WordPress admin area functions exactly as other areas of the system. You can access the backend dashboard by using a login system (“/wp_admin”) and you can add posts, etc.
There are many possible causes, but they are all fairly easy to fix.
It is possible that your system has been infected by malware. This is the most important thing to remember. This is something I have seen before. Hackers inject code into WordPress systems in the hopes that it will distribute fake referrals.
You should contact a technician if you suspect that WordPress has a malware problem. It happened to us several times and we had to change hosts.
Malware is unlikely to be high up on your list. The likely problem is either a plugin that prevents you from logging in, or another issue that stops WordPress from authenticating.
There are many reasons that the admin area does not work, as we have already mentioned.
- WordPress was unable to update its core files due to a bad update
- Some plugins prevent logins from happening
- Your app is set to https:// but you are still experiencing redirect loops.
- It is possible that your system has had its files modified on the server.
- WordPress could have been infected by malware
It is important to remember that WordPress was built with PHP.
PHP is a scripting language that provides basic “dynamic” functionality for Internet-centric applications. It allows you to create dynamic pages and login/logoff functionality.
PHP is a well-known and widely supported platform that has been around for decades. However, PHP can sometimes fail to function properly in certain circumstances.
It’s likely the case that your WordPress installation is experiencing this issue, although there are a number of other problems (hosting/malware/coding issues etc) which be causing it, too.
There are six steps you can take to fix the problem.
1. Clear Browser Cache
Clearing your browser’s cache is the first step.
Your browser’s “cache” basically stores login information, websites, and other data.
It allows your browser to save the files that are important to you, which will allow it to load files/websites quicker. It is so important that you would be amazed at its importance.
The admin panel of WordPress may not have had its cache updated. Although it is rare, the login problem can still occur.
- Click the “vertical dots menu” at the top of the Chrome Window
- Select “Settings” from the drop-down
- Click on “Advanced”, you’ll need to scroll down
- Select “Clear Browsing data” in the “Privacy and Security” section.
- Make sure you check every box to make sure that “All Time” has been selected
- Click on the blue box to “Clear Data”.
- It will clean out the cache
- Click the “Horizontal Lines” menu in the upper right corner of the screen
- Choose “Options”.
- Select Privacy (left sidebar).
- Click “Clear your Recent History”
- Make sure you select all items.
- Click “Clear Now”.
- It will clean out the cache
- Microsoft Edge
- Click the “dots” menu in the upper right corner of the Window
- Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu
- Scroll down to “Clear Browsing Data”.
- Click the “Choose which to clear” button
- Click “Clear” to select all options
- It will clean out the cache
While this won’t fix the problem, it will ensure that your browsers don’t cause any more problems.
2. Get Access to CPanel
Next, you will need to access CPanel or the equivalent control panel for hosting.
Every WordPress needs to be hosted. The control panel used by your host will determine how you manage the resources and servers.
Access to your files is essential.
This is done using “File Manager” in CPanel. It may vary depending on what type of hosting you use…
- Log in to your hosting provider
- Navigate to the control panel, and search for the “File manager” option of your system.
You should talk to your host to gain access to the file manager if you are unable to access it.
You will need the following to use FTP:
- Download FTP software (FileZilla is the one I remember using).
- Run the downloaded application
- In the “IP” or “Address” box, type in “ftp.yourdomain.com (or whatever FTP address it is – your host can tell you more).
- You’ll need your FTP username and password to fill in the boxes. Your host can also help you if you don’t know these details.
Once you have access to your files, you can then begin working on a fix.
3. Disable plugins (Rename Folder).
Once you have access to the files you will need to rename “plugins” folder.
This folder can be renamed to disable any plugins running on WordPress. This may temporarily cause issues, but it should eliminate the potential problem.
- You can access the “WordPress Installation Folder” by clicking on it (the presence of “wp_includes”) etc.
- Browse to “wp_content” after you have found the WordPress folder.
- This folder contains the “plugins folder”.
- Change the name of the folder to “plugins_bk”.
- Reopen your web browser to try to log in to WordPress again
If the plugin works, you can re-download it and then try to enable each one until the problem is solved.
You can try to fix the core settings of WordPress if it does not work.
4. Modify Admin Password in DB
As mentioned, the WordPress system is built on PHP.
The beauty of this system is in the way it uses a database for the storage of various information/content for your website.
If you have problems logging in, you might need to modify some settings within the database.
Any legitimate host should be able to access the database management portal. It can be used with the following:
- To access your hosting control panel, click here
- You will find the “database section” in your browser (this varies from one host to another).
- Most hosting providers will offer “PHPMyAdmin” which allows you to manage your WordPress databases.
- Choose the WordPress installation you want from the list.
- Go to the “users” table
- Choose your administrator account
- Type a new password in the “password” field
- Select MD5 in the “type” field
- To save your entry, click “OK”.
- Try logging back into your WP installation
This is not a complete list. Each host does this differently.
If you are having trouble following these steps, it is best to contact your hosting provider or a company that can provide support.
5. Be sure you’re not in an HTTPS redirect loop
An “HTTPS redirect loop” is one of the major causes of admin area “lockout” in WordPress.
This is where you’ll set up HTTPS on your site. It will also have a redirect facility that will prevent you from accessing its admin area.
Further, cookies are only used to access the domain that you are visiting. HTTP and HTTPS are completely different entities. Logging into one version does not allow you to access the other.
Here’s how to fix it:
- Click on the “wp_options” table in the WordPress Database, as mentioned in Step 4.
- Look for the option “siteurl”.
- It should be “http ://…”
- You should also look for other references to the domain/protocol of the site.
- Make sure to include the “http ://…” reference in any correspondence you have.
- Clear the browser’s cache (step 1)
- Log in to your system again
It may be worth replacing the core WordPress files if this fails.
6. Replace WordPress Core Files
Next, replace the WordPress core files within your system.
First, ensure that the “config” file (wp-config.php) is secure.
- You can access the files again for WordPress (step #2).
- Navigate to the base folder of your WordPress installation
- Look for “wpconfig.php”
- It can be downloaded to your PC
- Once you have done this, go to your favorite search engine and look for “WordPress Download”
- The WordPress.org website is a good place to start.
- Click the blue “download” button
- After saving the files, unzip them into a folder on your computer.
- Go back to your hosting file manager
- Rename the folder “WordPress” to something like “wp_bk”, or something similar.
- You can create a new folder called WordPress (with the exact same name) from this page.
- Upload all files from WordPress to this folder
- Copy wpconfig.php to the base folder. It should replace what is already there
- You can access the site by clicking here
You can simply rename the old WP directory to your original name if you have any problems.
If you are still unable to solve the problem, you can seek out more detailed support. You have several options. One is to use online communities such as SuperUser or Microsoft Answers, or you can get help from your hosting account. You can also use Fiverr to find people willing to help you solve WordPress problems. However, these guys will need to be paid.
WordPress is a flexible platform. Accessing the admin area of your application is not a problem. It will serve your site well to have a WordPress company “check up” it. They will be able give you a rundown on what is working and what is not. The company should be able address any issues in the admin area.