Blog Menu

I write and curate content for Bluehost. I hope this blog post is helpful.
Are you looking at creating a blog, website or an online store? Bluehost has something for everyone. Get started today.

Are you struggling with the dreaded error of establishing a database connection in WordPress

This is a common issue that can be incredibly frustrating and bewildering for website owners, but fortunately, it can be fixed. 

In this guide, we will discuss how to resolve the database connection error, which can manifest itself in various ways, such as a failed PHP database connection, a database connection issue, or the inability to establish a database connection at all. 

By understanding the reasons behind a database connection issue, you can take the necessary steps to ensure your website is back up and running in no time. 

So, whether you’re encountering a “database connection could not be established” message, or dealing with a “no database connection” scenario, read on to learn how to tackle this challenge and restore your WordPress site to its full functionality.

What causes errors in establishing a database connection in WordPress?

When the WordPress website cannot connect to the MySQL database to obtain the required data, it results in the error of establishing a database connection in WordPress. Numerous things, such as improper login information, server problems, or a corrupted database, might cause this. Here are a few common explanations for why this issue occurs:

1. Incorrect database credentials 

For WordPress to connect, it needs the right database name, username, password, and host. The connection will terminate with an error if any of these credentials are missing or altered.

2. Database corruption 

There are several reasons why a database might get corrupted, including a theme or plugin conflict, a failed update, or a hacker attack. WordPress would not be able to access the data if the database was damaged, which might lead to a connection error.

3. Problems with your web hosting server

WordPress and the MySQL database may not be able to communicate if your server is unavailable or having problems. This may occur if the server is overloaded, facing technical problems, or undergoing maintenance.

4. Exceeded server capacity 

The database connection may fail if there is an unexpected spike in traffic to your website beyond the server’s capacity. In these situations, the mistake could just be momentary and go away as soon as the traffic stops. 

5. Corrupted WordPress files 

Connection problems may arise from corrupted or damaged WordPress files. A hacker attack, a conflicting plugin or theme, or a failed upgrade might all be the cause of this. 

6. Issues with the database server 

WordPress may encounter an error establishing a database connection if there are issues with the MySQL server itself, such as misconfigured servers or software incompatibilities.

How to fix the WordPress “Error establishing a database connection” in 6 methods

The six most popular fixes for the WordPress “Error Establishing a Database Connection” issue are shown below. 

Make sure to back up your website before attempting to fix the mistake. You may use the backup to restore your website in case something goes wrong.

1. Check your WordPress database credentials

Incorrect database credentials are the most frequent cause of WordPress database connection errors. This is probably the case if you just switched hosts for your WordPress website. 

The wp-config.php file contains the database credentials for your WordPress site. Important WordPress settings, including database information, are contained in the WordPress configuration file. 

You must confirm that the database host, username, password, and database name are all accurate. 

The dashboard of your WordPress hosting account allows you to verify this information. Just sign onto your hosting account, navigate to the database area, and select MySQL databases.

This will direct you to your hosting dashboard’s database management page. This is where you may discover the username and database name.

The database users and links to modify user passwords are located underneath that.

You may adjust your database name, username, and password in your wp-config.php file if necessary once you’ve verified them. 

Check to see whether the database connection problem has disappeared after that by trying to browse your website once again. 

If the mistake is still visible, then there must be another issue. For other troubleshooting techniques, keep reading.

2. Check your database host information

You might wish to confirm that you are using the right database host information if you are certain that your database name, username, and password are accurate. 

Localhost is the database host that the majority of WordPress hosting companies use. Nonetheless, some managed WordPress hosting providers maintain databases on different servers. Your database host information won’t be localhost in that scenario. 

To verify your database host details, get in touch with your WordPress hosting provider.

3. Repair the WordPress database

Should you see an alternative problem on WordPress Administrator, such as “One or more database tables are unavailable,” or if it says, “The database may need to be repaired,” your database needs to be fixed. 

Adding a line to your wp-config.php file will do this. Make sure to add it just before ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ line wp-config.php.

After that, go to this page to view the settings:

Note: To access the database repair page, the user does not need to be logged in. After completing your database optimization and repairs, be sure to delete this code from your wp-config.php file.

4. Check if your database server is down

If all appears okay and WordPress is still unable to establish a connection with the database, there’s a chance your MySQL database server is unavailable.

A server experiencing high traffic may be the cause of this. In essence, the demand is too much for your host server to handle (particularly when you are on shared hosting).

Your website will become extremely sluggish, and for certain users, an error message may appear. Therefore, the best course of action is to contact your hosting company by phone or live chat and inquire about the responsiveness of your MySQL server.

You may verify that your SQL server is down by visiting any other websites that are hosted on the same server.

Go to your hosting panel, try to access phpMyAdmin, and connect the database if you don’t have any other websites hosted on the same account. 

If you can connect, we must confirm that your database user has the necessary authorization. Make a testconnection.php new file.

Ensure that the password and username are changed. This file is now ready to be uploaded to your website and accessed using a web browser. 

If the script connects properly, then something else is incorrect and your user has adequate access. 

Check that everything is right in your wp-config file by going back and doing a second check for typos.

5. Fix the corrupted files

Corrupted files can also be the cause of “Error Establishing a Database Connection,” in addition to flawed databases.

A malfunctioning theme or plugin is one of the things that can ruin a file. Examine each one independently to see which part is generating the problem. If you activate a new theme and the error persists, it may be related to your theme.

Go to AppearanceThemes in your WordPress dashboard and change to a different theme to fix this issue.  

If modifying the theme is ineffective in resolving the “Error Establishing a Database Connection” issue, a corrupted plugin may be the cause. To identify the offending plugin in this situation, try turning off each one and then turning it back on one at a time.

As an alternative, you may rename the relevant folder in your hosting control panel to disable all WordPress plugins. This is how you do that.


Navigate to the public_html directory in the File Manager and click the wp_content folder. Next, give the plugins folder you’re using a new name.


Open the File Manager option from the dashboard of your cPanel account. Choose wp_contentpublic_html to find the plugins folder. To rename the folder, right-click on it.

You will instantly disable all of your plugins if you do this. To disable any WordPress theme, follow the same troubleshooting procedures. It will be far more difficult to identify the source of the issue if you disable both the themes and the plugins at the same time.

Renaming the plugins folder may resolve the error, indicating that a plugin is the problem.

Rename the plugins folder to what it was originally called after you’ve gotten back access to the back end of your website. In this manner, every WordPress plugin will remain dormant, but you will be able to activate anyone from the admin panel.

Having said that, attempt uploading the core files again to your WordPress website if the aforementioned solutions fail. Download a new version of WordPress to accomplish this.

After the download is finished, extract the contents. Remove the wp-content folder and the wp-config-sample.php file from within the folder.

Open an FTP program and upload the remaining WordPress files to your root folder after removing them. At this point, all of the damaged files on your server ought to be safely overwritten.

6. Create a new database

Your database may be completely ruined and unusable if none of the aforementioned techniques work. In this scenario, you must utilize your hosting control panel to establish a new MySQL database and user.

Restore your website backup once a new MySQL database has been built to make sure you don’t lose any important website data.


Users of hPanel just need to select MySQL Databases by hovering over Databases. A section for creating a new MySQL database and database user may be found on the home page.

After entering your login, password, and database name, click the Create button. Remember that the database password has to be at least eight characters long, a mix of capital and lowercase letters.

The new database will then show up on the List of Current MySQL Databases and Users after you’re done. After that, you may handle the database and do various operations, such as backing up data.


Navigate to Databases > MySQL Databases in cPanel. The area labeled “Create New Database” will be at the top of the page. Click Create Database when you have finished entering the new database name.

Your new database will then be added by the system to the list of Current Databases.

From the same box, you can also create a new MySQL user and assign it to your newly created database. Depending on their level of access, users can do a variety of actions, such as altering rows and adding new tables.

Just click Create User after entering your new database username and password in the MySQL Users section.

To add a newly generated user to your new database, scroll down.

There are two choices available to you to examine or fix your database under the Modify Databases section. Select the Repair Database option to fix a corrupted database.

When the procedure is complete, go to your WordPress website to check if the “Error Establishing a Database Connection” notice is still shown.

Using phpMyAdmin to fix database tables is an additional option. Just choose DatabasesphpMyAdmin to accomplish this. To view all of the tables, click the name of your database.

Next, pick the Repair table option by clicking on the dropdown menu that appears next to the Check All button.

It will cause any corrupted table to be fixed by starting the REPAIR_TABLE statement.


In conclusion, there are a number of factors that can contribute to the error in establishing a database connection in WordPress. By understanding the root cause, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve the problem, ensuring your website’s smooth operation. 

It’s crucial to regularly monitor your website’s performance, maintain up-to-date backups, and keep your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes updated to minimize the risk of encountering this error. With the right knowledge and tools, you can quickly fix the error by establishing a database connection and maintaining a stable, secure, and reliable WordPress website for your visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an error that is unable to establish a connection to the database?

The error “unable to establish a connection to the database” occurs when the WordPress site is unable to communicate with the MySQL database to fetch the required information. This error can be caused by various factors, such as incorrect database credentials, server issues, a corrupted database, or exceeded server capacity.

Why is WordPress not connecting to the local database?

WordPress might not connect to the local database due to several reasons, including incorrect database credentials (database name, username, password, or host), corrupted WordPress files, issues with the database server, or a corrupted database.

How do I repair a WordPress database?

To repair a WordPress database, follow these steps:
1. Create a backup of your WordPress site and database.
2. Access your site’s wp-config.php file using an FTP client or the File Manager in your hosting control panel.
3. Locate the line that says, “/ That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. /”
4. Just before that line, add the following code: “define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);”
5. Save the changes and close the file.
6. Open your web browser and navigate to “” (replace “” with your actual domain name).
7. You will see the WordPress database repair page with two options: “Repair Database” and “Repair and Optimize Database.” Choose the appropriate option based on your needs.
8. Once the repair process is complete, remove the line you added in step d from the wp-config.php file to prevent unauthorized access to the repair page.

How can I prevent this error from occurring in the future?

To prevent the error from occurring in the future:
1. Regularly update your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes.
2. Use strong, unique passwords for your database and hosting accounts.
3. Regularly create backups of your site and database.
4. Choose a reliable hosting provider that offers sufficient resources and server uptime.
5. Monitor your site’s performance and optimize it to reduce the load on the server.
Implement security measures to protect your site from hacking attempts and malware infections.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
Learn more about Bluehost Editorial Guidelines

Write A Comment