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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 as quickly as possible.

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 quickly without resorting to waiting for a restore to complete.

Retrace Your Steps

Are you aware of any recent changes you made on the site that might have caused the problem? For example, if you recently installed a plugin, it may have had an error or conflict upon activation that caused the site to go down.

You can review the site’s Activity Log to check for any recent changes that may have created the issue.

If you suspect that a plugin is the cause, you can deactivate that plugin via FTP access or your webhost’s file manager by changing the name of the plugin’s folder inside the /wp-content/plugins/ directory on your server – Your host can help you with that if need be.

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

Nervous about deactivating plugins on your live site when testing? Feel free to try out the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin to create a special session only for you (as a logged-in user) where it starts you off with plugins disabled and a minimal theme applied.

Do You See Any Error Messages?

When a site is down, it will usually 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 common WordPress errors. If so, follow the guide to see if you can remove the error. If you can’t fix it, definitely copy the error and paste it somewhere or take a screenshot to reference later if you have to.

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 bring the site back.

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

If you received an email letting you know that Jetpack identified a potential threat on your site prior to your site going down, or if you suspect your site has been hacked, you can follow this guide to secure your site, eliminating possible malware issues and strengthening your site for the future.

Contact Your Host

The last thing to try before restoring the site would be to contact your webhost for assistance. They have direct control over your site and server and can check their error logs to find the exact cause of the issue. They can most likely fix the problem for you or at least point you in the next best direction.

If You Need to Restore

Jetpack may still able to restore your site, even if it’s down, as long as the site has a working WordPress installation, and you’ve added working server credentials. You have two options to restore:

  1. (Automatic) Perform a restore of one of your restore points mentioned in your Activity Log as shown here
  2. (Advanced) Download a backup and re-upload it to a server manually as instructed in this guide

If you need help determining the best course of action, feel free to ask Jetpack Support for guidance.

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