It’s not uncommon to see fatal errors cropping up on your website. It obstructs or stops your website from functioning. Needless to say, it’s extremely frustrating to see a fatal error unexpectedly cropping up on your website. It is even more maddening and infuriating if you are not knowledgeable enough to deal with it and fix it.

WordPress users may encounter such errors while updating or installing a new plugin, or during WordPress theme customization. However, you need not panic if you face such a problem. Just relax, there are few simple ways to fix the problem and remove fatal error in WordPress. This article throws light on three easy ways of removing fatal error.

Common Fatal Errors

There are quite a few fatal errors that occur in WordPress. Two of the most common of them are:

·         Maximum Execution Time Exceeded: Here, you encounter a blank page or a white screen because of a fatal PHP error.

  • Call to Undefined Function: This error occurs when any of the several functions that you need to integrate cannot be found.

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Causes of Fatal Error

There could be several reasons why fatal error occurs.  We, therefore, need to determine what might cause fatal error in WordPress. Obviously, such errors won’t happen if there is no trigger for the issues. Listed below are some factors that could be behind these errors.

·         Bad Coding: A poorly coded plugin can cause problems irrespective of the theme or a plugin you are trying to apply to WordPress.

·         Inter Plugin Conflict: Different plugins are not always compatible with each other, especially if they have similar functionality. It is, therefore, crucial that you select the right plugins so that two plugins do not interfere with each other.

·         Conflict with WordPress: there could be situations where a plugin code is not in harmony with the WordPress core files code. Normally, plugin developers update their plugins whenever there is an upgrade in WordPress so that they are in sync with each other. However, if a plugin is not updated in line with a WordPress upgrade, it may cause issues. You have to be extremely careful while using an old plugin.

·         Theme Conflict: Functions are normally positioned in the theme’s function.php file. The principle applied to extending a theme’s performance is the same as that of adding components in a plugin. Problems may happen if coding is poor or there is disagreement with another plugin.

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Fixing Fatal Error in WordPress

Though fatal error might overwhelm you and seem quite difficult to manoeuvre as it can potentially bring the whole site crashing down, it’s not all that difficult to fix. Let’s first check a few probable situations that can cause fatal errors.


As highlighted earlier, fatal error may happen during WordPress theme customization if there is a conflict between a theme function and some functionality of installed plugins. If the issue occurs during a theme installation or upgrading, you should either rename the folder or delete it from your server by logging in via FTP. Theme’s folder can be located by going to WP-Content>Themes. By performing this action you can get your site back to its earlier state and the theme would revert to its default.


If even after performing the necessary action with the theme the error still persists, then you need to check the plugins. Locate the WP-Content folder and rename the plugin folder. This would immediately disable all the plugins. If the problem is sorted out by this action, give the folder its original name. It allows you to see all the installed plugins. Now, successively enable the plugins to detect if any particular plugin was triggering the problem. This way, you will be able to identify the offending plugin that caused the problem.

.Htaccess File

If the above two actions with the theme and plugins respectively does not fix the problem, then you need to take a different approach. Usually, renaming or deleting the theme folder, or disabling and enabling the plugins fixes the error, but if it doesn’t, then you need to delete the .htaccess file. But make sure that you copy the code to your notepad because you might need it at a later stage. If your website becomes operational after deleting the .htaccess file, proceed to settings > permalink and save the settings in its original form without making any changes. .htaccess file will be created automatically with basic WordPress order.

Discussed above are the causes of a fatal error in WordPress and three ways of fixing them. More often than not these errors happen during WordPress theme customization. The methods to fix the fatal errors explained in this article should help you fix the errors yourself. However, if you have any difficulty, you can always seek help from a wordpress expert to fix the errors.

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