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Drupal 7 “website encountered an unexpected error”

by | May 31, 2021

Wondering how to fix Drupal 7 “website encountered an unexpected error”? we can help you.

Drupal users often notice the “The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later” message either after updating the core or while enabling modules.

Here at Bobcares, we often handle requests from our customers to fix similar Drupal errors as a part of our Server Management Services. Today we will see how our support engineers fix this for our customers.

How to fix Drupal 7 website encountered an unexpected error

Before going into the steps for fixing this error we will see what causes this error.

Following are the common causes for this error:

1. PHP version conflict.

2. Syntax error in the configuration file.

Steps to fix this error

Now we will see how our Support Engineers fix the Drupal 7 “website encountered an unexpected error” for our customers.

First, we must enable error reporting as it will help us to gather more ideas on the error.

After that we can do the following steps:

1. Check for errors behind the scenes

We can monitor the errors being generated by our site by running the following command on the server:

tail -f /var/log/apache2/error.log

2. Change settings in your dev site

We can see all errors by adding a few lines to our local testing site’s settings.php:

ini_set('display_errors', TRUE);
ini_set('display_startup_errors', TRUE);

In addition, we can navigate to Administration and take Configuration, then go to Development and go to logging and errors. In that section, we can select “All messages” (This sets $conf['error_level'] = 2;).

3. Switch on strict PHP error reporting

We can go to the development site’s php.ini file, in the php folder, and switch all error reporting on.

To do this, we have to access the php.ini file and set error_reporting to E_ALL.

 Warning: as the PHP documentation states, this setting is only for development sites, not for production sites.

4. Changing the PHP version of the site

In most cases, this error could be related to differences with the PHP version of the site.

So we can try changing the PHP version of the site to the latest one.

Steps to change PHP version from Cpanel

We can adjust the PHP setting easily from cPanel using the following steps:

1. First, log in to the hosting cPanel.

2. And locate the MultiPHP Manager tool in the Software section of the cPanel.

drupal 7 website encountered an unexpected error

3. After that, click the checkbox for the domain(s) that we wish to adjust.

4. Now from the drop-down menu labeled PHP version, select the PHP version that best suits the site code.

5. Finally, click the blue Apply button to save the change.

5. Restore the configuration file

At times the changes we make in the configuration file can trigger this error.

If any changes were made to the settings.php file, we can try reverting it and see if it fixes the issue. We may also try restoring this file from the backup.

6. Try running an updatedb

We could also try running the database update. This will run any pending database updates.

drush updb

[Still, stuck with the error? We can help you]


In short, we saw how our Support Techs fix Drupal 7 “website encountered an unexpected error” fo our customers.


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