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WordPress is one of the best content management systems for blog-style sites, and other websites alike. The most attractive feature of WordPress is its ease of use; even someone with almost no programming experience can build and program a website using it. Nevertheless, even with the simplicity of the software, sometimes errors are unavoidable. In this tutorial, we will unravel the reasons behind the WordPress White Screen of Death error and various ways to fix it. Let’s get started.
Why Do You Get WordPress White Screen of Death?
WordPress white screen error might cripple your whole website or parts of it. Everything seems to be working fine, but you get this error on a certain post or a page or even more than one page. As there is no specific error code displayed, it is not as simple of a fix as a traditional error would be. Some troubleshooting and trial and error are needed to fix this problem. In today’s article, we will discuss the most commonly used ways to fix the issue.
How to Fix a WordPress White Screen of Death?
If you are seeing a white screen of death error, here are some common steps to resolve the issue:
- Increasing Memory Limits
- Disable Plugins and Themes
- Resolve Syntax Errors
Increase PHP Memory Limit in WordPress
First, you need to edit the wp-config.php file on your WordPress site. It is located in your WordPress site’s root folder, and you will need to use an FTP client or file manager in your web hosting control panel.
Next, you need to paste this code in the wp-config.php file just before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.’
This code tells WordPress to increase the PHP memory limit to 256MB.
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
Once you are done, you need to save your changes and upload your wp-config.php file back to your server.
You can now visit your WordPress site and the problem should be solved now.
Disable Plugins and Themes
One of the easiest and most common ways to fix the WordPress white screen of death is to simply disable all your plugins. A lot of times a site goes down due to a bad plugin update. If you can still access your admin, a quick way to do this is to browse to “Plugins” and select “Deactivate” from the bulk actions menu. This will disable all of your plugins.
If this fixes the issue you will need to find the culprit. Start activating them one by one, reloading the site after each activation. When your front-end goes down, you have found the misbehaving plugin. You can then reach out to the plugin developer for help or post a support ticket in the WordPress repository.
If you can’t access your admin you can FTP into your server and rename your plugins folder to something like plugins_old. Then check your site again. If it works, then you will need to test each plugin one by one. Rename your plugin folder back to “plugins” and then rename each plugin folder inside of it, one by one, until you find it.
The same goes for your WordPress themes. You can replace your theme temporarily with a default WordPress one, Twenty Seventeen is a good choice. If you can access your admin, go to “Themes” in the Appearance menu, and you can activate the Twenty Seventeen theme and then test your site again. If your site pops back up the issue is within your theme
If you can’t access your admin, the process is the exact same as with plugins. Rename your wp-content/themes folder to something else, such as themes_old. WordPress will then revert to the latest default theme, which is most likely Twenty Nineteen (if you don’t have any other themes, you can download Twenty Nineteen from the WordPress repository and upload it to your themes folder). Then check your site again. If it works, then perhaps your theme has a conflict or bad update, in which case you might need to reach out to the developer of your theme.
Resolve Syntax Errors
Another common reason for the white screen of death is if you were editing the code on your WordPress site and you accidentally mistyped something or have the wrong syntax. One bad character in the wrong place could take down your entire site. That is one reason why you should never edit code on your live production site.
If none of the above fixes it, then you should try to re-install a fresh copy of WordPress. While it is unlikely, but it is always possible that a core file may have been corrupted.
You can also use the WordPress debug function to see what type of errors are being outputted. Add the following code in your wp-config.php file.
error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set('display_errors', 1);
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);
Once you add this, the blank screen will now have errors, warnings, and notices. These may be able to help you determine the root cause.
Sometimes, you may have access to the backend, but the front end of the site has a white screen of death. This can happen because of a caching plugin. Simply empty your cache.
WordPress white screen of death error might be irritating. Follow the above tutorial, and we’re sure you will be able to bring your website back. The above-mentioned steps are easy to follow, however, if you are facing any issues, do let us know, and we will help you out in all the ways we can.
My name is Linda, I have Master degree in Information Technology Engineering. I have some experiences in working with Windows and Linux VPS and I have been working for 2 years on Virtualization and Hosting.