In this series of step-by-step tutorials, we show you how to troubleshoot and fix common WordPress errors.
If you plan to move your WordPress installation to another directory or change your website from ‘http’ to ‘https’, you will need to edit the URLs in your Settings > General Settings section.
If these fields are greyed out, however, the fields will be uneditable …
(WordPress General Settings – Greyed out URLs)
If you find that your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) are greyed out on your Settings > General Settings section, the step-by-step tutorial below will show you how to easily fix this issue.
For help configuring your General Settings section, see this tutorial:
How To Fix Can’t Change WordPress Website Address – Greyed Out URLs
Greyed out WordPress Address and Site Address URLs can be caused when someone moves or clones a WordPress site but forgets to delete a couple of lines of code or the migration process is interrupted, making the fields uneditable in the General Settings section …
(WordPress General Settings – Greyed out URLs)
To fix this issue, you will need to edit the wp-config.php file in your WordPress installation, either using FTP software, or File Manager in cPanel.
For this tutorial, we’ll use File Manager in cPanel.
How To Edit wp-config.php File Using cPanel File Manager
If your WordPress site is hosted on a server with cPanel installed, log into your cPanel control area and click on File Manager (Files > File Manager) …
(cPanel Files – File Manager)
Most WordPress installations are found inside the ‘public_html’ directory. Double-click on ‘public_html’ to open the directory folder …
(cPanel File Manager – public_html directory)
Locate and select the wp-config.php file …
With wp-config.php selected, click on Edit to open the file (note: we recommend making a backup of the file before editing. To do this, select ‘Download’ first and save a copy of the file to your hard drive) …
(File Manager – Edit function)
A warning dialog window may pop up reminding you to back up the original file. Click on ‘Edit’ to proceed …
(Edit dialog window)
Scroll down through the code in this file until you find the two lines shown below (define ‘WP HOME’ and define ‘WP SITEURL’). The ‘yourdomain.com’ URLs should display your actual domain …
(Find these two lines in wp-config.php)
Select only these two lines inside the wp-config.php file, nothing else …
(Select define ‘WP HOME’ and define ‘WP SITEURL’)
Delete only these two lines, nothing else …
(Delete define ‘WP HOME’ and define ‘WP SITEURL’)
After deleting these two lines of code, the section of your wp-config.php file should look like the screenshot below …
(wp-config.php file with define ‘WP HOME’ and define ‘WP SITEURL’ lines removed)
Click the ‘Save Changes’ button to save and update your wp-config.php file and then click ‘Close’ to exit the editing window in File Manager …
(Save changes in your wp-config.php file)
Log out of cPanel and log into your WordPress site’s admin area, then click on Settings > General in the main menu. The WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) fields should no longer be greyed out, but restored to normal and editable once again …
(WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) fields are no longer greyed out)
The above should fix this issue in most instances. If you are still experiencing issues with greyed out URLs, contact your website developer or web hosting provider for help.
Congratulations! Now you know how to fix the issue of greyed out URLs preventing you from changing your WordPress site address URLs in the General Settings section.
More WordPress Troubleshooting Tutorials
Please see the tutorials in the section below if you experience any other problems or errors with WordPress:
Although these folders and files are mostly accessed by technical users like website developers, it’s good to know what these folders and files are used for, especially if you plan to build or manage your own WordPress site.
(WordPress installation files)
You can view these folders and files using an FTP application or cPanel’s File Manager. For help with this, see the tutorial below:
WordPress Installation Files: A Glossary For Non-Techies
Your WordPress site is made up of your WordPress installation files and your WordPress database. These are responsible for creating, storing, and managing all of your site’s information, web pages, etc.
Below is a glossary of WordPress installation files for non-techies. The glossary includes non-technical explanations and descriptions with links to related tutorials.
If you need more technical information about the folders or files below, please refer to the official WordPress documentation here:
This file contains useful pre-installation information about WordPress …
(WordPress ReadMe file)
This file confirms that the activation key sent in an email after a user signs up for a new site matches the key for that user and then displays confirmation.
This file decides what to display based on the parameters that are passed to the blog from any page that wants to display WordPress content and loads the WordPress environment and template.
This file receives posted comments and adds them to the WordPress database. It also prevents duplicate comment posting.
This is a sample of the wp-config.php file used to connect WordPress to your MySQL database. You can use this sample file to manually create the wp-config.php file (see below).
The wp-config.php file is one of your most important WordPress installation files. The wp-config.php file is located in the root of your WordPress file directory and contains your website’s base configuration details, such as your database connection information (e.g. Database Name, Database Username, Database Password, Database Host, etc.)
Here is some useful information about wp-config.php file:
The wp-config.php file isn’t included in the WordPress download files. It is created during the WordPress setup process based either on the information you provide during the manual installation process, or automatically, if you use a WordPress installation script (e.g. Softaculous, Fantastico, etc.)
A wp-config.php file can be created manually by editing the sample file (“wp-config-sample.php”), resaving it as wp-config.php and uploading this file to the root install directory.
The content of the wp-config.php file follow a specific order. Rearranging the order of this content may create errors on your website.
Editing WordPress files like wp-config.php should always be done using a plain text editor. Never use a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs to edit WordPress files.
Many important modifications to WordPress can be done manually by adding lines of code to the wp-config.php file. Some of the features and functionality affected by the wp-config.php file, for example, include:
Debugging WordPress (troubleshooting errors and making repairs)
Allowing WordPress users to optimize and repair the WordPress database
And so much more …
A CRON job is essentially an automated scheduled task. It’s like someone programming a robot to do XYZ at a specific time. If someone asks the robot “is it time to do XYZ yet?” the robot can then either say “no, it’s not time yet” or “yes, it’s time” and then automatically perform the task.
By default, WordPress calls up wp-cron.php whenever someone visits your WordPress site and a scheduled task is present. Also, hosting providers normally offer CRON. The wp-cron.php file provides a CRON function for hosts that do not offer CRON or where a CRON job has not been set up by software installed on your site.
The wp-cron.php file is used to perform virtual cron jobs (i.e. scheduled tasks) to automate things like publish scheduled posts, check for plugin or theme updates, send email notifications, etc.
This file converts links added to your site via the WordPress admin menu into a format called OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language).
OPML allows outlines and lists to be exchanged between different platforms, such as exchanging lists of RSS feeds between different feed aggregators.
Essentially, this file allows links to be exported from one WordPress site to another.
In computing terms, bootstrapping is a technique for loading a program by means of a few initial instructions which then enable the rest of the program to be loaded from somewhere else.
The wp-load.php file is a bootstrap file that loads the wp-config.php file. The wp-config.php file then loads the wp-settings.php file, which then sets up the WordPress environment.
WordPress uses this file to obtain blog posts submitted via email. The URL of this file is usually added to a CRON job so that it is regularly retrieved, enabling new email posts to be accepted.
This file performs various pre-execution routines and procedures, including checking for correct installation, including auxiliary functions, applying user plugins, initializing execution timers, etc.
WordPress uses this file to set up the area where users can sign up to your website or blog.
This file handles incoming trackback requests to WordPress.
This file provides XML-RPC protocol support for WordPress. This allows you to do things like post content to your site using programs and applications other than the built-in web-based administrative interface and for WordPress developers to extend WordPress functionality using plugins.
The additional files below aren’t part of the default WordPress installation but may be found in your server’s WordPress directory:
A php.ini file is the default file for configuring and running applications that require PHP. The server looks for this file when PHP starts up for instructions on how to control variables such as upload sizes, file timeouts, and resource limits.
Server & Webhosting
Below are some useful terms to know when installing WordPress on your server:
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Email) lets a domain associate its name with an email message by affixing a digital signature to it.
Verification is carried out using the signer’s public key published in the DNS. A valid signature guarantees that some parts of the email (possibly including attachments) have not been modified since the signature was affixed.
Usually, DKIM signatures are not visible to end-users, and are affixed or verified by the infrastructure rather than message’s authors and recipients.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an email validation protocol designed to detect and block email spoofing by providing a mechanism to allow receiving mail exchangers to verify that incoming mail from a domain comes from an IP Address authorized by that domain’s administrators.
The list of authorized sending hosts and IP addresses for a domain is published in the Domain Name System (DNS) records for that domain in the form of a specially formatted TXT record. Email spam and phishing often use forged “from” addresses and domains, so publishing and checking SPF records is considered to be one of the most reliable and simple to use anti-spam techniques.