What to Do If Your Site Is Down

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because your site is down and you want to restore it to working order.

Before looking at restore options, it’s worth considering whether a restore is actually the best solution. It’s possible that your site could be brought back online without resorting to a full restore.

Retrace Your Steps

Are you aware of any changes you made on the site that might have caused the problem? For example if you recently installed a plugin it may have encountered an installation error which caused the site to go down.

If your site has an active Jetpack connection, you can review the site’s Activity to check for any recent changes that may have caused the issue.

If you suspect a plugin is the cause, you can deactivate that plugin via FTP by changing the name of the plugin folder.

If you’re not sure whether a plugin is to blame, it’s worth testing by deactivating all plugins. If that brings the site back online, then you can try activating each plugin until the site goes down again to determine which one caused the issue.

Do You See Any Error Messages?

When a site is down, it will sometimes display an error message that can provide a clue as to how to fix it. If you see an error message on the site, check if the error is mentioned on this list of the 40 most common WordPress errors, and if so, follow the guide to see if you can fix the error.

If you see nothing but a blank screen, that may be what’s known as the ‘White Screen of Death’ (WSOD). In this case you can follow this guide to try and fix the error.

Did You Receive an Email Alerting You to a Security Threat?

If you received an email letting you know that the VaultPress security scanner identified a potential threat on your site prior to your site going down, and if you suspect your site has been hacked, you can follow this guide to secure your site.

Contact Your Host

The last thing to try before restoring the site is to contact your web host for assistance. They may be aware of a server issue, or they may be able to check their error logs to find the cause of the issue and fix it for you.

If You Need to Restore

VaultPress is unable to perform a one-click restore if your site is down, so if you still can’t get the site back online and you want to restore it to a previous point, you have two options:

  1. Install a fresh WordPress installation, install & register VaultPress, and then perform a one-click restore.
  2. Restore the site manually.

If you need help determining the best course of action, the VaultPress Safekeepers are available for advice. Just click on the Ask for Help button in your dashboard.