Common installation and update errors
In rare cases, you will receive an error message when installing or updating Yoast SEO for WordPress (free or premium). Below, we list the errors that you may encounter.
- Could not create directory or folder
- Destination folder already exists
- Uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize
- Allowed memory exhausted
- Download Failed. Server Certificate Verification Failed
- cURL errors
- White screen when activating or updating the plugin
Error: Could not create directory or folder
This error appears when your server does not have the correct permission set on one or more of the files or folders listed after the error.
Please make sure that the full path, including any files and folders, is writeable. You can do that over FTP.
If you don’t know how to check or change permissions, please contact your web host for assistance.
In some cases, a Windows server will display this error due to a filename character limit or other server limitations. If you receive this error on a Windows server, please manually install the plugin.
Error: Destination folder already exists
This error can occur if you already have the plugin installed, or if you have renamed the wp-content folder of the plugin. In rare cases, something may go wrong during the installation process, which causes the folder to be created, but its files are missing or corrupt.
If the plugin appears in your plugin dashboard, please use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to manually update the plugin. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can contact your host. Some hosting companies also provide a different way to add files to your site other than using FTP. You may wish to contact them if they have such a method.
If the plugin does not appear in the plugin dashboard, you likely have a missing or corrupt Yoast plugin file. Please delete the Yoast plugin’s folder via FTP and install a fresh copy of Yoast SEO.
Error: Uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini.
This error appears when your web host or server limits the upload file size.
In order to fix the error, you’ll need to increase the uploaded maximum file size limit by reaching out to your web hosting provider.
If you’re familiar with server management, you can change the upload_max_filesize value directly from the php.ini file. You can read more about it in this guide. The other option is to manually install the plugin using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Learn how to do that in this guide: Manually update/install the premium plugin.
Fatal error: Allowed memory exhausted
The full text of this error is:
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of #### bytes exhausted (tried to allocate #### bytes) in /PATH_TO_WORDPRESS/wp-content/PATH_TO_PROBLEM/FILE.php on line ###
The error occurs when your server runs out of memory to complete the task at hand.
Increasing the memory or decreasing the number of tasks will fix the issue.
To increase the server’s memory, use these steps:
- Add this line to your wp-config.php file:
- Change this line in your server’s PHP.ini file:
memory_limit = 256M;
- Add this to your .htaccess file:
php_value memory_limit 256M
You can also always contact your host and ask for assistance in increasing the server memory.
To decrease the number of tasks, use these steps:
- Deactivate and remove plugins you no longer use. That may free up the right amount of memory needed to complete the tasks.
- Reduce the number of tasks running at once or temporarily deactivate non-critical plugins.
Error: Download failed. server certificate verification failed
The full text of the error reads:
Download failed. server certificate verification failed. CAfile: [Path_to_Certificate] CRLfile: none
Your website doesn’t recognize the SSL certificate on yoast.com.
You need to contact your web host and ask them to add our certificate to their list of trusted certificates. Once they do that, you will again have access to automatic updates. In the meantime, please manually update your plugin using the steps found here: How can I manually update my premium plugin.
When you are updating the plugin, you may get one of the following errors:
Download failed. SSL: certificate subject name ‘*.mycloudproxy.com’ does not match target host name ‘yoast.com’
Download failed. cURL error 51: SSL: no alternative certificate subject name matches target host name ‘yoast.com’
Request error: “cURL error 35: error:1407742E:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:tlsv1 alert protocol version”
Request error: “cURL error 35: Peer reports incompatible or unsupported protocol version.”
Request error: “cURL error 35: SSL connect error
To receive update notifications for premium plugins, your host must meet our plugin requirements. The errors above indicate that the server you’re hosted on uses an old version of cURL, TLS and / or OpenSSL, the library used to connect to other servers. When you send an update request to our servers, we do that over a secure connection. The reason behind that is that the request contains information about your site as well as your license key.
All our connections run through Sucuri’s Website Application Firewall, which keeps us safe from so-called DDOS attacks. To be able to do that, we use a system called Server Name Indication (SNI). Every browser after IE6 supports this, and every major CURL version released after March 2008 supports this. Unfortunately, it seems your server is using software older than that.
Since this is a problem on your host’s side, you will need to contact them and report the issue. In the meantime, please manually update your plugin using the steps found here: How can I manually update my premium plugin.
What to do if your host doesn’t want to fix the issue?|
Using old software is a security threat. If your host refuses to solve the issue, it is advisable to look for a new on. If you need help in choosing a new host, you can find a list of trusted hosts here. We checked all the common issues with Yoast SEO and other plugins and made sure the hosts in the list prevent them.
White screen when activating or updating the plugin
A white screen happens when plugins and/or themes conflict during the activation of a plugin or theme.
If you have access to your admin dashboard, follow the steps in this article to check for plugin conflicts.
If you cannot access the admin dashboard, renaming the plugin folder will reinstate admin access.
To rename the plugin folder, you must have:
- Your FTP or SFTP login information
- If you do not have this information, please contact your host provider and obtain your host (or IP address), Username, Password, and Port number.
- An FTP or SFTP program
- We use and recommend FileZilla, but any FTP or SFTP program should work, including file managers provided by most web hosts.
After you’ve made sure you have all the requirements, we recommend backing up your site before renaming the plugin folder.
How to rename the WordPress plugins folder
- Use the FTP or SFTP program to connect to your website.
- Navigate to
- Rename the
- Log into your WordPress admin dashboard.
This automatically deactivates all plugins since the folder was renamed.
- In FTP, rename the
plugins_oldfolder back to
This allows you to see the deactivated plugins in your admin dashboard.
If errors persist, follow the steps in this article to check for plugin conflicts.