How do I fix a WordPress “Publishing Failed” or “Update Failed” issue?

Managing a WordPress website can be a rewarding experience, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges.

One frustrating issue that many WordPress users encounter is the dreaded “publishing failed” or “update failed” error.

These errors can disrupt your workflow and prevent you from making important updates to your site.

In this blog, we will explore the common causes behind these errors and provide you with step-by-step troubleshooting solutions to fix them.

Let’s dive in and regain control of your WordPress publishing process!

Common Causes of “Publishing Failed” or “Update Failed” Errors

Before we jump into the solutions, it’s essential to understand what might be causing these errors in the first place. The most common culprits include:

1. Weak or Interrupted Internet Connection

A stable internet connection is crucial for smooth website management. If your connection is weak or keeps dropping, it can lead to publishing failures.

2. Conflicts Caused by Plugins or Themes

Sometimes, certain plugins or themes might not play well together, causing conflicts that prevent updates from going through.

3. Insufficient PHP Memory Limit

WordPress relies on PHP memory to perform various tasks. If your PHP memory limit is too low, it can lead to errors during publishing or updating.

4. Incorrect File Permissions

Incorrect file and folder permissions can prevent WordPress from writing data to the server.

5. Database Issues

Problems with your WordPress database can also result in publishing or update failures.

6. Overly Aggressive Security Plugins

While security plugins are essential, some may be too aggressive in blocking legitimate actions, causing issues with publishing.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix WordPress “Publishing Failed” or “Update Failed” Issue

Now that we know what might be causing the “publishing failed” or “update failed” errors, let’s go through the step-by-step solutions to resolve them:

Step 1: Check Your Internet Connection

Before you proceed with any other troubleshooting, ensure you have a stable internet connection. Consider restarting your router or contacting your internet service provider if necessary.

Step 2: Clear Browser Cache

Cached data in your browser might conflict with WordPress. To clear your browser cache, follow these steps:

  • For Google Chrome: Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete, select the appropriate time range, and click “Clear Data.”
  • For Mozilla Firefox: Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete, choose the time range, and click “Clear Now.”
  • For Safari: Go to Safari > Clear History, select the time range, and click “Clear History.”

Step 3: Disable Plugins

Sometimes, a faulty plugin can be the culprit. Temporarily deactivate all your plugins and check if the issue persists. If it resolves the problem, reactivate plugins one by one to identify the problematic one.

Step 4: Switch to Default Theme

Switch to a default WordPress theme (e.g., Twenty Twenty-One) to rule out any theme-related conflicts. If the error disappears, consider contacting the theme developer or checking for updates.

Step 5: Increase PHP Memory Limit

A low PHP memory limit can hinder WordPress functionality. To increase it, access your website’s root directory and locate the wp-config.php file.

Add the following line just before “That’s all, stop editing!”:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

You can adjust the value if needed.

Step 6: Check File Permissions

Incorrect file permissions can prevent WordPress from writing data. Using a File Manager, change folder permissions to 755 and file permissions to 644.

Step 7: Verify Database

Use the “WP-DBManager” plugin or similar plugins to repair and optimize your database.

Step 8: Disable Security Plugins

Temporarily deactivate aggressive security plugins to see if they are causing the issues.

Step 9: Check for Core Updates

Ensure you are using the latest WordPress version. Update WordPress to the latest version if needed.

Step 10: Contact Your Hosting Provider

If none of the above solutions work, reach out to your hosting provider for assistance. They may be able to identify any server-related issues.


Encountering “publishing failed” or “update failed” issues in WordPress can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can overcome these challenges.

By checking your internet connection, clearing your browser cache, deactivating plugins, and verifying your PHP memory limit and file permissions, you’ll be well on your way to resolving these errors.

Remember to stay up-to-date with WordPress core updates and consider reaching out to your hosting provider for additional support.