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How to Fix the Critical Error on Your WordPress Website

A critical error message similar to the one below is what you want to get immediately fixed.

There has been a critical error on your website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.
Note: In PHP 5.3, the admin email gets checked from time to time to ensure the admin email address setting is proper and working.
  1. Make sure the admin email address is correct, and the email function of your host works.
  2. Check your Spam folder. Some emails, particularly this one, often get routed to your Spam folder.
  3. Make sure your PHP is updated. (Most issues are resolved by doing this.)
  4. Look for the Error log in your File Manager. To do this, follow these steps:
    You may find some links below that will redirect you to your cPanel and its features provided that the following conditions are met:
    • You are logged into your Customer Portal. You can also log in after clicking the link.
    • The hosting package you are attempting to access is either Shared or Cloud.
    1. In your cPanel, navigate to the Files section, then look for File Manager.

      cPanel File Manager

    2. Click public_html. If you have multiple domains, access the folder of the domain concerned.


    3. Look for the error_log. The latest error entry will be at the bottom, which has the date and time indicated. You can use this error_log file to identify the cause of your site's error prompt. 

      Error Log

      However, if you still don't see any error message, proceed to the following steps below.

    4. Enable wp_debug and wp_debug_log by going back to public_html, or the folder of your domains, if you have multiple domains.
    5. In the public_html, look for wp_config. Do a right-click and choose Edit.

      WP Config

    6. Look for the script define( 'WP_DEBUG', false );. This is right before the comment, "That's all, stop editing! Happy publishing" at the bottom.

      Define WP Debug False

    7. Insert define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', false ); on the next line.

      Define WP Debug Log False

    8. Replace false with true.

      Define WP Debug Log True

    9. Click Save Changes on the upper-right side.

      Confirm Save Changes

  5. Attempt to disable all plugins and use one of the default themes through your WordPress Dashboard (The current default theme is Twenty Twenty). If you cannot access the WordPress Dashboard, use this guide to disable them through the phpMyAdmin database: Enable/Disable WordPress Plugins using Database.
  6. Once the plugins are disabled, you should then be able to access the WordPress Dashboard.
  7. Refresh your website. If the problem goes away, enable the plugins one by one to identify the source of the issue. 
If these steps still do not resolve the issue, contact HostGator via phone or Live Chat for additional assistance.

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