Login Page Issues in WordPress: Refreshing & Redirecting
April 3. 2020
There’s precious little more annoying than login page issues in WordPress. How can you run your website if you can’t log in to it? So it’s no wonder that your login page refreshing and redirecting frustrates you to no end. During our years of experience with maintaining different websites, we here at WP Full Care have experienced this issue multiple times. We absolutely understand that getting locked out of your own website in such a silly way can be irritating. But luckily, these issues are usually not too difficult to fix. You will, of course, need to do some troubleshooting which can take a bit of time and some creativity. We’re here to guide you through that though so don’t worry!
What causes login page issues in WordPress?
A number of things can cause you to be unable to log in to WordPress because the page keeps refreshing and redirecting. You could have connection or browser issues or it may even be a temporary issue with WordPress. However, most commonly WP login page issues arise from incorrect URL settings and the failure to set login cookies. This is usually not due to predictable mistakes and can happen even if you have professionals running your website 24/7. When you’re not experiencing any issues, WordPress will validate your login information, set a login cookie in your browser and redirect you to your dashboard. However, if something along the line goes wrong, you’ll be redirected back to the login page. When that happens, you’ll need to troubleshoot a bit and test out a few solutions.
Fixing login page issues in WordPress
Once could be a fluke, but by the time your login page refreshes for the third time, you’ll know you’re in trouble. So what can you do to fix this incredibly annoying problem?
Start by clearing cache and cookies
The first thing you should do when you notice your WP login page refreshing is to clear the cache and cookies on your browser. Since the issue is often with the cookies WP uses for login authentication, this will often fix the problem entirely on its own. Clearing cache and cookies is a relatively simple solution to a number of issues so you probably already know how to do it. The process is a bit different on each browser. But somewhere in your settings or tools, you should be able to locate the “Clear Browsing Data” option. Once you’ve done that, restart your browser and try logging in again. In most cases, this will be all you need to do!
Check if a plugin is causing login page issues in WordPress
Using WP plugins for blogs and websites is a great way to get the most out of WordPress very easily and without little to no previous experience with coding or website maintenance. This is why plugins are so great. But just about anyone can make a plugin which means that not all of them are equally good. Some of them may even cause problems, like the login page refreshing and redirecting.
Deactivate all plugins to test your theory
You can easily check if a plugin is causing the login page problems by deactivating all plugins you have. Of course, this is a bit tricky to do when you can’t actually access your WP admin dashboard. But it’s still definitely possible! You can still connect to your website using an FTP client or the File Manager app in your hosting account dashboard. Navigate to the /wp-content/ directory and locate the folder called “plugins”. Then simply rename it to “plugins_backup” to deactivate all plugins. You can start testing out the plugins individually when you log in.
Revert to the default theme
Yet another double-edged sword in WP are themes. You can use the best new themes to make your website look better. But you might also end up with a theme that’s glitchy or suddenly becomes so after an update. So if clearing cookies and deactivating plugins don’t work, try reverting to the default theme. The process will be similar to deactivating plugins without access to your dashboard: use an FTP client or File Manager app to access the website, locate the /wp-content/themes/ directory and rename the folder from “themes” to “themes_backup”. If that fixes the issue, start looking for a new theme!
Delete the .htaccess file
Corruption in the .htaccess file can also cause login page issues in WordPress. If you suspect that this might be the case, then you can try deleting the file to stop the login page refreshing. Once again, you will need to use an FTP client or the File Manager app in your hosting account dashboard to access your website without logging in. In the root folder, locate the .htaccess file, download it to your desktop for backup and then delete it. Check the wp-admin directory to see if a .htaccess file exists there as well; if it does, delete it. Then, once you log in successfully, you can create a new .htaccess file by navigating to Settings > Permalinks and clicking “Save” (without making any changes).
Update URL settings to fix login page issues in WordPress
If all else fails, you can also try editing your wp-config.php file to resolve the issue of the login page refreshing/redirecting. You can find this file in your site’s root folder once you access the directory through an FTP client or File Manager app. Within it, find the line that says “That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing”. Right above you’ll see two lines defining your website links (“WP_HOME” and “WP_SITEURL”). Check that those are correct and if they’re not, fix them. Then upload the file back onto your website and try logging in again.
How can you prevent similar problems in the future?
Although login page issues in WordPress are relatively common, it’s not always possible to tell what’s causing them. It’s also not possible to predict them. Unfortunately, this means there is no way to prevent similar problems in the future with any amount of certainty. Instead, the best you can do is to keep your website running smoothly, update your WP and plugins regularly, create backups you can use to recover older, working versions when something goes wrong, and be ready to troubleshoot again if you notice your login page refreshing!