“Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error” Fatal Error on Joomla

Late this evening, a client called us and told us that, after moving his website to a new host, he was seeing the following (fatal) everywhere on his website:

Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error

Typically, the above error is associated with wrong database credentials in the configuration.php file, so we tried the following: we reset the database user password in cPanel, and used the new password in the configuration.php file (after making sure that the host, the database name, and the database user were all correct), and then tested the website again, but still, we saw the same error.

We were almost confident that the problem had to do with accessing the database, and so we did the following:

  • We opened the file mysqli.php (the client was using mysqli as a database driver) located in the libraries/joomla/database/driver/ folder.
  • We removed the @ sign from the following line:

    $this->connection = @mysqli_connect(
    	$this->options['host'], $this->options['user'], $this->options['password'], null, $this->options['port'], $this->options['socket']

    (Note: the @ sign suppresses any non fatal error from being displayed, which means that removing it will display the actual, real error.)

  • We loaded the website again, and this time we saw the following error:

    Warning: mysqli_connect(): (HY000/1045): Access denied for user ‘[user]’@’localhost’ (using password: YES) in libraries/joomla/database/driver/mysqli.php on line 141

The Access denied in the above error revealed what the actual issue was: the user was not given the proper permissions to the database. So, we went back to cPanel, we clicked on MySQL databases, and then, under Add User To Database, we added the appropriate user to the Joomla database.

If you’re seeing the same error on your Joomla website, then it’s almost a certainty that it’s a database connection problem. Make sure that all your credentials are correct and also ensure that the database user has full access to the Joomla database. If the problem persists, then please contact us. We will fix it for you quickly, professionally, and affordably.

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