Support » Fixing WordPress » Database Error

  • Yes it’s that old chestnut again.

    My site at has been down over six days now. I contacted my server Bluehost for help and explained I was getting a wp-config.php error message. My site was getting the message when trying to load the site and when I tried to login to the dashboard too. The Bluehost Help Team emailed me to say the problem was fixed but I realised it wasn’t. I was now getting an Error establishing a database connection message both on the front and backend of my site. Since then, I’ve emailed my original Help ticket twice and got no reply, opened two new tickets and got no response, and finally, yesterday I tried the Bluehost Live Help Chatline and they basically told me it was down to me to sort out the problem.

    I’m absolutely first class useless when it comes down to coding and all that goes with it. I really haven’t got a clue what to do. I’ve read lots of articles about the error message and how to correct it but I think I’m now more confused than when I started. Could someone please talk me through what to do.

    I’ve posted this thread on Bluehost’s forum but I don’t expect too much help there.


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  • Paul Barthmaier


    Contributor Day Volunteer

    I love cheeky chestnuts! Did you know that in French there’s a word for chestnut, ch√Ętaigne, but you are much more likely to hear the word for brown used, marron. What’s funny is that the word for funny is marrant, which sounds similar to brown, so marrant marron, might be funny chestnut, but I have no idea why or if anyone would ever say that!

    For your problem, though, it’s actually good news that you are getting the Error establishing a database connection because that means that you are actually getting to BlueHost. However, it’s possible that their database server is down and hence your error message. I have heard from others on this forum that BlueHost was experiencing some issues, but I don’t have any direct experience with them.

    It works fine on my end. See screenshot:

    I have heard from others on this forum that BlueHost was experiencing some issues

    Yes, BlueHost along with dozens of other hosting companies under the Endurance International Group experienced major outages.

    Paul Barthmaier


    Contributor Day Volunteer

    Yay, Patrick! While just a minute ago I got the same error establishing a database connection, I’m now closer to seeing the site.

    When I refreshed the page in the screenshot to see if I could get the header image, it timed out!

    Patrick and Pali – I’ve had the problem for a week now, way before Bluehost started experiencing theirs. If you try loading more than one page you’ll get the error message, more often than not on the first page you try.

    Let’s disable all plugins and see what difference that makes. I see you also have a minify plugin installed so please clear that cache also before you disable it.


    I’ve seen this issue quite frequently..It’s usually caused when your hosting provider puts too many accounts on the same server. If another website is eating up too many connections then yours can be dropped.

    Patrick – How do I disable the plugins when I can’t login to my dashboard?

    I hope that isn’t a silly question.

    Paul Barthmaier


    Contributor Day Volunteer


    If you ftp into your site or using FileManager in cPanel, you can rename your plugins folder which will break the connection to what is running. If you are then able to log in to WordPress, you can rename the folder back to plugins.

    Do you have access to FTP or a File Manager?


    Then go to /public_html/wp-content/plugins and rename the plugins folder to something like “plugins-off.”

    However, I’m convinced this isn’t a WordPress problem — it’s something your hosting provider needs to take care off. If they can’t then you may want to consider another provider or upgrade to something a bit more powerful.

    Sorry I took so long. I’ve gone into the files via the Home Directory, there was a choice of four.

    How do I rename the file without individually renaming them all? Can’t figure out how to do that.

    This is a bit like a passenger at the wheel of a Jumbo Jet with all the flight crew out cold in the cockpit. You’re going to have to sweet talk this silver bird on to the tarmac.

    Okay, I’ve renamed each plugin individually and I still can’t login or view my site. I’m getting the same error message. I’ll now put them back to how they were. I’ve got a feeling this plane’s going down with a mighty bump.

    Bluehost have finally got back to me (on Friday I registered a complaint with them) and one of their Help team is looking into the problem. I’ll update on what happens.

    The Bluehost Help team finally came to my aid and recreated and restored my database. My site is now up and running again.

    Thank you to Pali and Patrick for your support.


Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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