How To Fix the dreaded “Error Establishing A Database Connection” In WordPress

This is just a quick post to note what worked for me. I found loads of tutorials online but none of them had the full story.

Essentially I had to change my database password. Here is what I did:

Assuming you have ssh access to your DigitalOcean Ubuntu droplet:

Fictional Database Name: wordpressDB

Fictional WordPress User Name: wpUser

Fictional Password: 12345

Open your wordpress wp-config.php (usually located at /var/www/html) and change the password, and make a note of the database name and user.

nano /var/www/html/wp-config.php

define( 'DB_PASSWORD', '12345' );

Now change the mySql database details:

mysql -u root -p

use wordpressDB;

UPDATE wp_users SET user_pass = MD5('12345') WHERE ID=1 LIMIT 1;

grant all on wordpressDB.* to 'wpUser'@'localhost' identified by '12345';

flush privileges;

exit;

Conclusion

Anyway that’s what worked for me, hope it helps someone at some point (probably me, in the future). Generally WordPress is pretty stable, this is the first time I encountered this problem.