Are you having trouble logging into your WordPress website? If so, chances are you are experiencing a number of common WordPress login issues.

WordPress is an ideal blogging platform for any type of website due to its flexibility and intuitive interface. Not to mention, WordPress is completely free and open-source, meaning you can make whatever changes you want without worry.

That said, as great as WordPress is, sometimes you’re going to run into issues, especially when logging in. However, one thing that sets this platform apart from its competition is its community, which is impressive in both size and knowledge. No matter the issue you’re having, such as not knowing how to find your WordPress login URL, there is always going to be someone around to help. And it’s likely they’ve even experienced your issue firsthand.

To help you out, today we’ll address the most popular WordPress login issues and how to solve them. This way you’ll be able to get back into your website and start publishing fresh new content right away.


In this article we’ll discuss the following:

  • most common WordPress login issues;
  • multiple solutions to each kind of problem;
  • and much more.

For those that are having a specific issue, here’s a quick table of contents so you can jump straight to the problem and solution and be on your way:


Now, for those that want to know it all, let’s get started!


Forgotten or Lost Password

As much as we’d love to think we’d never forget our website’s password, the truth is, it happens. This is especially true if you’ve recently changed your WordPress website’s password for security reasons.

That said, not all hope is lost. Though WordPress does have a built-in feature to help you reset your password in case it has been forgotten or compromised, know that this easy fix doesn’t always work.

Solution

If you’ve lost or forgotten your WordPress website’s password, the first thing you should do is try the built-in feature WordPress has available.

wordpress lost your password reset button

Just click the “Lost your password?” link and enter your email address. Next, check your email for a link to reset your password.

If this doesn’t work, you can always try these tricks:

  • Make sure you’re not logged into your website on any other devices or browsers before trying to reset your password;
  • Update your password directly in the WordPress database (for details on how to accomplish this complex task, check out what WordPress.org has to say about changing your password through phpMyAdmin)

Another way to change your site’s password is by using your web host’s cPanel. For this example, we’ll use SiteGround.

Check out this in-depth SiteGround review and see if it’s the right web hosting provider for you.

First, log into your SiteGround account and navigate to the cPanel. Next, click on File Manager under Files.

siteground file manager icon

When you do, select the domain you’re resetting the password for and click Go. When in the File Manager, follow this path: wp-content > themes > **active theme on your website**. Once you’ve chosen the theme that’s active on your website, right-click on the functions.php section and click Edit.

functions.php file edit

Click Edit when the warning appears (remember, changing code on your website can be tricky!). Once in the editor, add the following line of code right after the opening <?php:

wp_set-password ( ‘new password’, 1 );

Enter your new password. The second parameter is the User ID. User ID 1 will be the administrator.

Next, log out of your web host’s cPanel and log into your WordPress site. When you know that the password works, log back into your cPanel and delete the password line of code. If you don’t, the password will reset every time a page is loaded.


Confused Domain Name

When you log in to your WordPress website, you usually use the domain yourdomainname/wp-admin, which in turn redirects you to this URL yourdomainname/wp-login.php. Sometimes, you’re not redirected though, and you find yourself unable to log into your website.

Solution

When this happens, try entering the domain yourdomainname/wp-login.php right from the start. Rather than waiting for the redirect, try taking yourself straight to the login URL.


Plugin Interference

It’s not unusual for the plugins on your WordPress website to interfere with one another and cause problems. For example, there might be a corrupt plugin, a plugin-to-plugin incompatibility, or a plugin in need of an update.

No matter the reason for the plugin interference, problems can ensue. One such problem is not being able to log into your site, which is a major drawback.

Solution

If you suspect a plugin is causing a login issue on your website, the first thing you need to do is deactivate all your WordPress plugins or rename your plugins folder.

If you can access the admin panel of WordPress, just go to Plugins > Installed Plugins in your WordPress dashboard. From there, select the Plugin box and deactivate all your plugins at the same time.

deactivate all wordpress plugins

If you don’t have access to the admin panel of WordPress because you are completely locked out of your website, you’re going to need to rename your plugins folder using an FTP client like Filezilla.

After logging into your FTP client, follow this path: public_html > wp-content > plugins. Then, change the plugins folder name temporarily. This will deactivate all plugins on your website because WordPress will not be able to recognize the folder.

rename plugins folder in ftp client

Once all the plugins are deactivated, try to log into your website. If you can, you now know one of your plugins is the login issue.

Now, it’s time to troubleshoot which plugin is the culprit. To do this in FTP, simply rename each and every individual plugin’s folder one by one. Each time you rename a plugin’s folder, try to log into your website. When you can log in, you’ve found the plugin that is causing the issue.

Using cPanel to Rename Plugin Folders

If you don’t want to use an FTP client to rename plugin folders, you can also access your plugin folders in your web host’s cPanel.

In this example, we’ll use SiteGround.

First, log into your SiteGround account and navigate to the cPanel. Next, click on File Manager under Files.

siteground file manager icon

When you do, select the domain you’re resetting the password for and click Go. When in the File Manager, follow this path: wp-content > plugins. From there, right-click on the plugins folder and select Rename. Rename your folder so WordPress doesn’t recognize it and deactivates all your site’s plugins.

rename plugin folder in cpanel

From there, try to log into your website. If it works, you know that a plugin is causing your WordPress login issues. So, return to the cPanel and get back to your plugins folder.

Next, double click on it one more time to see each individual plugin folder. From there, rename each plugin folder one by one, trying to log into your site after each folder renaming to target the problem plugin.


Theme Issues

Much like plugins, the WordPress themes you use on your website can cause login issues. This is especially true if your theme has a custom login page.

Most of the time, a theme that’s causing a login issue is doing so because:

  • The theme updated and caused a compatibility issue;
  • WordPress core updated and caused a theme compatibility issue;

Solution

One of the easiest ways to fix this common WordPress login issue is to deactivate your current theme and activate one of the default WordPress themes, such as Twenty Twenty.

twenty twenty wordpress theme

To do this, go to Appearance > Themes in the WordPress dashboard. Then, click Activate on Twenty Twenty (or other related default WordPress theme). Then, log out of your site and try to log in again. If the login issue stops giving you trouble, you know it’s your theme that’s getting in the way.

activate twenty twenty wordpress theme on website

That said, if you can’t even log in to the backend of your website, you’re going to have to troubleshoot theme issues another way.

The best way to deactivate your site’s theme outside of the WordPress dashboard is to use an FTP client like Filezilla.

After logging into your FTP client, follow this path: public_html > wp-content > themes. Then, change the theme folder name of the theme that’s active on your website. This temporary change will deactivate your site’s theme because WordPress will not be able to recognize the folder. This will also force WordPress to revert to a default theme.

rename your themes folder in ftp

Once your site’s theme is deactivated, try to log into your website. If you can, you now know it’s your theme that’s the login issue.

Using cPanel to Rename Theme Folders

If you don’t want to use an FTP client to rename your theme folder, you can also access your theme folders in your web host’s cPanel.

In this example, we’ll use SiteGround.

First, log into your SiteGround account and navigate to the cPanel. Next, click on File Manager under Files.

siteground file manager icon

When you do, select the domain you’re resetting the password for and click Go. When in the File Manager, follow this path: wp-content > themes. From there, right-click on the theme folder of the theme that’s active on your website and select Rename. Rename your theme folder so WordPress reverts to a default theme such as Twenty Twenty.

rename theme folder in cpanel

Next, try to log into your website. If it works, you now know it’s your theme that causing the login issues on your website.


Corrupt Login File

Whether you accidentally deleted it, it has become corrupt, or any other type of change has occurred to the wp-login.php file, you will not be able to access the login screen at all.

Solution

To fix a corrupt login file, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Create a full backup of your website using your web hosting provider;
  • Locate your wp-login.php file with an FTP client such as Filezilla and delete it;
  • Download the latest version of WordPress;
  • Copy the file you downloaded and put it in place of the file you just deleted;
  • Open the new login file and search for “redefining user_login”.

When you do this, you’ll need to insert this code snippet just below a php comment beginning with that phrase find and replace code:

 // Delete this line
 $user_login = $user_data["user_login"]; 
 // Replace it with this line
 $user_login = $user_data->user_login; 

Then, try to log into your website. If this does not solve your issues, then it’s possible that the issue was not caused by your wp-login.php file and you need to do more debugging.


Cache and/or Cookies

Cookies are small files that are located in browser directories. They store information about user’s interactions with specific websites they visit. This helps them have a more enjoyable internet browsing experience.

That said, WordPress requires the use of cookies during the login process, or else it will not work. In other words, if cookies are not enabled, you won’t be able to log into your WordPress website.

In addition, the browser cache is the set of temporary files that are stored on a user’s web browser when they access a webpage. If your cache is not updating the right way, you may be viewing older versions of files that support WordPress, but won’t let you log into your website.

Solution

This is a simple fix. All you have to do is:

  • Check to make sure cookies are enabled;
  • Clear both your browser cache and cookies.

Then, try again to log into your WordPress site. Hopefully, this does the trick!


Redirected Site URL

The WordPress address URL is where your WordPress core files are installed. The site address URL is the address people type into their browser to reach your website. If either of these are messed up, you could run into all sorts of issues, including the inability to log into your website.

When they are correct – and not causing WordPress login issues – this is what it will look like in the backend of your website in the WordPress dashboard when you go to Settings > General:

wordpress and site address url

If you do any of the following, your site URL may redirect:

  • Migrate your WordPress website;
  • Move the WordPress core to a subdirectory;
  • Make an error while working with your WordPress database;
  • Install an SSL certificate on your server;
  • Create a multisite network and change the network name or subsite address;
  • Install a security plugin and change the default wp-admin or wp-login address.

Worried about making changes to your database? Check out this easy to follow tutorial on how to back up your database in WordPress – just in case.

Solution

To fix the WordPress and/or site URLs, you’ll need to edit the wp-config.php file using an FTP client such as Filezilla. This file is where your most important WordPress settings are.

Once you log in to your FTP client, go to your wp-config.php file. This may be in your wp-content or wp-includes folders. When you find it, right click on the folder and click Edit. Then, add the following code snippet right before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing:’

 define('WP_HOME','https://www.example.com');
 define('WP_SITEURL','https://www.example.com'); 

Make sure to replace example.com with your own domain name. Lastly, save your changes and upload the file back to your website. This should fix the login issue you’re having if the login problem is because of a redirected site URL.


Syntax Error

If you’re the type of person that likes to edit code in the backend of your website, you might encounter some WordPress login issues from time to time. In fact, a syntax error is usually going to present itself as the dreaded white screen of death. If this happens, you will not be able to log in to your website or do anything else for that matter.

Solution

There are two fixes if you accidentally make an error to your website’s code:

  1. Return to the file you just edited, repair the code you made an error on, and save your changes;
  2. If the errors are extensive, you might have to put a fresh install of WordPress onto your site and return your site to a backup that you should have ready to go.

Remember, it’s always important to back your WordPress website up anytime you’re making cod changes – just in case.


Connectivity Issue

Everyone runs into poor internet connections every now and then. In fact, if you see an error that says something like “error establishing a connection” it’s either your internet connection or your web server that’s causing issues. This could lead to a whole host of issues, including the inability to log in to your website.

Solution:

If you’ve found that your internet connection is fine, and yet you’re still having connection issues, it’s time to look to your web hosting provider. First, check the status of your web server and see if its experiencing any downtime.

If that’s not the problem, contact your web host right away to troubleshoot and resolve the issue quickly. There’s always a chance your site has been compromised and you have been blocked from accessing it, which is a major problem.

Here’s a look at some of the best web hosting providers in the market to date, all of which are unlikely to have downtime or connectivity issues.


Key Takeaways

As annoying as it might be, WordPress login issues tend to arise no matter how good the platform, themes, and plugins you use are. This is why it’s better to be prepared for anything.  The above-mentioned issues are some of the most common ones and typically have really easy fixes.

Please let us know if there are any other common WordPress login issues we have not covered and we will feature them, along with solutions to help!

🔧 And at the end of the day, if this all sounds far too complicated for you to handle yourself, you can always subscribe to a WP Buffs WordPress maintenance service plan so that they can take care of this, while you spend your time on what matters most like publishing killer content, reaching out to new leads, or even just enjoying some relaxing time off.

Have you ever had a run in with any of the most common WordPress login issues? If so, how did you resolve them? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!