While WordPress is easily the most simple to use and complete blogging platform and content management system out there on the market, it does have a few major flaws. One of them in particular can be extremely frustrating to deal with and that's when the software breaks down. WordPress is software so just like any other software program, yours can stop working and create all types of problems for your marketing operations. When WordPress "breaks," the culprit can be any number of things: faulty plugins, corrupted files, problems in the database, etc. The good news is that most of the time, your data will remain unharmed, it's just that your blogs and/or site won't be visible to the public (meaning no sales, which is equally bad!). The even better news is that it's super easy to fix a broken WordPress install. Here's how. Back Up Your Blog The first thing that you want to do is to back up your entire blog and site. You can back it up on an external hard drive, use the wp-backup plugin or even just copy/paste all of the content into documents or notebook. This is to protect you in case you make a mistake while fixing WordPress. The last thing you want is for all of your data to go kaput! Be sure to back up the following: - The /wp-content/ folder - The database from your blog First Check: Disable Your Plugins After you back up your data, the next step is to start checking to see where the problem is coming from. Just about everyone who uses WordPress uses plugins as well, mainly because they add some killer features and make the site more functional. But they also can create a ton of errors causing nothing but blank, slow or error pages to both you and your visitors. Here's what you do: - Go to your admin page and navigate to the plugins screen. Select all of the plugins and then click to disable them. (Note: If you can't get to your plugins page, FTP into your blog and then rename the plugins folder so that the next time you start it up, all plugins will be deactivated. Simply rename the folder back to plugins to bring them back and then enable them one at a time to find the problem plugin) - After you've disabled all plugins, make sure the problem you are having is gone. If so, it was a plugin creating the problem (if the error persists, go ahead an enable all the plugins and go to the next check) - If the plugin is the problem, enable each plugin one by one until you find the problem plugin - Check to see if the problem plugin has an update. If not, you will need to remove it and try to find a similar plugin that doesn't cause the problem Check Two: The Config File If you are seeing an error message stating that you "Cannot Connect To Database," chances are your blog isn't loading up at all. Here's what you do: - FTP into your blog and then find the wp-config.php file - Make sure that the database name, password and user name are all correct - If they are not, change them. If they are correct, get in contact with your web host and ask if any changes have been made to the database or if any issues have been reported Check Three: Reinstall Your WordPress If you are still having issues, it's time to reinstall WordPress files to wipe out any corrupted files. You can do this with every file you have and not cause damage to the blogs content except the /wp-content/ file. Do not reinstall the /wp-content/ directory! - Log into WordPress and go to Tools. Hit "Upgrade" and then select the option for reinstalling - This uses the updater that is built into WordPress to reinstall all of the core files but won't damage any of your plugins or themes - If your WordPress updater isn't working, you will need to upload all the files by FTPing into your blog. Delete old files and then upload the new ones. Remember not to touch the /wp-content/ file! If your problem still persists, head over to the WordPress support forum.