How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death
Last modified: March 26, 2020
The WordPress white screen of death is feared by many. If you’ve not experienced it yet, it is essentially a white screen when you try to load your page. The white screen can be very specific (to the backend of your website) or general (to the whole site).
What this means is that there has been a PHP fatal error and your site can’t be rendered.
It sounds all dramatic, but it is one of the easiest problems to fix. Here is the simple solution of how to fix the WordPress white screen of death.
Step One: Disable All Plugins/Themes
If you don’t know where the problem is, then you need to disable all plugins and switch themes. To do this you need to go to the plugins file in your WordPress files, using an FTP client and then change the name of the plugins file to ‘plugins_disable‘. Then immediately rename the file to ‘plugins‘ again.
This will disable all the plugins. Check your website now. It should display, but it will not have many of the features.
You can do the same with the themes.
If you notice your website is back on and displaying, it is a plugin/theme that is causing the problem. You can switch them on, one at a time, to find out which one is the culprit. You can do this in the dashboard.
Step Two: Check For Updates
When you’ve determined which plugin/theme has not worked, you should look for the reason why. Sometimes this is because the plugin/theme is outdated and needs an update. So check whether there is an update, if there is, update the theme/plugin and then reactivate.
Don’t activate and then update. This will cause the problem again and you will have to start the process from the start.
Step Three: Find An Alternative
Sometimes it isn’t that the plugin/theme is outdated, it is that an update has been badly programmed. This means that any changes you make won’t have any impact. Therefore, you need to remove the plugin from your site and find an alternative.
Step Four: Increasing Memory
Sometimes, this problem is caused when the memory limit has been exceeded. This seems to be more common with websites on shared hosting. To change this, you need to go to the wp-config.php file through your FTP client.
Then find the line that starts
Change the value after this to 64M.
If that line doesn’t exist, add in the following code.
This should solve the problem. However, there could be an underlying issue, such as a faulty plugin that is using all your resources. You will know this is the problem happens again.
It Isn’t As Scary As It Sounds
The WordPress white screen of death sounds scary, but it is one of the common problems on WordPress and is easily fixed. Follow the instructions above and your WordPress website will be back online soon, earning you revenue.
A Savvy WordPress developer, years of experience developing for web (PHP, JS, jQuery, Vue, MySQL, etc.), SEO specialist, and more…