, incomplete updates, or incompatible plugins.
File Permission Problems: Incorrect file permissions on your server can prevent WordPress from functioning correctly. If certain files or directories aren’t accessible by the server, it can lead to errors.
Outdated Software: Using obsolete versions of WordPress, plugins, or themes can create vulnerabilities and conflicts that result in critical errors.
Incompatible PHP Versions: Running WordPress on an outdated or incompatible PHP version can cause issues. WordPress has specific PHP version requirements that need to be met for optimal performance and security.
Security Plugins or Settings: Overly aggressive security plugins or settings can sometimes block legitimate requests or functionality, leading to critical errors.
Code Modifications: If you’ve made custom code modifications to your WordPress site (such as in your theme’s functions.php file) and those modifications contain mistakes, it can lead to critical errors.
Resource Limitations: If your website experiences a sudden spike in traffic that exceeds your hosting resources, it can lead to critical errors or temporary outages.
Third-Party Services: Some critical errors can be caused by external services or APIs that your website relies on. Your site might be affected if these services go down or if you experience issues.
Now, with so many potential causes of WordPress critical errors, it can be a little overwhelming. If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting on your own, seeking assistance from WordPress experts or your hosting provider’s support team can be helpful.

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