Error establishing a database connection

Imagine that you wake up in the morning and you check your WordPress site and you find a blank screen with an ominous message “Error establishing a database connection”. I know you will panic and you will desperately search for the solution to it and fear the most that your customer will turn away then don’t worry you are not alone because this a common error that every WordPress users face. In this article, we will encounter the reason as well as the solution and will also provide you with some tips to prevent it from happening in the future. So, grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and let’s dive into the article.

What is WordPress?

WordPress was first released in 2003 and it is an open-source management system that helps the user to create, manage, and publish websites and blogs. In today’s modern world, it is one of the most popular website builders, covering 40% of all internet websites. The programming languages it uses to build the website are PHP and MySQL. It is popular due to several reasons, including a user-friendly interface, and a wide range of customizable options through plugins and themes. The flexibility, scalability, and security features made it popular among individuals, businesses, and organizations of all sizes. The key feature of WordPress is its ease of use. The user interface is user-friendly, which means that a person having less technical expertise can create and manage their own websites. Themes in WordPress are pre-designed templates that users can install to change the look and feel of their website. There are around 55,000 plugins available in the plugin repository.

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Overall, WordPress is a revolution among website builders and bloggers.

What is an “Error establishing a database connection” error?

“Error establishing a database connection” is a message that appears when WordPress is unable to connect to its database. When this error occurs, the screen usually gets blank and shows this error message. You will not be able to access the website and it makes it impossible to log into your WordPress dashboard. The error occurs due to several reasons (incorrect login credentials, insufficient server resources, corrupted database files, incompatible plugins, and database server downtime). Understanding the root cause of the error as well as the solution to it is necessary as it will help WordPress users to keep their sites running smoothly and avoid frustration from the error in the future.

Why am I getting this “Error establishing a database connection” error?

To get rid of this error, you must be aware of the reason for the error so that you can understand the root cause of your error clearly.

The reasons for the error are explained following:-

1. Incorrect Login Credentials

The error can occur if the login credential that is used to access the website is incorrect which results in a failure in making a connection.

2. Insufficient server resources

If the server doesn’t have enough memory or processing power to run the database that can cause an error that will prevent establishing a connection.

3. Corrupted database files

If the files of the database get corrupted then it can cause an error and WordPress will not be able to establish a connection.

4. Incompatible plugins

It is possible that the plugins or themes you are using are incompatible with WordPress and leading to an error.

5. Database server downtime

The users of WordPress a lot and due to this, it may sometimes undergo maintenance or server downtime, and due to this, the error message appears.

How to fix this “Error establishing a database connection” error?

After getting knowledge of the cause of the error, you can try the following methods to resolve it:-

1. Verify and update database login credentials

The solution to the incorrect login credentials is to verify that the database login credentials are correct. You should double-check their login credentials by going to the wp-config.php file in their WordPress installation and should check the database name, username, and password are correct.

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2. Monitor server resources

To address the insufficient server resources, users should monitor their server resources and upgrade their servers if it is needed. WordPress can become more efficient by minimizing the number of plugins and themes installed.

3. Repair Database

To fix this issue, users should use a built-in WordPress database repair tool or a third-party database repair tool. A database can also be restored from a recent backup if one is available.

4. Deactivate conflicting plugins

To resolve the issue of incompatible plugins, one has to deactivate plugins and themes that are causing conflicts and check whether the WordPress version is compatible with their installed plugins and themes.

5. Contact the hosting provider

If the server is down, you should try to contact the hosting provider to determine the cause and resolve the issue. You can also monitor the status of your server through your hosting provider’s website or social website channels.

Prevention steps to avoid “Error establishing a database connection” error

You should implement some prevention steps that are mentioned below to avoid the error happening in the future.

1. Monitor server resources regularly

You should monitor the server resources such as CPU usage, RAM, and disk space that can identify the possible issues that can cause the error. WordPress users can use monitoring tools to monitor their resources.

2. Use a reputable hosting provider

You should choose a reliable hosting provider which further helps to prevent many issues, including server downtime and database errors. The hosting provider should have a good reputation for uptime and customer support.

3. Keep software up-to-date

If you have updated WordPress to the latest version it ensures that the bugs are fixed which further reduces the chances of error. One should update WordPress to the latest version such that plugins and themes can ensure that the bugs and patches are fixed.

4. Use caching plugins

By caching the plugins the optimization of the performance of the website takes place and it also reduces server resources by storing frequently accessed data in memory.

5. Backup data regularly

If you back up your database regularly it ensures that you will never lose your data if an error occurs. You can set up automated backups through your network provider.

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Summary Table

S.NOReasonsSolutionsPrevention tips
1Incorrect Login CredentialsVerify and update database login credentialsMonitor server resources regularly
2Insufficient server resourcesMonitor server resourcesUse a reputable hosting provider
3Corrupted database filesRepair DatabaseKeep software up-to-date
4Incompatible pluginsDeactivate conflicting pluginsUse caching plugins
5Database server downtimeContact the hosting providerBackup data regularly

Note:- Prevention steps don’t have a relation with reasons and solutions in the table.


In this article the error which usually occurs in WordPress i.e “Error establishing a database connection” is discussed. The error occurs with a message and a blank screen. The error occurs when WordPress is unable to connect to its database. The article consists of three sections i.e reason for the error, the solution of the error, and some prevention tips which will help you to minimize the chance of the error in the future happening. Go through all the reasons that are mentioned so that you can identify your reason for the error and after that go through all the solutions mentioned. Last, there are some prevention steps you should follow to avoid future errors.

Some more errors in WordPress

404 Error

occurs when a page is not found on the website, caused by broken links, deleted content, or incorrect permalinks.

Syntax Error

Occurs when there is a mistake in the code of a WordPress file, such as a plugin and theme, and causes a website to break or display a blank screen.

HTTP Error

Occurs when there is an issue with uploading images which is caused by file size restrictions, incorrect file permission, or server issue.


Q) Will fixing the “Error establishing a database connection” error cause data loss?

A) No, there will be no data loss if you follow every appropriate step correctly and do not delete any data from the database.

Q) What is the “White Screen of Death” error in WordPress?

A) This error occurs when the screen of the website gets blank due to several reasons such as plugin or theme conflicts, PHP errors, or memory limit issues.

Q)  What is the “Memory Exhausted” error in WordPress?

A) This error occurs when WordPress exceeds the limit of PHP memory which further causes a message to appear on the blank screen.

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