The WordPress white screen of death is among the most frequent WordPress issues. Because there is no error notice and you are locked out of WordPress, it also ranks among the most annoying ones.
Another issue with the white screen of death (also known as “WSoD”) is that it might occasionally only impact a certain section of your web page.
In the WordPress admin section, for instance, you can just get the white screen of death while everything else is functional. In other situations, you might just notice it on a certain post while everything else on your website including your WP Admin continues to function normally.
In this post, we’ll examine various fixes for the WordPress white screen of death and teach you how to solve it.
Reminder: Make sure your WordPress site is backed up before making any changes to it.
For your convenience, you find below Jumplinks to navigate directly to the Section you would like to read:
- Why Does WordPress Display a White Screen of Death?
- Do your other websites also have this issue?
- Fixing White Screen Error with WordPress Recovery Mode
- Increasing the Memory Limit
- Disabling All Plugins
- Replacing the theme with the default theme
- Enable Debug Mode to Catch Errors in WordPress
- Clear WordPress Cache
- Fixing Longer Articles
Why Does WordPress Display a White Screen of Death?
Most often, a white screen of death indicates that a script on your website has reached its memory limit. As the name suggests, the white screen of death is literally a blank page that appears out of nowhere when you try to access your WordPress website.
The unresponsive script either times out or is terminated by your WordPress hosting server. This is the reason a blank white screen instead of an actual error message is shown.
On rare occasions, you may only get a critical error message instead of a blank screen.
There has been a significant difficulty on your website,” or a blank screen, both indicate the same problem.
It is possible that a poorly coded installed plugin or theme is to blame for this issue. The white screen of death can also be caused by using a badly designed function in your theme’s function php file. This error could potentially occur if your web host is experiencing technical difficulties.
Because of the variety of possible origins of the white screen issue, systematic investigation is required to find a solution.
Do your other websites also have this issue?
As a first step, you should see if any of the other WordPress sites on your hosting account are experiencing the same issue.
If that’s the case, it’s time to look for a new WordPress hosting service. As this may only be a temporary disruption to their service, they encourage you to get in touch with their support team for further details.
However, if the problem only appears on one website, or on a subset of that website, then you know for sure that it is not a widespread issue. You should check whether you can get to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ to see if that’s where you’ll be able to make changes. Using an FTP client is the next step if the administration pages are also displaying a blank screen.
Fixing White Screen Error with WordPress Recovery Mode
WordPress may be possible to identify the source of a white screen of death if it is caused by a third-party plugin or theme. If the blank page appeared because of a plugin or theme, WordPress may be keeping track of the problem. With WordPress 5.2’s new fatal error protection feature, you won’t even see a blank screen. Instead, you’ll see a message saying that technical difficulties are preventing the site from being accessed at the moment:
An email message with the title “Your Site is Having a Technical Issue” would also be sent to your admin email account.
This email alert will include a unique URL and a description of the malicious plugin. If you click on this link, WordPress will go into its recovery mode. This will let you turn off the plugin that is causing the issue.
On the other hand, if you get the “white screen of death” and can’t get to email or recovery mode, you’ll have to fix the problem by hand.
Increasing the Memory Limit
This error typically occurs because a script ran out of memory and crashed. You must give WordPress access to more PHP RAM to resolve this.
To achieve this, you need to be able to get to your .htaccess file. The.htaccess file starts with a mark because it is a secret/hidden file. If you don’t see any files in your root folder, check to see if your cPanel File Manager or FTP Client is hiding them.
Here’s what you need to insert in your .htaccess file to increase the amount of memory WordPress can use.
php_value memory_limit 256M
php_value upload_max_filesize 12M
php_value post_max_size 13M
As a result, the script will be able to use more RAM to complete its task.
Disabling All Plugins
You should start debugging if increasing the memory limit did not resolve the issue or if your memory limit is large (256M or 512M).
Many times the problem is either with a particular plugin or a theme. Let’s proceed and turn off all the plugins.
Visiting the Plugins > Installed Plugins page in your WordPress Dashboard is all you need to do if you can still get into the WordPress admin area. Choose “Deactivate” from the “Bulk Actions” drop-down menu after selecting all the installed plugins.
You will need to use FTP to deactivate all plugins if you don’t have access to the WordPress admin area.
Open an FTP client (for example FileZilla) and log in to your WordPress website. Go to the wp-content folder, where you will find the “plugins” folder after you are joined.
Now you must select rename from the context menu when you right-click on the plugins folder. The folder plugins can be renamed to plugins-deactivated.
The plugins folder will now receive a new name in your FTP client.
To load all plugins, WordPress searches for the plugins folder. It just deactivates all plugins if it can’t locate the folder.
If this resolves the problem, turn on each plugin one at a time until the problem is resolved. Once you identify the offending plugin, you have two options: swap it out for a different plugin or contact the plugin’s developers with your findings.
Replacing the theme with the default theme
If troubleshooting the plugin doesn’t fix the problem, you should switch to a default theme. Maybe you just installed a new theme? Like plugins, a WordPress theme can become out of date or cause problems when used with a plugin. Sometimes themes don’t install right because files are broken.
Go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder after first connecting to your website using an FTP client or via your cPanel File Manager. All of your website’s installed themes are included in it.
Choose your current WordPress theme with the right click, then download a copy of it to your PC as a backup.
The current theme on your website needs to be removed next. Select “Delete” from the context menu when you right-click on your theme folder. The theme from your website will now be removed by your FTP client.
The Twenty Eighteen or Twenty Nineteen default WordPress themes will now be used by default by WordPress if you have them installed on your website.
You must manually install the default theme using FTP if one is not already there.
The white screen of death problem can also be brought on by employing a badly designed function in your theme’s functions.php file. You should examine your theme’s functions.php file whether this resolves the problem. You need to delete any additional spaces at the bottom of the file, which can occasionally solve the problem.
Think about installing a fresh copy of your theme that you downloaded from its source.
Enable Debug Mode to Catch Errors in WordPress
Turning on debugging in WordPress is the next step if nothing else has worked so far. You can then observe what kinds of errors are being outputted thanks to this.
Add the code listed below to your wp-config.php file.
When you add this, alerts, cautions, and errors will appear on the blank screen. You might be able to identify the root cause with these.
Even if you don’t encounter any issues, you should still look at the debug log. Using an FTP client, just navigate to the wp-content folder on your website. A new debug.log file containing a log of all failures, notices, and warnings may be found there.
Clear WordPress Cache
Even if you can get to the back end of the website, sometimes the front end shows the “white screen of death.” Sometimes, all you need to do is clear the browsers cache. Websites use caching to give users a better experience and speed up browsing. But as time goes on, the cache fills up with old information and cookies that are no longer needed.
In Google Chrome, you can do this by clicking on the three vertical dots in the top right corner, then navigating to More tools > Clear browsing data : You should see a page like this that enables you to clear your browsing history, cookies, and cached files: Click on Clear data and wait for the process to finish.
A caching plugin may be to blame for this error, too. Basically, let the plugin clear the cache, too.
Fixing Longer Articles
This tiny method could be effective if your white screen of death only occurs on really lengthy posts or pages.
By raising the recursion and backtrack limits, this method essentially makes PHP more capable of processing text. You may add the code listed below via your cPanel File manager or via FTP to your wp-config.php file.
As you have seen, there are many ways how to fix the WordPress White Screen of Death. We get how annoying this problem is, and we wish one of the solutions above would have helped you.
If that doesn’t work, you have sincerely two options:
- You should probably call your web host and ask for help, sometimes they have an idea due to having access to the server error logs or
- Try restoring the site from a backup.
Important! We recommend this method only as the last resort since the website might lose data in the process. eCommerce website owners should be aware that restoring a backup can also mean losing orders.
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