Technology and its advancements always go hand in hand with bugs and glitches. WordPress is no exception to this. One of the most common problems that WordPress sites face is the WordPress White Screen of Death. Usually, we get locked out of a site or its pages and also don’t get any error message which complicates the matter further. So, in this post we will discuss in details about why this issue happens and what are the possible ways to resolve it.
What is WordPress White Screen of Death Issue and Why it happens
This issue happens when a script on your website exhausts the memory limit. The WordPress Hosting server kills the unresponsive script. This is the very reason why we end up with a white screen and no error message. A theme or plugin on your site with bad code can also trigger this problem. This issue can also happen to multiple websites running on a single hosting account. So, this may indicate a problem in the hosting service.
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Various Techniques to Resolve the WordPress White Screen of Death Issue
Now we will outline some efficient methods that will help you overcome this problem on your WordPress powered site.
WordPress Recovery Mode
The new version of WordPress has this feature which will enable you not to see any white screen. However, you will see a message that says the site is having technical difficulties.
You will also receive an email that will point out the exact cause of the difficulty that your site is facing. Adding to your convenience, you will also receive a special link. It will allow you to log in to the WordPress recovery mode and deactivate the plugin if it causes any issues.
Increasing the Memory Limit
We already mentioned that this error happens when scripts exhaust the memory. You have to increase the PHP memory allocated to WordPress. So, with more memory allocation script can properly execute without any error.
Replacing Current theme with Default Theme
Step-1 Connect to your website using an FTP client
Step-2 Go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. This folder contains all themes you’ve installed on your website.
Step-3 Right-click to select your current WordPress theme and download it to your computer as a backup
Step-4Right-click on your theme folder and select ‘Delete’. Now, your FTP client will delete the theme from your site.
If you have the default themes on your site, then WordPress will start using them by default. You have to manually install the default theme if it’s not already installed. Or else, if at all you want to continue with your current theme then make sure you are using an updated version of the theme.
Enable Debug Mode
After you enable the debug mode, it will show up possible errors, warnings, and notices. To activate the debug mode, you have to add this code in the wpconfig.php file.
define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true );
After you save the file, in case you do not see any change on the white screen, then go to the wp-content folder on your site using FTP client. Look for debug.log file. It will contain a log of errors.
Simply visit the wp-content folder on your website using an FTP client. There you will find a new debug.log file containing a log of all errors, notices, and warnings.
Emptying WordPress Cache
If the front-end of the site is experiencing the white screen of death, it may be due to a caching plugin. All you have to do is clear your cache.
Fixing Longer Articles
In case you have a content page with long and detailed information then you may try this method. It will increase PHP’s text processing capability by increasing the recursion and backtrack limit. You have to paste the following code on your wp-config.php file.
Another possible solution can be disabling the plugins to see whether it fixes the issue.
Step-1Go to WordPress admin > go to Plugins » Installed Plugins page.
Step-2Now Select all the installed plugins
Step-3select ‘Deactivate’ under ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down.
If you don’t have access to Admin area, then you can disable plugins by FTP client. Post the connection, go to the wp-content folder > ‘plugins’ folder.
Now, you need to right-click on the plugins folder and then select Rename. Now rename the plugins folder to plugins-deactivated. WordPress looks for a folder named plugins to load all plugins. When it cannot find the folder due to renaming, it simply deactivates all plugins.
If this fixes the issue, then enable plugin one by one. Once you find the plugin causing the issue, you can replace it with an alternative plugin. Otherwise, you can report the issue to plugin developers.