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The WordPress admin area works in exactly the same way as the other parts of the system – through a login system (“/wp-admin”), you’re able to gain access to the backend dashboard, through which you’re able to add posts etc.

Whilst there are a number of potential causes of the problem, they’re all relatively simple to fix.

The most important point to make is that your system *may* have been infected with malware. I’ve experienced this issue before – hackers inject code into your WordPress system in the hope that it will distribute fake referral traffic for them.

If you have ANY malware issue with WordPress, you’ll need to get a technician to look at it. When it happened to us, our sites kept getting attacked and we had to move hosts in the end.

Obviously, malware is not going to be high on the list – the likely problem you have is either a plugin is preventing your login, or some other issue has prevented WordPress from authenticating you.

Causes

As mentioned, there are several common causes which typically lead the admin area to not work:

The most important thing to note is that WordPress is built with PHP.

PHP is a scripting language which provides rudimentary “dynamic” functionality to Internet centric applications, allowing for the likes of dynamic pages, login/logoff functionality and more.

Whilst PHP has existed for many decades, and is supported by the majority of hosting providers, there are a number of instances where its applications may not run properly.

It’s likely the case that your WordPress installation is experiencing this issue, although there are a number of other problems (hosting/malware/coding issues etc) which be causing it, too.

To fix the problem, there are 6 “steps” you can take…

Solution

1. Clear Browser Cache

The first step is to clear your browser’s cache.

The “cache” of your browser basically stores websites, login information etc.

It exists to give your browser the ability to “save” the relevant files which allow it to load files/websites faster. You’d be surprised at how crucial it actually it.

It *can* be the case that the admin panel of WordPress hasn’t had its cache updated. Whilst a relatively rare issue, still can cause the login issue to occur:

This won’t solve the error, but should ensure that your browsers are not causing any further issues.

2. Gain Access To CPanel

The next step is to gain access to CPanel (or the equivalent control panel for your hosting).

EVERY WordPress has to be hosted somewhere; the way in which you are able to manage the various resources / server is dependent on which type of control panel your host may be running.

The point is that you need access to the files of your system.

With CPanel, this is done with “File Manager”; it may differ depending on the type of hosting you’re using…

If you cannot access the file manager, you need to talk to your host – or – gain access via FTP.

If you want to use FTP, you’ll need to do the following:

Once you gain access to the files of your system, you’ll be able to then start working on a fix.

3. Disable Plugins (Rename Folder)

Once you’ve gained access to the files, you then need to rename the “plugins” folder.

Renaming this folder gives you the ability to essentially disable any of the plugins that WordPress may be running. Obviously, this may cause temporary issues – but should remove this potential issue from the equation:

If it works, you should re-download each plugin and try enabling each one until you find the cause of the problem.

If it doesn’t work, you need to try fixing some of the core settings of the WordPress system.

4. Change Admin Password In DB

The WordPress system – as mentioned – is built on PHP.

The beauty of the system lies in how it uses a database to store the various information / content for your site.

To this end, if you are having issues loggin in, you may need to change some of the settings inside the database.

Any legitimate host should provide access to database management portal. You can use it with the following:

As mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list (each host handles this differently).

If you have trouble following the above steps, you’ll be best talking to your hosting provider OR a company able to provide support.

5. Make Sure You’re Not In An HTTPS Redirect Loop

One of the main causes of the admin area “lockout” problem in WordPress is what’s known as an “HTTPS redirect loop”.

This is basically where you will set your site to use HTTPS, and it will have another redirect facility preventing you from accessing the admin area.

To further this, the way that cookies work is specific to the domain you’re accessing. HTTP & HTTPS are considered entirely different entities, and thus logging into one variant does not permit you to access the other.

The fix for this is as follows:

If this doesn’t work, it may be worth replacing your WordPress core files.

6. Replace WordPress Core Files

The next step is to replace the WordPress core files in your system.

To do this, we first need to ensure the “config” file for WP (“wp-config.php”) is kept secure:

If there are any issues with this, you’ll be able to simply rename your old WP directory back to its original name.

If you still are unable to resolve the problem, you will need to get some more specific support. There are actually several ways you can do this – either with the likes of online communities (such as Microsoft Answers or SuperUser), or from a committed source of support (your hosting account etc). Fiverr is also a good place to find people who’ll help resolve WordPress problems (but these guys will definitely need paying).

The point is that WordPress is generally quite a flexible platform, and the problem of not being able to access the admin area for your application is certainly not as unique as you may imagine. To this end, it will do your site justice to – perhaps – get a “checkup” from a WordPress company, who will be able to provide you with a rundown of what might be working well, and what may not. They should also be able to address the faulty admin area.

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Source by Richard Peck

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