WordPress "There has been a critical error on your website" message

Looking for some suggestions on troubleshooting…

My DH WordPress site was installed via the Panel’s “One-Click Install” system around about 2 years ago with whatever version of WP was one-click version at that time. Since then, I have upgraded a couple of times via the dashboard from within my site. I haven’t had to do much since March, so when I logged in this morning, I got a notice that the WP 5.8 upgrade was available. I made a backup via JetPack (I think?) then had the site perform its upgrade, and it appeared to be successful.

However, while the site itself appears to be okay (I didn’t really notice any obvious changes), I can no longer access any admin functionality; i.e., any time I try to get to the dashboard, themes, plugins, new post, etc., I get a error message:

" There has been a critical error on this website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.

Learn more about troubleshooting WordPress."

The email contained the following specifics on my site:
WordPress version 5.7.2
Current theme: Salinger (version 1.1.3)
Current plugin: Total Upkeep (version 1.14.13)
PHP version 7.4.15

There was also a link to try logging in via “Recovery mode”, but that too gives an error, “Recovery Mode not initialized.”

I’ve tried manually resetting the plugins, and the theme, per the suggestions at https://wordpress.org/support/article/faq-troubleshooting/ , but neither of those were effective, even when having both disabled at the same time, which leads me to believe that the error is in the WP code itself, but I have no idea where to even begin for something like that—any suggestions?

1 Like

Editing wp-config.php and setting define('WP_DEBUG', true); might help with pointing out which file(s) are causing an issue.

Alternatively (or additionally), if you have a recent backup you could revert to the latest backup, log in to your admin panel and update all themes/plugins individually (or disable them entirely) before updating wp core itself.

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