WordPress Login Problems
You set up your new WordPress site. You can navigate to it in your browser and see the public side of it. But you want to make some changes and you can’t figure out how to get back into your dashboard.
This is an extremely common problem, one which I suspect leads to the abandonment of many fledgling WordPress sites. It could easily be prevented by adding a prompt to the WordPress setup process, like “This is your login page. Bookmark it now.”
But until that happens, here’s how to get back onto your site.
1). I can’t find my WordPress login screen!
Don’t worry – this is an easy problem to solve.
For WordPress.com: Go to WordPress.com and click the Log In link on the top right corner of the page (it might say Sign In instead of Log In if you have not closed your browser since the last time you logged out).
If you have more than one WordPress.com site, make sure you are using the email address associated with the site you want to log in to.
For self-hosted WordPress: Your login page will be: http (or https)://yourdomain.whatever/wp-login.php
You can just navigate to your home page in your browser, type /wp-login.php at the end of your domain, and hit enter on your keyboard (see number 1 in the picture above).
Once you have successfully logged in, the URL will change to:
http (or https)://yourdomain.whatever/wp-admin
If you aren’t confused enough yet, the company that runs WordPress.com (Automattic), also is the author of two of the most widely used plugins for self-hosted WordPress, JetPack and Akismet. Since these two plugins use resources on WordPress.com servers, you are required to have a WordPress.com account to use them. Make sure you are logging into your WordPress installation at http (or https)://yourdomain.whatever/wp-login.php, rather than into the WordPress.com account you use to manage your WordPress.com plugins. The login screen in the screenshot above, with the WordPress W logo, is the login screen for a self-hosted account. The login screen for a WordPress.com account will say WordPress.com in the top left corner, and will not have the WordPress logo.
Don’t know which WordPress you have? Did you pay for a web host and register a domain? Then you probably have self-hosted WordPress. If you didn’t pay for anything, just set up a free site, and have never heard of “web host” or “domain registrar,” then you have a WordPress.com site. Still not sure? Try both. If you try to log in to a site that isn’t yours, it won’t hurt anything.
2). I forgot my username or password!
If you remember the email address you used when setting up WordPress, try using that instead of your username. Be sure to include the full email address. For self-hosted WordPress, you can also try the default WordPress username, “admin” (without the quotes).
If you forgot your password, go to your login screen (see above), and click on the “Lost your password?” link below the login box. This will bring up a screen where you can enter the email address, and a password reset link will be emailed to you.
On WordPress.com, you will also see a “Email me a login link” option to have a link emailed to you that you can use to get into your account without resetting your password.
3). I forgot my username AND my password!
This is trickier. If you remember the email address that is associated with your account, you can use it as the username. If the Username field won’t accept your email address, and you don’t remember your username, try clicking just inside the field on the left side. Depending on your browser settings, this may bring up a list of usernames you have previously entered.
If you are self-hosting, some webhosts may have a way for you to log in to WordPress from your hosting account (of course, you will need your hosting log in information to do that. If you remember when you signed up for your hosting account, hosts usually send an email with account login information when an account is established).
If all else fails, you may need to contact support for your host or for WordPress.com for assistance.
4). I know my username and password but they aren’t working!
That little head-shaking thing the login box does if you enter the wrong information is cute, if you just made a typo. But if you are trying to log in when you are sure you are using the correct information, it becomes annoying quickly!
Check your login URL. If you have more than one WordPress site, or share a computer, double-check that you are at the right login screen. If you have a self-hosted site, make sure you are not trying to log in at yourdomain.com/wp-login.php when your website is actually yourdomain.net or yourdomain.org. Read the section for self-hosted WordPress under I can’t find my WordPress login screen! You may be trying to log in to a WordPress.com account.
Check your Caps Lock key. Usernames are NOT case sensitive (that is, it doesn’t matter whether you use capital or small letters when you type in your username). Passwords ARE case sensitive – you must enter capitals and small letters exactly as you entered them when you created the password.