Why do WordPress Websites break?

If you own a WordPress website you might have experienced this frustration – a page that once loaded with no issues suddenly looks odd or a feature that worked just yesterday is gone or broken. Ideally, we would like everything to work all the time, but owning a website is a little like owning a car. There is wear and tear and you are guaranteed to make a trip to a mechanic at some point. To better understand the reasons for WordPress website malfunctions let’s break them down into 4 major categories.

Hosting and Server

Your site is hosted on a physical server, using physical disk space, even if it is called a “cloud”. Servers have become extremely reliable with uptimes of over 99% but it is still possible for the machines to encounter errors, for the computing resources to become sparse, or for system errors to affect the loading of your website. When choosing your hosting service make sure that the resources available to you are sufficient to support the traffic, features, and disk space that your website requires. Reputable hosts will also provide guidance and technical support with choosing the best plan for your company.


WordPress is a fabulous open source community that encourages anyone to contribute plugins, themes, APIs etc. It makes your website a beautiful patchwork of code coming from different, independent contributors. Since each plugin is being updated independently, conflicts coming from the plugin upgrades or plugins falling behind because they are not being upgraded often cause errors that affect the functionality of your website. The best course of action is testing all the upgrades on a staging site and regularly reviewing the site functionality. These regular upgrades are the equivalent of an oil change. Without changing your oil the engine is sure to run to the ground much faster. But even with regular oil changes issues can come up.

User errors

This can happen to anyone. Clicking in the wrong place, accidently deleting or disabling a feature. The best way to limit the number of user errors is providing your users with sufficient WordPress training and limiting the number of users making changes to your website. We also advise to set the number of users with admin privileges to the bare minimum.

Malware and attacks

Your website can also break because of a malware injection or an attack. Surprisingly, a lot of the malware damage is preventable. A well maintained website is much less susceptible to attacks. Also, a good firewall will effectively protect the site from malicious activity.

Keeping your website running smoothly can be a challenge and it is very helpful to have an expert on your side. An excerpt can help with your preventive maintenance and user training which helps eliminate most preventable issues. They will also become familiar with your website and be able to respond when unexpected errors come up. 

If you are having trouble keeping your website running smoothly, reach out and we can help you turn your Yugo into a Toyota.

Photo by Mike Bird: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-coupe-on-flatbed-trailer-943930/

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We've been building websites for over twenty years, and have learned a thing or two about how to make web projects go smoothly.