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Troubleshoot a WordPress site launch

If a WordPress site launch did not complete as expected, and assistance is still needed after following the troubleshooting steps below, create a request with VIP Support. If needed, the Support team can assist with restoring a site to its most recent backup.

Site Not Found error

The “Site Note Found” (SITE_NOT_FOUND) error can be caused by issues related to domain or reverse proxy configurations.

Example screenshot of the "Site not found" error
Example screenshot of the “Site not found” error

Incomplete search-replace operations

The launch tools in the VIP Dashboard automatically run search and replace operations from the old domain to the new domain throughout the site’s tables, and flush the site’s object cache when the operation is complete. For some sites, additional search-replace operations may be necessary (e.g., if a site’s theme is Elementor, or if domain values are stored in serialized content).

Before running any commands, refer to the search-replace guide to format the appropriate WP-CLI command for a single site or a multisite environment. Be sure to test each command with the --dry-run option first.

  • When running a search-replace command for a site launch, the search value must match the site’s previous domain, and the replacement value must match the newly mapped domain. The value of the newly mapped domain must match exactly what was added to the VIP Dashboard, especially the www prefix or lack of.
  • For most launches, a site’s previous domain value is the convenience domain. If a site previously replaced the convenience domain with a temporary custom domain prior to launch, run the search-replace to replace the temporary custom domain with the newly mapped domain.
  • After running a search-replace operation, instances of the site’s previous domain should be flushed from the object cache using VIP-CLI. If instances of the old domain value are still present on the site or in the database, additional search-replace operations may be necessary.

DNS issues

The site’s DNS records can be queried via the command line:

dig <domain-name>

Example output for dig

$ dig

; <<>> DiG 9.10.6 <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 16517
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;			IN	A


;; Query time: 44 msec
;; WHEN: Tue Feb 15 13:52:48 PST 2022
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 54

In the ANSWER SECTION, the 3600 denotes the domain’s Time to Live (TTL), whereas the A denotes the DNS record type (queries the A record by default if no type is specified in the command).

Ensure that the domain’s DNS is pointed to VIP, but that the domain’s nameservers are pointed to the DNS provider. A service like DNS Checker can be used to track progress of propagation of the domain’s updated DNS.

Unable to access the WordPress Admin

If the WordPress Admin dashboard is not accessible after launch, or the options on the dashboard appear unfamiliar or incorrect, verify that the logged in user account has a role assigned to them with sufficient capabilities. VIP-CLI can be used to run WP-CLI commands to retrieve information about a user, and if needed, update the user’s role.

For network sites on a WordPress multisite that were previously single sites, users with an Administrator role are promoted to Super Admins, which have access to all network sites and can create new sites. These are different from site-specific Administrators, which only have admin capabilities and access for the designated sites.

Data sync does not work after a network site launch

For network site launches performed on multisite networks, data syncs from production environments to develop or preprod environments will continue to work as expected if the launched site is the main site (site ID 1).

If a network site other than the main site has been launched, the YAML-based domain mapping config file must be updated in the site’s code repository to reflect the newly launched site before data syncing between environments will work as expected.

Reverse proxies

Reverse proxies can add another layer of complexity when launching a site on a multisite network. Investigating the specific configuration of the reverse proxy setup, including the required headers and proxy return values, will help debug any errors that may occur.

Jetpack is not connected

Jetpack might become disconnected during a site launch. If the issue does not resolve on its own after 30 minutes, contact VIP Support to request assistance with reconnecting Jetpack.

Last updated: February 29, 2024

Relevant to

  • WordPress