Solved: WordPress 404 Dashboard Error Problem for

wordpress wI had one of those pulse-pounding moments over the last 24 hours with the Web site.

This site runs on WordPress hosted through a Go Daddy account.

Last night, I was trying to update WordPress to 3.4.1 from the WordPress dashboard when suddenly the upgrade stopped and my dashboard displayed an error 404 – page not found error. The text indicated that it couldn’t find any pages to display.

After this, the 404 error started showing up every time I tried to open the dashboard. I researched the issue and tried all the usual fixes. I cleared my Internet cache, I tried installing and using FireFox to access the dashboard, and I tried posting a new post (since the 404 error indicated that it wasn’t finding any content). I also tried accessing the dashboard from a second computer and I got the same 404 error.

None of these fixes worked.  The problem was simple: my Web site was working and delivering content but I couldn’t access the dashboard to add any new content or manage the site in any way shape or form. The strange thing was that I could also access site statistics but I couldn’t get to the dashboard.

I was settling in for a long couple of days rebuilding the site and manually reloading the WordPress software, my theme, and disabling plugins.

My site was frozen in its current state and it wasn’t going to change until I figured out what the issue was.

I started haunting the WordPress forums and they were no help. There were a lot of people who had the same issue, but I couldn’t seem to find anything definitive on how to fix the issue…or at least anything that wasn’t going to take a good part of my weekend.

I even went to Go Daddy’s tech support but they couldn’t help me because they didn’t support any third-party packages.

I started crawling around my GD (Go Daddy) account settings and finally I hit the Manage My Applications screen (note: the Go Daddy account pages aren’t very intuitive. It took me a good 10-15 minutes to even find the account pages…and I’m not sure I can tell you how I did it). I displayed the Go Daddy WordPress application setting for my site, and that was telling my that my site was still at WordPress 3.4, not the 3.4.1 upgrade that crashed last night. Furthermore, the Go Daddy account pages also had an option to install the WordPress 3.4.1 update.

So I installed the 3.4.1 update from WordPress, not from the dashboard, and my Dashboard came back. What probably happened in my case was that the Dashboard install crashed and I had to complete the install from Go Daddy.

If you know of anyone who runs into the same issue (it looks fairly common from the forums), another fix might be to reload the WordPress 3.4.1 upgrade again, if they can. I didn’t see this type of fix mentioned in too many of the blog posts or forums I read while researching this issue.


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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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4 Responses to Solved: WordPress 404 Dashboard Error Problem for

  1. Zoe Cannon says:

    Thank you for this post! I had the same problem when I tried to install the latest WordPress update, and your solution was the only thing that worked.

  2. Rama says:

    This is what happens when someone uses third party installs and scripts; instead of installing direct from download. 😉

  3. noelle says:

    Thank you so much for posting this- I just had the same issue because I updated through wordpress manually without going through godaddy and this solved everything. In my case, the new 3.4.2 update wasn’t available through godaddy yet, so I had to restore my site to yesterday. The very helpful godaddy customer service told me that they do all kinds of testing to make sure there are no weaknesses in the new updates, so it’s usually a bit of a delay before they post them.

    Moral of the story: If you install wordpress through godaddy, installing updates from anywhere else will break your site.

  4. I had the same problem with a friend’s site on godaddy. Just updated to 3.4.2 through their site and it fixed the problem. To me, this is just another reason to not use godaddy.

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