Third Time Lucky How I Conquered WordPress – Third Time’s a Charm

This post will share the experience I have gained using WordPress over the last 12 months. I will be able to clear light on what I mean with Third Time Lucky How I Conquered WordPress!

More importantly, I will try my best to point out common errors you may make when trying to install, run or want to move an existing WordPress site to another hosting provider. 

Things that generally seem straightforward can have a turn for the worst. 

It’s essential to keep this post as simple as possible and easy to digest for those who aren’t too tech-savvy or have never looked at WordPress.

I will touch on the following:

The reason you might need a WordPress site.

WordPress is one of the world’s most popular and easiest CMS systems. It’s used by over 450 million sites globally. Did I mention that it’s also free? It’s open source and runs under the GPLv2 license. It’s very SEO (highly optimized for search engine optimization) friendly, and Google loves it. 

Also worth mentioning is the vast developer community that has developed thousands of useful plugins and themes. Such plugins and themes are free or come in a premium edition that offers extra features.

Individuals planning on running a WordPress site can benefit from posting frequent diary-style posts. They can also monetize the contents of such posts. Monetizing with content requires a good understanding of SEO, but with the help of WordPress plugins, help is just around the corner.

Definition of “Third Time Lucky.”

People have said it takes two attempts to learn a new language but fail. Perhaps the third attempt will be successful! The same goes for this post topic. It will maybe take two failed attempts to install WordPress, but on their 3rd attempt, they will succeed.

It’s important never to give up. Trying again and again will always result in another outcome. It will always show as a better solution; in the end, the rewards make it all worth it.

So, don’t give up. You might not find the answer right away, but with constant research into the problem you are currently facing, you will become part of the “Third Time Lucky How I Conquered WordPress” story.

There are excellent resources available to help you troubleshoot and solve the issues. Some will find help through Google search, and others will acquire help by joining specific forums and posting questions there.

YouTube is another excellent platform where anyone can find step-by-step videos explaining how to fix problems. Give it a try!

Third Time Lucky How I Conquered WordPress Manually

Prerequisites you must consider before starting.

I explained in an earlier article the use of running a local server on my personal computer when I started learning WordPress. If you are planning to run it on your local computer, the need of a domain name isn’t needed. I also explain the software I use to run a local server.

Remote hosting explained: If you plan to host it on a professional web host, purchasing a domain name and hosting web package is required. 

Most web hosts these days support a one-click WordPress installation, taking away the extra step of needing to upload WordPress manually.

However, you can do this if you require a manual installation of WordPress. 

Manual installation of WordPress explained: You will need to download the latest version of WordPress, mainly supplied as a ZIP file, and manually upload and uncompress it to your web host via FTP (File Transfer. Protocol).

Once you have uploaded the contents of your WordPress copy, you can proceed with configuring your WordPress installation. For that, you will need access details for your MySQL database. 

Your web host has already created a MySQL database if you choose the route of a one-click installation. You should be able to find the relevant access details for your MySQL database, such as login information, on your web host’s account page.

You can access your WordPress setup through a URL similar to this:

https// Change “” with the domain name you purchased from your web host.

During setup, ensure to provide all the needed information. Select a strong password and give your correct email. Your email is vital in the event of resetting a forgotten email.

You will be successfully redirected to the admin login page if all the necessary information is correct. You can log in with the username and password you chose during the setup phase.

Congratulation. You have successfully installed WordPress and are ready to rule to world.

Next step, select a theme that fits your taste or niche.

As mentioned earlier, the WordPress community is vast, and many themes exist. There are free and premiums themes to choose. It’s ultimately your own choice to pick.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm

Once you find your theme, it’s simply a matter of clicking download and activating it from inside your Appearance->Theme dashboard.

After activating your theme, you are ready to customize it to fit the niche that you are catering to your blog.

Depending on your theme, there are different customization options available, which I will cover in another post.

Welcome to the world of WordPress plugins.

Thanks to the community of developers, WordPress has amassed a vast collection of plugins and themes. As the name implies, plugins plug into your standard WordPress system and add extra enhancements to your site. Such enhancements vary depending on each plugin.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm searching for plugins

You can search for plugins from your WordPress dashboard under the side menu Plugins->AddNew. After locating a plugin of your choice, click download to install and activate it.

After successful activation, your plugin will be visible under the list of already installed plugins, found under your side menu Plugin->Installed Plugins. This area is where you can access the settings and configuration of any given plugin, provided they feature such settings. 

Like with themes, plugins require their own post, which is coming soon.

Time to set up your categories for your niche.

Categories are fundamental to ensuring your audience can quickly find the information they are looking for. Most of the time, blog posts are categorized. 

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm add and configure categories

Categories can assist in maintaining the relevance of each post. It’s also easier for your audience to access other posts relevant to the same category.

The category section is available through the side menu under Posts->Categories. Adding new categories is self-explanatory, as most fields explain to fill out contain notes.

Once you have created your categories, ensure to add those to your related posts if you have any.

It’s time to get creative and put on your writer’s hat.

With most of the hard work of primarily setting up and configuring your WordPress site, it’s time to create content.

My article, WordPress for Passive Income Streams – Start Earning Today!, explains how to write fresh and engaging content in simple terms.

I touch on issues about never having written or English being a second language. I recommend alternative solutions, such as using software like Grammarly or hiring professional content writers. Please check it out. Getting started is more straightforward than you may think.  

I also recommend a minimum of 10 posts to publish. It wouldn’t make sense to write a few articles and lose potential visitors finding your website.

Also, remember to assign one or multiple categories before clicking the publish button.

My article also makes mentioning of SEO and how to optimize each post. I use Squirrly SEO, a fantastic WordPress plugin, to assist me with SEO optimization. I am soon publishing a new article where I dive into more details about Squirrly SEO. Stay tuned or subscribe to be notified when it’s live. 

Nothing always works out of the box. WordPress is no exception!

As with anything, nothing always works flawlessly. Neither does WordPress. From internal server errors to just a blank white screen, aka “White Screen of Death.” Not to confuse with the “Blue Screen of Death.” from the era of WindowsNT. 

Let’s review some common errors and how to fix them quickly. This section might not have the answer to all the problems you are currently facing. If so, I highly suggest searching on StackOverflow as they have a vast audience of knowledgeable members.

1. A typical WordPress Parse Error/Syntax Error.

The ‘parse error’ (or ‘syntax error’) is one of the easy ones to look at. Most errors will mostly give you little information about what is causing the error. The parse error will at least provide an indication of what exactly is wrong and where to start troubleshooting this error.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm add and configure categories syntax parse error

This common error occurs when your website encounters a code-related issue, typically inside your functions.php file that is part of your WordPress theme.

To correct this error, you need to modify it manually by accessing it with a paid SFTP client such as Transmit (Mac OS X) or a free, open-source alternative like FileZilla (Mac OS X, Windows, Java). Connect to your website backend directory using the details provided by your web host.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm syntax parse error access file via sftp

The parse error will display the needed path of your file. The location of the file is:



Navigate to this file and right-click it to select the option to edit it. This action should open your file in the editor of your choice, such as Visual Studio Code.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm syntax parse error fix functions.php file

Locate the line where this error is present in the functions.php file and remove the extra bracket. Once done, save your file. Your SFTP client will prompt you to replace the file with your newer version. After completing these steps, your site should function normally again.

2. The “White Screen of Death” (WSoD)

If your website displays a blank white screen, you may have a critical error in your WordPress code that you need to fix.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm white screen of death wsod

This error doesn’t replace your site but will create a completely blank page without help or errors.

Several different reasons might cause this error. Usually, it means your web host couldn’t load your site correctly.

So, you have several options when trying to troubleshoot.

Disable recently loaded plugins.

A faulty plugin could cause the WSoD, so try disabling all plugins or just those newly installed ones and see if that helps.

Disable the currently installed theme.

Just like plugins, themes, especially after an automatic update, can cause an error. Remove your current activated theme via SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) and upload one of WordPress’s default themes.

Enable WordPress’s built-in debug mode.

WordPress has many useful features. Debug mode is one of them, which allows you to see errors directly on each page, which will help you locate the cause of a WSoD.

Your browser cache needs purging.

After all your work to fix your WSoD, your caching solution might still be causing problems. So clear your browser cache and see if that solves the problem.

Your WordPress memory is too low.

Your site might not have sufficient memory assigned for WordPress to operate correctly. Try increasing its maximum memory limit by editing your .htaccess file on your website root directory.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm white screen of death wsod increase php memory limit

To access your .htaccess file, you must connect to your website’s root directory via SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). Once done so, add the following line of codes to this file just below the paragraph that reads “# END WordPress“:

php_value memory_limit 256M

3. The Allmighty 404 Error. Page not Found!

The “Oops. Page not found error!” seems to be a too familiar error experienced by millions globally.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm 404 page not found error

A web server will throw this error when it cannot find the page. This error is widespread for anyone running into broken links or changed URLs, but it’s still possible that the page you’re looking for is available elsewhere.

The most likely cause is, once again, the .htaccess file. This file may redirect your URLs incorrectly, harming your Google rankings.

So, the course of action would be first to regenerate a new .htaccess containing the following code (best to copy/paste it):

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
# END WordPress

Once you complete this step, upload this file to your website’s root directory using your SFTP client. This solution will resolve the 404 error you are experiencing most of the time.

Disable automated plugins and theme updates.

I highly suggest disabling automatic updates of installed plugins and themes to avoid unpredicted errors. In many cases, newer plugins may not function correctly with your current themes causing unforeseen conflicts.

New versions of WordPress may cause problems with current older and outdated plugins. In this happens, you might need to disable such plugins and wait for an update for a particular plugin. This problem could force you to disable a plugin and use an alternative one until the original plugin receives an update.

Recommended daily tasks should include monitoring your website and regularly performing updates. A plugin such as WordFence can send emails when your website plugins require updates.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence email report of outdate plugins or themes

Secure your site. Protect your hard work and investment!

There is nothing worst than losing your website to someone who managed to hack and take control of your site. This scenario is too common and would force you to start over again.

Therefore, it’s very critical to select a very strong and hard-to-guess password during the setup phase of your WordPress site. Still, some very experienced hackers can crack passwords and create havoc on your site.

Such devastation can come in the form of unwanted spam inside posts or comments that can destroy the brand of your WordPress site. Enough to turn away any potential new audience or lose any subscribers you already have.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence plugin screen

Once again, I will mention this amazing plugin named WordFence. I forgot to say that it was free. The free version has a feature that will allow you to enable 2FA for your WordPress website, adding an extra step needed during the login process. 2FA stands for Two-factor authentication.

Enabling this feature is straightforward. After downloading and activating the WordFence plugin, you need to enable 2FA manually.

The process requires you to scan a QRCode using a free mobile app called “Google Authenticator.” It’s freely available on iOS and Android

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence qrcode to scan and active on site

Once you scan this code, the mobile app will add it to your list of known websites. Google Authenticator app will generate a random six-digit code for your site that changes every minute. You need this particular code to enable WordFence’s 2FA security successfully.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence google authenticator app with a list of added website

Always write down your recovery codes. If you lose your mobile device or any other issues you may encounter with 2FA, you got the required recovery codes to gain access to your account.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence download a copy of your recovery codes

After you successfully enabled 2FA, it’s time to test it. Log out from the admin dashboard and try to login in again. After supplying and submitting your login credentials, you will see a new page asking you to enter a six-digit security code. As you have guessed, it is available inside your Google Authenticator mobile app. After submitting your code, WordFence will redirect you to your admin dashboard as usual.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence enter your 2fa code to continue

Another benefit this plugin offers is that it will alert you via email of any failed login attempts to your site. These emails arrive quickly and are informative, but you must set up an email address under your WordFence settings for this to work.

third time lucky how i conquered wordpress third times a charm wordfence report of failed login attempt

I use this plugin on every one of my client’s websites and never experience any issues. I highly recommend it. To read more about the Wordfence Security plugin, please visit this article, where I explain three easy steps on how to configure the plugin.


I have touched the surface barely on issues you may experience when setting up a brand new WordPress site or an existing one. There are too many to cover in this article. It’s important to understand that there are solutions to any problems one may encounter.

The internet provides the knowledge and the people to share solutions to problems to you WordPress-related or general website-related issues. If you get stuck, reach out. A website like StackOverflow is a good starting point to seek additional help and bring you closer to your quest for “Third Time Lucky How I Conquered WordPress.”

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