If you are an digital marketing agency and you find yourself with a new client that has an older WordPress website having performance issues (or if you yourself are starting a new job managing an existing WordPress website, but not sure what’s wrong), I HIGHLY recommend that you start with an AUDIT of the website hosting company, the server settings, the PHP version, the memory (user.ini or php.ini file in root via FTP) and checking compatibility of everything that is currently there. 9 times out of 10 the issues before you with a WordPress website not performing (experiencing 404 errors, http 500 errors, etc.), are often caused by mismanagement of a hosting plan or WordPress account falling behind.
We quickly solved a nonprofit website’s dilemma of a crashing WordPress Dashboard (/wp-admin) with more “server” errors than I’d like to discuss…… with a quick check on their version of PHP. Sure enough, it was still PHP 5.6. We first maximized the memory and settings for 5.6 to make sure that we could access /wp-admin.
Then we upgraded the memory settings for the WordPress installation to ensure that it was getting the necessary resources. After all, technology needs help with communication just like people (yes, I’d like more water if I’m overheating, yes, please turn on the fan, etc.).
Then, once we gained access and upgraded plugins, themes and WordPress, you can begin the process of checking compatibility using WP-Engine’s free PHP Compatibility Checker. DOWNLOAD HERE: https://wordpress.org/plugins/php-compatibility-checker/