Chris Schutte

July 13, 2022

What To Do When You Are Locked Out of WordPress Admin Area

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Website maintenance is an unavoidable part of owning a website. Whether you run your website yourself or hire someone to do it, it remains a challenge that you must address, so you can go back to your regular operations.

One of the most frustrating website maintenance issues is being locked out of your WordPress admin area. This issue can happen for several reasons, but it’s usually due to a forgotten password.

Troubleshooting the issue can help you understand how your WordPress website functions. In this blog post, we go over the significance of the admin area on your website and show you what to do when you’re locked out of it.

What Is the WordPress Admin Area?

WordPress websites have an admin area or dashboard which essentially serves as your control panel. This panel is where you create your content, manage pages, add plugins for extra functions, and personalise your website’s appearance.

Only website administrators have access to the admin area. These individuals are in charge of managing the website to ensure it functions correctly. If you own your website, you may encounter problems that lock you out of the WordPress admin area, including:

  • Internal Server Errors: You might see an internal server error message instead of your usual website. This message appears when your server has an unidentified problem, making it challenging for beginners to know where to begin to solve it.
  • Plugin Problems: Plugins are extra pieces of software that you can add to your WordPress site to extend its functionality. You may get locked out of the admin area when one of the new plugins you installed malfunctions.
  • Password Issues: Normally, you should be able to log into your admin page after entering your username or email address and password. WordPress will display an error message stating that either entry is wrong. You may have forgotten your password, or a hacker changed it.
  • Updated Permissions: As an administrator, you should have access to all the areas that make your website function. If you lost some admin privileges, perhaps you forgot that you modified certain permissions — or hackers deleted them.
  • Hacked Website: Hackers may have taken over your website, blocking you entirely from the site. Aside from losing access to your admin area, your visitors may get infected when they visit your website, losing their trust and affecting your business.

How To Fix Being Locked Out of WordPress Admin Area

Based on the common issues presented above, here are some solutions that you can try:

  • Internal Server Errors: You can fix internal server errors by checking for corrupt .htaccess files. This file is in the same place where you will find folders like wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes. To reach this directory, you will need a File Manager app.
  • Plugin Problems: One way to fix this problem is by temporarily disabling your plugins and then trying to log in again. For this method, you might need to install software like FTP clients or phpMyAdmin.
  • Password Issues: First, try to reset your WordPress password by submitting a request directly from the website’s login page. If you have no access to the email address associated with your admin account, you can reset your password using third-party software like phpMyAdmin.
  • Lost Admin Privileges: To fix this issue, you must know how to operate phpMyAdmin. In addition, you will need to use MySQL, another software. Generally, you’ll navigate the databases in these programs to update your privileges.
  • Hacked Website: Hackers exist, unfortunately. Unless you have first-hand experience in recovering lost data through hacking, getting a professional’s help is the best way to fix your access issues.

What To Do To Prevent Getting Locked Out of WordPress Admin Area

Your best preventative measures will depend on the reason that you became locked out of your admin area. For example, if you forgot your password, consider keeping a hard copy of all your login details. Meanwhile, if you were hacked, be sure to set up firewalls and monitoring systems moving forward.

If you manage your WordPress website independently, make sure that you frequently create backups. That way, you can always revert to an older version of your website if something goes wrong. At the same time, you must keep your website updated to prevent any vulnerabilities. Remember that website maintenance is not a cut-and-dry process.

Invest in a WordPress Care Plan Service in South Africa

Another method to avoid getting locked out of the admin area altogether is to have a dedicated digital team handling your WordPress website responsibilities. Launch Digital is Johannesburg’s most reliable small business marketing partner. Our understanding of the digital landscape with a focus on South African businesses helps us maximise your potential.

Our range of digital marketing services includes WordPress care and maintenance. Running a website requires dedication, even if hosts like WordPress claim to simplify the process. If you split your team to manage your website, you may not have enough resources to properly run your business.

With a WordPress Care Plan from Launch Digital, you can focus on your primary operations while counting on experts to oversee your website. You no longer have to worry about getting locked out of WordPress admin areas and learning how to navigate the issue because we can handle it for you.

Browse Launch Digital WordPress Care Plans

Conclusion: Restore Your Access to the WordPress Admin Area

Don’t panic if you get locked out of your WordPress admin area. There are some solutions you can try to retrieve your access. Usually, you’re only locked out because you forgot your password. If that’s the case, request WordPress to reset your password, and be sure to take note of your new details.

However, if you’re facing a hacking situation, you may need the help of third-party software to regain access to your website. Doing this solution alone is easy if you understand how coding works. If not, consider getting an expert to handle your digital responsibilities, so you can focus on your main business.

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