As a website owner, you can get used to site errors at some point or the other. A common issue that WordPress sites encounter is the “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response.” error pop up.
Sometimes a plugin conflict, or a problem with your server can cause it. But, there’s no need to panic. There are many simple solutions to fix this error message and get your website up and running again.
In this post, I will discuss what this WordPress error message means, what causes it, and share six ways to fix it. Let’s get started!
- What Does A Valid JSON Response Mean ?
- Causes Behind “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response” Error Message
- Six Ways to Fix “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response”
- Conclusion: Final Thoughts
What Does A Valid JSON Response Mean ?
Before we dive into the causes and fixes of this error message, let’s first understand what JSON is and how it’s used in building websites.
REST API is an acronym for Representational State Transfer, an architecture style for designing networked web applications.
WordPress uses REST API and JSON to communicate with the server, allowing you to create and edit your content through the Gutenberg editor.
Suppose there’s an issue with the communication between Gutenberg and the server. In that case, you might see this invalid JSON error on your screen.
If this error message appears on your WordPress site, the browser cannot display the data retrieved from the server.
How Does Gutenberg Work With REST API and JSON?
Gutenberg, the new block editor for WordPress websites, relies heavily on the REST API and JSON to retrieve data from the server.
Gutenberg works by sending requests to the server, which retrieves the necessary data from the database and sends it back to the editor. The Gutenberg editor relies on the WordPress REST API to retrieve content from the database and send it to the browser in JSON format.
Suppose the server sends back incorrect data or not in JSON format. In that case, Gutenberg will display “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response” error code.
Now that we have a good understanding of how Gutenberg, REST API, and JSON work together, let’s go over the causes of this error message.
Causes Behind “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response” Error Message
There can be many reasons why you might receive the “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response” error message. Below are some of the most common causes for this error message:
- Plugin and theme conflicts
- Incorrect WordPress permalink settings
- A Corrupted .htaccess file
- Site URL settings are incorrect
- Server-side issues [if that’s the case, contact your hosting provider right away]
Six Ways to Fix “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response”
#1. Check The URL Settings Of The WordPress Site
The most common reason for this error message is incorrect site URL settings. Sometimes, a website’s URLs can change when migrating your website and can cause configuration issues.
To check your website’s URL settings, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard and click “Settings → General .”Make sure that options “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” have the same URL filled in, and match your website’s domain.
#2. Temporarily Deactivate All WordPress Plugins
Plugins are another common reason for conflicts and errors on WordPress websites. Sometimes, a plugin may conflict with the Gutenberg editor or clash with the default WordPress theme, leading to the “The Response Is Not A Valid JSON Response” error.
To check if this is the case, you can deactivate all your WordPress plugins temporarily and check if the error message goes away. If the error has disappeared, reactivate each plugin individually to identify the culprit.
#3. Temporarily Switch To The Classic WordPress Editor
If the Gutenberg editor is causing the error, you can temporarily switch back to the Classic Editor until you fix the issue.
To do so, download the Classic editor plugin. It is developed and maintained by the WordPress team for users who prefer the old WordPress block editor over Gutenberg. Click here to download it. Install the plugin and toggle the option that offers to disable Gutenberg.
Check if the error message persists after you’ve made the switch to the classic WordPress editor.
#4. Fix The WordPress Permalink Structure
An incorrect permalink structure can cause this error message to appear. If your permalinks are outdated or corrupted, they can lead to the “The response is not a valid JSON response” error message.
To access your permalinks, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Settings > Permalinks. Make sure that your preferred option is selected. You can also choose “plain” and later switch back to your preferred option to refresh the permalink structure.
#5. Regenerate WordPress .htaccess File.
Sometimes, a faulty or misconfigured .htaccess file can interfere with your WordPress site’s REST API.
WordPress typically regenerates the .htaccess file automatically. You also manually trigger this change by clicking “Save Changes” once you make any changes in the permalinks page.
If you’re still seeing the error and have tried all the steps above, you can go to the folder where your website’s .htacess file is saved and delete it yourself. If you’re unsure of how to access the .htaccess file yourself, contact your hosting provider and ask them to delete it on your behalf.
#6. Contact Your Hosting Provider
If you need help with the above methods, I suggest contacting your hosting provider for expert help. Most hosting providers offer support to fix WordPress errors, and their team can help you fix the issue. They may also have more in-depth knowledge about this invalid JSON response error. Request them to access your site and diagnose and resolve the problem from the server side. Check out our excellent WordPress hosting plans while you’re here!
Conclusion: Final Thoughts
Seeing an invalid JSON response error such as this one can be a confusing experience. But there are easy fixes that you can follow. Ensure your URL settings are correct, deactivate conflicting plugins, fix your permalink structure, regenerate your .htaccess file and check if the error message resolves.
I hope that this article helped you gain a better understanding of what this error message means and how to fix it.
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Nirali has over a decade of experience working in marketing with startups in a variety of sectors, including e-commerce, ed-tech, and SaaS. She has a keen understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing early-stage companies and a track record of developing effective content strategies that drive growth and engagement.