How To Fix The Error of Database Connection to the WordPress Site

How To Fix The Error of Database Connection to the WordPress Site

“Error establishing a database connection” is the dreaded message you wouldn’t want to see on your website. The error basically denotes that your web servers are not able to establish a connection with your database connection. The issue is serious, however, there are some simple steps you can take to fix the problem and get your site running smoothly.

Today, we will better understand the database connection error on a WordPress website, figure out the causes behind it, and learn about the steps to resolve the error. Let’s dive right in.


Understanding the Error

For WordPress website information like login credentials and posts are stored and organized in a database management system. WordPress uses MySQL, which is an open-source database management system.

On the front end, when a visitor lands on your website, WordPress will use PHP to query the information to be shown on the website.

Now, with the ‘error establishing a database connection’, WordPress is unable to access the database. The pages would not entirely load, and from the backend, you won’t be able to access your WordPress dashboard, too.

If your site uses caches, the users will be able to see the stored copies of the pages. This will allow you to resolve the issues without longer disruptions before the site’s cache refreshes.

What Causes the Error?

The most common cause of this error is incorrect database login credentials. However, there may be some other factors causing it to occur. Here they are:

  • Mismatched Login Credentials: If WordPress has an incorrect database name, username, or password, it won’t connect to MySQL. These are different login credentials from the ones you use to access your website.
  • Database Corruption: Even though MySQL is quite a robust DBMS, this error can take place as a result of some data getting deleted or corrupted. MySQL stores and manages a lot of information for your WP site, and manual tinkering with the database can result in this issue. Sometimes, however, database corruption can occur without manual tinkering, too.
  • WP File Corruption: A completely opposite reason from above, corruption in the core WordPress files outside of the database can also result in this error.
  • Host or Server Issues: A problem on the host-side, or server-side if you are self-hosting, can also lead to a database connection establishment error. Power outages or hardware issues can prevent WordPress from querying  the database in these scenarios.

Now that we know what are the probable causes, here is the step-by-step guide to resolve the error.

4 Steps to Fix The Error Of Database Connection in WordPress

Although a serious error, it is an easy one to fix. Here are the steps to troubleshooting the Database Connection error in WordPress. Remember, you don’t need to follow all the steps to mitigate the error. Only move to the next step if one doesn’t work.

1. Updating The Credentials

Locate the credentials to access your database that is currently used by WordPress. You will find it in your wp-config.php file. Use an SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) to access it.

Look for the data:

DB_NAME: Database Name

DB_USER: Username


This data should match your MySQL database settings. If it does not, update your wp-config file so that the credentials do not mismatch. The access to MySQL settings, username, and password could be found on your host’s dashboard/control panels.

2. Checking The Host Information

If your host is not listed in MySQL databases the same as it is named in the wp-config.php file, this error can occur. To add it, simply Create a MySQL hostname and wait for it to propagate through the DNS. After some time, check if the website is working now.

3. WordPress Database Repair

If both of the steps above don’t resolve the issue, it is time to use an in-built tool for repairing the WordPress Database. To access this tool, open your wp-config.php file and add this code at the end.

define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);

After that, open a new browser tab and enter https://(your website).com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php. It will open the database repair tool. Here, simply click on the ‘Repair Database’ button. When the tool is finished repairing, check your website. 

If it’s working, then the corrupted database was the cause. If it’s not, time to move on to the next step. But before that, remember to remove the code you added to wp-config.php as anyone can gain access to your site easily with that.

4. Fixing Host/Server Issues

Too many connections to the database at the same time can cause database connection errors as some providers have limits on the number of connections. If you are sharing a hosting plan, issues with other sites can also mess with your site. 

If none of the above, hardware troubles can also cause the error. If the host server is down and a copy of your data is not available, this error may occur. In these cases, reach out to your host and inquire about the issue.

Additional Fixes

Some additional steps you can take to fix the error of the database connection to the WordPress site.

  • Update your WP site URL if you have moved to a new domain name.
  • Rebooting your server can troubleshoot the error at times.
  • Reach out to the WordPress forums or other forums for help.

Summing It Up

“Error Establishing a Database Connection” is one of the most common errors site owners face. Though crucial, it is an easy one to fix in some simple steps.

  • Check and Update The Database Credentials
  • Check and Update Database Host Information
  • Use WordPress Database Repair Tool
  • Fix The Issues From the Host or Server Side

Following these steps, along with the additional fixes, is bound to help you troubleshoot the error.

  • Category: App Development 
  • Written by: Jitendra Rathod
  • Date: October 18, 2022

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