If your WordPress site is returning an error message such as “WORDPRESS SOMETIMES FAILS TO UPDATE OR PUBLISH” when you try to make changes, the results can be not only frustrating but can also prevent visitors from accessing what they need. Fortunately, there are a few common causes and workarounds that can help you resolve this issue if you encounter it. With a little troubleshooting, you should be back to your regular posting schedule in no time. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes the “Updating Failed” and “Publishing Failed” errors in WordPress. Then we’ll explain four ways you can fix or work around the problem, to get your content up for readers.
What Causes Updating Failed or Publishing Failed Error in WordPress?
Failure to communicate with the WordPress REST API causes the ‘Updating Failed’ or ‘Publishing Failed’ error in WordPress. Basically, WordPress sometimes uses a set of APIs (programming methods) called ‘REST API’ to send and receive requests to the WordPress database. If it fails to send and receive those requests, then some parts of your WordPress website may not be able to function. This includes the WordPress block editor, which uses the API to send update and publish requests to WordPress.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to troubleshoot and fix the WordPress updating failed error.
Step 1. Check Your Internet Connection and Site URL
The most common cause for updating failed error in WordPress is losing the WiFi connection. If your computer loses the internet connection as you are writing a blog post, then WordPress will fail to save your changes. Make sure you are connected to the internet by visiting other websites in a new browser tab. If your internet is working fine, then the next thing you would want to check is your WordPress site URL setting.
Simply go to Settings » General page and make sure that the Site Address and WordPress Address options are correct. For most websites, you should have the same URLs in both fields. If your site URL settings look ok, and you are connected to the internet, then you can move on to further troubleshooting.
Step 2. Check REST API Status Using WordPress Site Health
WordPress comes with a built-in site health tool, which shows important information about your site’s security and performance. Simply go to the Tools » Site Health page to view the report. If REST API is not working, then you will see it under recommended improvements as ‘The REST API encountered an unexpected result’.
It may also show you some debugging information which may explain what happened when WordPress made the REST API call. Studying this may give you some clue on which plugin or third party service may be causing the issue. However, if it doesn’t give you any clue, then you can move on to the next step.
Step 3. Check Website Firewall Service
If you are using a website firewall service like Sucuri or Cloudflare, then there is a chance that these services may block REST API requests. This could happen if their firewall filters consider your IP address to be suspicious. They may also block REST API requests if your website is under an on going DDOS attack. If you are using Cloudflare, then you can temporarily disable Cloudflare to see if this resolves your issue. Normally, you’ll find Cloudflare settings under Domains section of your hosting dashboard.
Bluehost users can find under My Sites » Manage » Performance tab. If you are using Sucuri, then you can reach out to their support team, and they can whitelist your IP address or let you know what’s causing the issue. Plugins and Firewall services are the most common cause of the updating failed error. However, if you are still seeing the error, then there are a few more things you can do.
Step 4. Disable All Your WordPress Plugins
If a WordPress plugin is causing the REST API to misbehave, then the easiest way to find it out is by deactivating all your WordPress plugins. You can go to the Plugins » Installed Plugins page and check the box to select all plugins. After that, use the Bulk Actions drop down to deactivate all plugins. After that, you can go to the post edit screen and try to update.
If the Updating Failed error disappears, then this means that one of your plugins was causing the issue. You can now start activating your WordPress plugins one at a time and try to reproduce the error. Once you find the plugin causing the issue, you can seek support from plugin author or find an alternative plugin.
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