There is nothing worse than navigating to your WordPress site and suddenly you found the blank screen of death, making it inaccessible to both administrators and visitors. Today we will guide you through six common problems that arise with the blank screen of WordPress death, the most frequent causes and most importantly, the solutions so that you can make your site work again as quickly as possible.
If you are viewing a screen like the one above, here are five common steps to solve the problem:
1. Disable Plugins and Themes
One of the simplest and most common ways to fix the WordPress death white screen is to simply disable all your add-ons. Many times a site falls due to a bad update of the add-on. If you can still access your administrator, a quick way to do it is to go to “Add-ons” and select “Deactivate” from the bulk action menu. This will disable all your add-ons. If this solves the problem, you must find the culprit. Start activating them one by one, reloading the site after each activation. When its front-end falls, it has found the add-on that malfunctions. Then you can contact the developer of the plugin for help or publish a support ticket in the WordPress repository.
If you can not access your admin, you can FTP to your server and change the name of your plugins folder to something like plugins_old. Then check your site again. If it works, then you will have to try each plugin one by one. Change back the name of your plugin folder to “plugins” and then change the name of each plugin folder within it, one by one, until you find it.
The same goes for WordPress themes. You can replace your theme temporarily with a default WordPress, Twenty Sixteen is a good choice. If you can access your admin, go to “Themes” on the Appearance menu, and you can activate the Twenty-Sixteen theme and then retest your site. If your site appears a back, the problem is within your theme.
2. Switch On Debug mode
If you are still seeing the blank WordPress death screen, or the admin is not working, you can enable debugging that will expose the errors. The problem is that when a fatal error occurs, the script simply ends the execution. If this happens before content is displayed, all you will see is a white screen without any text.
To enable debugging you will need to open the wp-config.php file of your WordPress installation. Within it you will find the following line:
define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false )
You will need to replace the false with the true and reload your site. If it does not exist, then you can add it to the top
Instead of the blank screen, you will get a blank screen with error messages. It’s not a great improvement, but at least we can start! If you have not yet disabled add-ons and themes, you can find out what is the culprit by looking at the error message. You must indicate in which file the error originates, something like this:
Cannot redeclare get_posts() (previously declared in /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-includes/post.php:1874) in /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/my-new-plugin/my-test-plugin.php on line 43
You can see at the end of the message that the problem is in line 43 of a plugin called “my-new-plugin”. Disabling that plugin should work.
3. Increasing Memory Limits
If you still see a blank page or get an error complaining about memory limits or out of memory, you will need to allocate more memory to the application. This can be done through the wp-config.php file in many installations, just add the following code to the file:
If this does not seem to work, you have some options. You can use your .htaccess file, in the WordPress root directory, to increase the memory limit, simply add the following line:
php_value memory_limit 64M
4. Check File Permission Issues
We have not seen a white screen of death due to this, but the problems of permission and ownership can still cause problems. Who knows, in some circumstances, it can lead to a white screen of death! It is possible to solve it yourself, but unless you really know what you are doing, we advise against it. For WordPress there are three simple rules:
- the files must be 664,
- the folders must be 775,
5. Check for Failed Auto-Update
Sometimes WordPress may have a problem with updates, such as server timeout. Most of the time, this is resolved automatically, but in some wild cases, it can lead to a white screen of death.
The first thing you should do is go to your WordPress root directory and see if there is a .maintenance file there. Feel free to delete that file and upload your site again. If the update was successful, but WordPress could not delete this file automatically, everything will be back to normal.
If the update was not completed, it can be done automatically, in which case things should go back to normal in the same way. If all else fails, follow the recommended manual WordPress update procedure, which should solve the problem once and for all.