There are downtime moments in case of a WordPress website, even if it is kept under bulletproof surveillance. And, error establishing a database connection, is one such unavoidable error.
The error is real and can affect almost any WordPress website. There are high chances that it’s not a hack attack, as most of the times, it’s a technical glitch.
And, like all other technical glitches, it can be fixed too. So, let’s learn how to fix error establishing a database connection.
Here's what we'll cover:
First of all, it’s not a greeting message, so don’t get comfortable with it. You need to fix it and do it as soon as possible.
If the error stays for long, it will first cause loss of traffic to the website, which will convert in the loss of revenue. If it stays even longer, it will affect the authority of the website as the user experience is hurt.
So, let’s learn the basics first which will update you about why it happens, and how it happens which will give you ideas about fixing it.
Understanding the technical side of this error is not that tough. It’s simple!
A WordPress website works on a system which involves back-end and front-end.
The front-end is the file system, most of which is visible to the users. The files are written in web programming languages (mostly in PHP) which are understood by web browsers and they later show it in the form of a website to everyone.
The back-end part is where the database is saved. Every new entry to the website is stored using the MySQL and later fetched from the same.
Entries like new posts, new pages, comments, images, and the connection between them. Each and everything is noted down by the database and it acts like a backbone of the whole website.
As both these parts, front-end and back-end are two different systems, there needs to be a system working in the common ground. This system takes care of the connection and manages both the systems to work in a harmony.
If due to any technical glitch or reason, this common ground is lost, then the front-end gets disconnected with the back-end. Thus, this error is triggered.
The database is where the epicentre of this error, so that’s where one should start digging. The error is caused due to following reasons.
Corrupt Database – For some reasons, the database gets corrupted and it stops responding to the requests made by the front-end side. Thus, the error triggers!
Wrong Credentials – There are login details of Database saved in the wp-config.php file which is part of the front-end. If these credentials are not correct then the front-end will never be able to make communication with the back-end. Thus, the error triggers!
Server is Down – Both the front-end and the back-end are stored on the server only. If something is not correct with the server, then it is definitely going to cause such errors. If this is the case, the solution is easy as you need to contact the server provider and ask them to make it running again.
As you’re aware of the three solid reasons why this error occurs, finding a solution will be piece of cake, right?
If the error is triggered only at the login page or a message is appearing that ‘one or two database tables are unavailable,’ then the issue is caused by a corrupted database.
Step 1 – Login to the server side, and open wp-config.php file. Add the following code into the file and save it.
define( ‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true );
Step 2 – Now, open this URL in the browser, ‘site.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php’ and hit enter.
Step 3 – It will launch a webpage where you’ll have two options. First is to repair the database, and the second is to repair and then optimise the same.
Step 4 – The first procedure will take lesser time and it’s the one I’ll recommend at this time.
Step 5 – Once the repairing process is over and the site is live again, remove the code you entered in the wp-config.php file. It is critically important, as anyone can trigger this database repair code by accessing the URL.
At the time of installation, the default WordPress credentials are set which are saved inside the wp-config.php file. For some reasons, if the username and password are changed (or even one of them), the error gets triggered.
So, match the credentials you saved at the time of installation with the available in the wp-config.php file.
If a single string is changed then correct the same. Save the file and access the website. It should be up and running.
The final step which is easier for the user. Contact the live support offered by the hosting provider, or email/tweet them.
If the team behind is experienced, the issue will be resolved within few minutes. This is the reason why it is important to pick a better host.
The error which might have looked big to you was this easy to repair. However, there are many websites which have lost the data because of this particular error. So, it should be treated with proper care.
One thing I always recommend doing is to keep regular backups. The backup file should be saved somewhere other than the server. The best option is to keep a file in the local PC system, and a copy on cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive.
These backup files can come in handy if the database is beyond repairing. The website can be restored just by uploading the backup files.
How was it? To repair error establishing a database connection issue?