How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death?

Nadejda
How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death?

The famous white screen of death is one of the most common WordPress errors. It’s also extremely frustrating as there is no exact message explaining the issue, and you are locked out of your own site.

Another problem with this specific error is that it can often affect only certain parts of your website.

For instance, you can see the white screen only while logged into your dashboard, while the rest of the website works just fine. Or it can be visible only for a specific post.

Today we will show you a few of the most common ways to fix the problem.

Note: Make sure to have a backup of your site prior to making any changes.

Why does the white screen of death appear?

In most cases the reason for the white screen is mainly due to exhausted memory limit.

Your WP hosting server kills the unresponsive script, or it times out. This is the reason there is no error message and you only see a plain white screen.

white screen of death

The error can be because of a poorly coded plugin or theme. It can even happen if there is an issue with your web hosting server.

As there can be a number of reasons for the white screen of death, it’s best to do a detailed troubleshooting to locate the issue.

Are all of your sites affected?

If you have more than one WordPress site on your hosting account, check to see of the problem occurs on all of them.

It the case is such, then it most likely indicates that the problem is connected to your hosting service. This can be simply a temporary issue with their service, and you need to contact their support for further information.

On the other hand, if only one site is affected, then you know where to look for the problem.

WP recovery mode

If the issue lies within a theme or plugin, then WordPress may be able to detect it.

Introduced in WordPress 5.2, the fatal error protection feature can in some cases detect the error, so that the white screen may not even appear. Instead you will see the following message:

WP recovery mode

You will also get an email in the admin mail box, with the subject: Your site is having a technical issue.

email in the admin mail box

In the email message you can see the faulty plugin, as well as a specific link. The link will allow you to log into your recovery mode and deactivate said plugin.

recovery mode

If you have no email for recovery option, then you need to do this process manually.

Increasing the Memory Limit

In this case the error appears because the script has exhausted the memory. In this case you would need to increase the PHP memory. This way the script will be able to finish its job.

Disable all plugins

If the previous step was of no help, or if your memory limit is high such as 256M, then it’s time to troubleshoot.

In most cases, the problem lies within a theme or a plugin. You need to disable all plugins.

This can be done from your admin area in WordPress, click on Plugins – Installed Plugins. Select all plugins and then Deactivate, located under the Bulk Actions menu.

Disable all plugins

If you can’t access your admin area, you need to deactivate the plugins from the FTP.

Log in into your site using an FTP client. After that, go to wp-content folder and locate the Plugins folder.

rename plugins

Right-click on the plugins folder and select Rename. Use something like Deactivated plugins.

Deactivated plugins

Now the FTP client will rename the plugins folder.

WP will look for a folder named plugins so that it can load them. when it can’t locate that folder, it will simply deactivate all plugins.

If this resolves the issue, then start activating the plugins one by one so that you can locate the faulty one. Once you do find it, simply replace it with an alternative.

Replace your theme

If the problem is not connected to the plugins, then try with replacing your current theme with a default one.

Connect again to your FTP client, go to /wp-content/themes/folder. There you will find all installed themes on your website.

Right click on your current theme, then download it as a backup.

download theme

Next, delete the current theme. Right-click on its folder and select Delete.

delete theme

If you have a default theme, such as Twenty Twenty for example already installed on your site, then WP will automatically start using it.

If you do not have one, then you would need to manually install a theme using FTP.

If this helps with the issue, then check the functions.php file of your theme. If you see extra spaces at the bottom of the file, then remove them. It may fix the issue.

You can try installing a new copy of your theme and try to install it again.

Enable debug mode

If the problem remains, then you need to start debugging WP. This will help you see the errors which are being outputted.

Add the code bellow to your wp-config.php file.

code bellow to your wp-config.php file

After this, you will be able to see all kinds of warnings, errors and notices on your blanc screen. This will help you locate the root of the problem.

If no errors are displayed, check out the debug log. Go to wp-content folder and locate the debug.log file.

debuglog

Clear your cache

In some case, you will access to the backend, but the white screen is located at the front-end. This can be caused by a caching plugin. In this case just empty your cache.

Editing Longer articles

If the white screen of death appears only on longer posts, this try this trick.

It will increase the PHP’s text processing capacity, increasing the backtrack and recursion limit. Just paste the following code in the wp-config.php file.

code

The while screen of death can be an extremely frustrating error, and we hope the steps above were able to resolve it.

For further advise and support, don’t hesitate to contact our Fixed Team, we would be glad to help in any way!