[FIXED] Critical Error on GoDaddy WordPress Site [2023]

“There has been a critical error on this website” on your GoDaddy Site?wordpress-critical-error

It is pretty intimidating as it doesn’t debunk anything.

But in most cases, plugins or themes or old php versions create conflicts that halt some essential processes of the server.

As a result, the website doesn’t run properly and starts notifying the issue.

So be ready to dive into a little bit longer journey of fixing.

There has been a critical error on this website GoDaddy

1.Go Through Recovery Mode

Fatal error recovery mode is a core WordPress feature included in version 5.2.

The feature allows admins to fix or mitigate fatal errors on their website.

Before the mode, it was near to impossible to address the error as it has made the back-end inaccessible in most cases.

Now a beginner can fix it. the mode provides temporary login access for 24 hours until you switch off recovery mode.

You can easily find out the culprit and fix it.

Now follow the easy steps.

(1) After detecting critical errors on your WordPress website, WordPress will automatically enable recovery mode and send an email with the problem detail and a temporary login link.wordpress-recovery-mode-email

(2) Go through the link and log in to recovery mode. You will see some messages on screen too.wordpress-recovery-mode-fix-1

“One or more plugins failed to load properly” if a plugin invoked the error. or

“One or more themes failed to load properly” if a theme is problematic.

However, WordPress already disable the rogue plugin or theme, that’s why recovery mode is accessible.

It won’t fix the issue on the front-end of your site till you take action.

(3) If the issue is in a plugin, go to the plugins page.wordpress-recovery-mode-fix-2

(4) If a plugin contains the message “This plugin failed to load properly and is paused during recovery mode.”

Update it or deactivate or replace it with an alternative one.

(5) Now repeat the process with the theme if it causes. Simply you can change it.

(6) Once you’ve fixed the problem, click Exit Recovery Mode and your site should start working again.

If you can’t get login access for the mode, you can find the culprit theme or plugin with the guide.

2. Start Debugging

Debugging is another better way to reach a cause.

It provides details about PHP errors and you can disable the crook plugin to resolve it.

By the way, showing the error line on the front end is not a good idea for safety reasons and user experience.

So we will keep it off on the screen instead in the error log.

(1) Go to public_html and open the config.php file

(2) Paste the code line before the line “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */”

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );

define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

(3) Go to wp-content>debug.log to check the error report.debug-log

If you see a fatal PHP error, but doesn’t elaborate itself. You must enable full php reporting.

(4) add the code to the problematic php file

ini_set(‘display_errors’, 1);
ini_set(‘display_startup_errors’, 1);

(5) add the following code to your php.ini file


Now the error message will be in detail. You should take action accordingly.

3.Increase PHP Memory Limit

Do you see “your php_memory_limit is exhausted” in debug.log?

Now it’s time to increase it.

GoDaddy is infamous for its tiny resource shared hosting plan.

We won’t recommend you to increase it much. Otherwise, a single php process eats up all RAM resources.

New WordPress installation set 32 MB as the memory limit at GoDaddy.

Whilst it requires minimum 128 MB for a personal blog and 256 MB for a production site.

So after installing a few plugins, the site starts notifying about less memory limit.

128 MB memory limit can fix it.

If you use Jetpack, Wocommerce, and elementor like resource-hungry plugins, the issue can appear again and memory needs to be enlarged by 256 MB at least.

But GoDaddy’s cheap plan offers only 512 RAM. So you should upgrade your plan or move to cloud hosting.

Increase Memory Limit

(1) Open wp-config.php by going through public_html

(2) add the line before /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M');

(3) Save changes.

4.Clean up Database

Database issues won’t be visible until you manually check table size. Although, I don’t recommend you to access your database if you are an absolute beginner.

You can mess or fade up quickly.

You should know that anything you do, like posting, installing a plugin, etc., on a WordPress site, and footprint of those action stores in the database.

The database size increases daily because of not only used data but also unused data.

Unused data means data of uninstalled plugins, uninstalled themes, post revisions, unused cache, etc.

After a while, the garbage not only slows down the database server but also starts the error “php_memory_limit is exhausted .”

Install the WP-Optimize plugin and clean it up.WP optimize uninstalled plugin table

5.Clean Your Site Cache

Caching is the best way to copy the repeated request and deliver it as fast as possible next time.

So it releases a lot of pressure on the origin server and it ultimately brings up top-notch performance.

But sometimes, a corrupted caching file can also be a bother. So clean it properly from your caching plugin.

After clearing the cache, your server response time will be slow until the server or cache plugin doesn’t generate cache again.

Most free cache plugins generate cache after the first user’s visit. So I recommend you use WP Rocket, which has an intelligent preloading caching system that creates cache before the first user’s visit and doesn’t let TTFB slow.

6.Upgrade Your PHP

Still, using the old PHP version? It not only slows down the whole PHP process of your server but also can break your site.

New version of php brings better security, more reliability and faster performance.

You should update it.

Before updating it, you should take a backup of your whole site carefully. It will be a life saver from data loss or unpleasant happenings.

Update PHP on GoDaddy

(1) Go to the GoDaddy Product Page

(2) On the My Product page, next to Managed WordPress, select Manage All.

(3) Choose Setting from the right three dots.GoDaddy PHP Update1

(4) Under Production Site, click change of PHP version row.GoDaddy PHP Update

(5) Select the latest one and save changes

7.Clean Malware

Do you notice some pages, like the new plugin installation page, etc., don’t reload properly or suspicious files or code in the file manager?malicious code in wordpress

There is a high probability of malware infection on your site.

You can scan your site with Wordfence or Sucuri and find the suspicious file.

But the process will be so tricky if the infection is gruesome or if you are a beginner.

On a Severe level, any security plugin won’t be able to help and even on mild infection sometimes,

you have to manually check each file and folder to be confirmed that your site is clean.

It’s a total head-scratching job.

Contact GoDaddy Support or hire a developer at Fiverr.

8.Restore Backup

I always encourage my clients and fellow bloggers to regularly take backup with the Updraftplus plugin.

The backup is a fixed deposit of your site that can save you in any circumstances.

Restore your backup. If you don’t have one, Contact GoDaddy Support, and they will restore your site.


How do I fix a critical error on my WordPress site?

Login to the admin area in recovery mode. Check notifications containing a message of plugin or theme issue.

Act now according to it. Go to the plugin page, deactivate the plugin that WordPress pauses, and change your theme in the second case.

I hope you will sort out your issue and if you need any help, let me know in the comment box.

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