Hey, did you open the WordPress website, and it suddenly starts displaying a white screen? Have you tried to refresh the page, clear the cache browser, and even restart the server, but the WordPress white screen issue still has not been resolved? And you are unsure what is the reason behind this screen of death?
In this article, I will tell you different reasons for the WordPress white screen along with a step-by-step solution.
WordPress white screen which is also called “the white screen of death”, is one of the most common errors on WordPress. When you land on your WordPress site, you only see the blank white screen without any error message or notification.
That makes it difficult to point to the real reason. Sometimes, it is also difficult to detect when this problem is helping only particular web pages.
You may become panicked when you hear the word white screen of death. But do not worry, it is just a terminology. If you know the cause, then it will be easy for you to handle the problem.
So even if you have no technical background, I will give you well-explained steps that will help you to resolve the WordPress white screen.
WordPress White Screen Of Death! What Is It?
It is the error in which the website displays the white screen instead of the content of the website. It is an issue that most occurs when websites get some serious error in which you don’t get any content on the website but a blank white screen without any additional notification or information.
So, it is necessary to figure out the cause and fix it quickly, so it does not have a bad impact on the user experience and reputation of the website.
Causes Of Getting WordPress White Screen OF Death Error:
Some of the most common causes of WordPress white screens are
1. No Space:
This happens when your website’s behind-the-scenes computer code has used up all the available space. It’s similar to running out of memory space on your phone, causing it to slow down or stop working.
2. Incompatible Plugins:
Sometimes, plugins (add-ons for a website) don’t work well together or are outdated. It can lead to the website going blank. This often happens with poorly coded or outdated plugins.
3. Faulty Themes:
If the chosen theme for the website doesn’t match the version of WordPress being used, it can create confusion and result in a white screen problem.
4. Corrupted Files:
Mistakes in the code of essential files like functions.php, wp-config.php, and .htaccess can corrupt the site’s functionality, causing it to become unresponsive and display a white screen.
How To Fix The WordPress White Screen Of Death?
If you find the cause of the WordPress white screen, then you will easily fix the white screen of the death issue.
Now, I will discuss the main sources that can cause the problem:
1. Review Recent Changes:
Begin by revisiting recent modifications made to your website before it encounters a blank screen. Examine recent modifications, such as the installation of third-party features or theme changes, which may have triggered the appearance of a blank screen.
2. Check Admin Email:
Verify whether you have received any error notifications from WordPress sent to your wp-admin email address. These notifications often contain valuable information about the problem’s nature and location.
3. Utilize Inspect Element Tool:
Employ the inspect element feature available in your web browser’s developer tools. This tool helps diagnose and rectify issues on a webpage.
4. Test After Each Attempt:
After implementing each method, refresh your website in a visitor’s browser to determine if the issue has been successfully resolved.
But before starting troubleshooting, check whether the website is inaccessible to everyone or only in specific locations. If it’s operational for most users and very few are facing this problem, then consider clearing your browser cache to ensure you’re viewing the latest version of the site.
7 Methods To Fix WordPress White Screen:
Now I will discuss the methods that will help you in fixing WordPress’s white screen issue.
1. Increase WordPress Memory Limits:
Another reason why WordPress might give you that frustrating white screen of death is because it doesn’t have enough memory to work with.
By default, WordPress sets the memory limit at 128 MB, which is usually fine for regular websites. But if your site is packed with lots of pictures and runs big scripts, you might need more memory.
When you’re getting close to that memory limit, WordPress tries to warn you. You might see error messages like these when you’re trying to edit your site:
- Fatal error: Allowed memory size of XXX bytes exhausted.
- Fatal error: Out of memory.
Just follow the above steps, and you should be back to smooth sailing on your site. Remember, it’s a bit like giving your website a bit more brainpower to work with.
Here’s how you can boost that memory limit, whether you’re using an FTP client or the File Manager.
By Using File Manager:
- Find the wp-config.php file in your WordPress website’s public_html folder. It’s like the control center for your site.
- Open it up and look for a line that says “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */”
- Right above it, add this new line “define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’,’1536M’)”
- Save your changes, reload your website, and see if that WordPress white screen of death has vanished.
2. Test Plugins:
The WordPress plugin directory is quite vast because of its open source, which means anyone can create and add their own plugins.
While this openness is great, however, the downside of this openness is that poorly coded or outdated plugins can occasionally trigger the white screen of death issue.
Here’s a way to figure out if it’s a plugin causing the trouble. Just follow these steps, and you’ll get that white screen issue sorted out in no time:
Step No 1 – Clear WordPress Cache:
First, check if you’ve got a caching plugin installed. If you’re seeing the white screen only when visitors see your site, it might be a plugin acting up. To tackle this, clear the WordPress cache so your site displays the latest version.
Step No 2 – Uninstall Current Plugins:
But if that white screen of death is still unresolved, then the next step is to temporarily uninstall all your current plugins.
To do this, go to the File Manager and find the wp-content folder. Then, right-click on the plugins folder and change its name to “plugins-disabled.”
This tactic tricks WordPress into thinking that your current plugins don’t exist, so they won’t load on your WordPress site. If this fixes the white screen issue, it’s sure that one of your plugins is the main culprit.
Step No 3 – Disable the Plugins One by One:
Now, find out which one is causing the trouble. Start with the newest plugin – disable it and see if that solves the problem. If not, keep disabling plugins one by one, renaming their folders, and reloading your site until you pinpoint the culprit.
3. Test Theme:
Using the wrong theme can also make your WordPress website act up and display that white screen of death.
If you recently switched to a new theme, and that’s probably when the trouble started, to fix this, it is best to switch back to the default WordPress theme.
- Connect to your website using an FTP client.
- Go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. This is where all your installed themes are stored.
- Right-click on your current WordPress theme and click on the download option. Download it to your computer as a backup.
- Right-click on your theme folder and click ‘Delete‘ in your FTP client. This will remove the theme from your website.
- If you have one of the default WordPress themes like Twenty Twenty-Two or Twenty Twenty-Three already installed on your website, WordPress will automatically make it a default theme. However, if you don’t have a default theme installed, you’ll need to manually install one using FTP.
Now this method might solve your WordPress white screen issue, if not then take a look at your theme’s functions.php file. Sometimes, extra spaces at the bottom of the file can be the culprit, so remove those if you find any.
Also, if your theme’s functions.php file has poorly coded functions, that could also trigger the white screen of death. So, consider downloading a new copy of your theme from its source and then manually installing it using FTP.
4. Check The Error Logs:
Enabling the Debug Mode will allow you to see what type of error is happening on your website.
- Access the wp-config.php file located in the public_html folder of your website.
- Look for this line of code: /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.
- Just above it, insert this line of code “define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);”
- If you already have a WP_DEBUG line in your wp-config.php file, change its value from false to true.
Once you’ve done this, your screen might start showing you instructions on how to fix the problem. Pay close attention to the instructions it provides for fixing these issues. Remember to change the value of the WP_DEBUG line back to false once you’ve resolved the problem.
5. Clear The WordPress Cache:
Mostly when you encounter the white screen of death, then you cannot have access to the front end, but you can work on the back end.
This is mostly because of the caching plugin.
For this, you need to clean the cache in WordPress.
6. Back-Up The Website:
One of the last methods to fix the WordPress white screen is restoring the WordPress site from a backup.
Generally, this method is not recommended because, during the backup process, you might lose some data that is not advantageous for you especially if you are running an e-commerce business and you might lose orders.
It may be a bit weird, but creating a backup of your website is critical before you try to destroy the previous backup. This way, even if your process of restoring does not go as you want, then you’ll still have that error white screen of death.
And your data on the website will not be lost. And you can keep working on figuring out the main issue without any frustration of losing critical data.
7. Contact Hosting Providers:
If you are still not figuring out the main cause of WordPress’ white screen of death, then probably it is time to contact your web hosting provider.
Their support team has access to the inner process of your website. So, they can figure out and tell you the main changes that happen on your website or server.
Prevent Your Website From White Screen Of Death In The Future:
If you want to protect your website from this trouble again, then keep in mind the underlying tips.
- Keep the WordPress theme, and plugins updated, and make sure you have the latest version of WordPress.
- Use a reliable and quality hosting provider that is available to offer you support 24/7
- Use a child theme if you need to make changes in the theme code
- Backup your website regularly
- Use the essential plugins and deactivate the plugins that are not in use.
- Using a caching plugin will help you to increase the website speed and prevent from white screen of death
- Regularly monitor the website and take action immediately if you notice anything unusual.
The WordPress white screen of death may sound like an irreversible error of the WordPress website and cannot be resolved. But it is just dramatic terminology and nothing else. If you follow the above-mentioned methods one by one, you might find the main culprit of the white screen.
Remember the WordPress white screen of death can be a temporary problem, but with the right approach, you can fix this issue and run the website smoothly.
I hope this article will solve your WordPress white screen problem.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is the WordPress White Screen of Death?
The WordPress White Screen of Death (WSOD) is a frustrating issue where your WordPress website displays nothing but a blank white screen instead of your content. It can happen for various reasons, making it important to diagnose and fix.
WordPress white screen of death is the issue in which WordPress websites do not display anything but a blank white screen, and there is no content.
How Can I Troubleshoot The WordPress White Screen Of Error?
To troubleshoot the WSOD, you can start by
- checking for recent changes in the WordPress website
- Examining themes and plugins one by one,
- Increasing memory limits.
- Enabling debugging mode
- Checking Server Issue
How To Prevent WordPress From The White Screen Of Death In The Future?
To prevent the WSOD, keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated. Be cautious when installing new plugins or themes, and regularly back up your website. Implementing good coding practices and using child themes can also help avoid WordPress white-screen occurrences in the future.
Is It Essential To Back Up My Website Before Attempting To Fix The White Screen?
A: Yes, it’s essential to create a backup to ensure that you can revert to your previous state if something goes wrong during the troubleshooting process, to safeguard your website’s data and content.