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How do I fix my broken WordPress website after updating PHP?

If your WordPress website stops working after the PHP version is upgraded and you are unable to revert to a previous version, you can follow this guide to get your website working again.

Step 1 - Deactivate all plugins via phpMyAdmin
Step 2 - Temporarily activate a standard theme
Step 3 - Log into the WordPress admin
Step 4 - Update WordPress, Plugins, and Themes
Step 5 - Reactivate your theme and plugins
Note: If you still have the option of setting an older PHP version in the control panel, please make use of this. This makes WordPress much easier to update and you can then reactivate the latest PHP version without any problems. See also: How do I update PHP for my WordPress website?

Step 1 - Deactivate all plugins via phpMyAdmin

The most common cause of problems after a PHP conversion is an outdated plugin. Hence, you should start by disabling your plugins. Your plugins are still there, but can no longer influence your website.

We have prepared separate instructions for this: Deactivate WordPress plugins in phpMyAdmin

After deactivating the plugins, check whether you can access your page. If so, go to step 3. If not, please follow the next step.


Step 2 - Temporarily activate a standard theme

Using a custom theme on your website can cause problems as well. To rule this out, you should temporarily change your active theme to one of the standard WordPress themes (Twentysixteen, Twentyseventeen, etc.).

You can also do that through phpMyAdmin. Check out our guide for detailed instructions: Modify your WordPress theme from the database.


Step 3 - Log into the WordPress admin

You should now be able to access your dashboard in the WordPress admin view and see your website again, although it will look different. Please log in to WordPress as an administrator.

If you still cannot access the WP admin view, please contact our support so we can help you figure out what's going on.


Step 4 - Update WordPress, Plugins, and Themes

Now that you're logged in, you should make sure everything is updated to the latest version including WordPress itself, all of your plugins, and all of your themes. Remove all plugins and themes that you don't need.

Tip: Like WordPress itself, plugins and themes have to be maintained and updated regularly. If you notice that a plugin you installed hasn't been updated in a while, it could be an indication that it is no longer maintained. In this case, it is better to find an alternative plugin that has the same functionality.

Step 5 - Reactivate your theme and plugins

Now that everything is updated to the latest version, it's time to re-enable your plugins and theme. We recommend that you do this one at a time, checking that your website is still working properly each time.

If your website no longer works after activating a certain plugin or theme, you can deactivate it again via phpMyAdmin. You will need to replace this plugin or theme as it does not appear to be compatible with the latest PHP update.


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