If you’re reading this, then you have probably faced the most common WordPress issue which is the white screen of death. It owes its preposterous name to a white screen that WordPress throws at you when it’s least expected and usually blocks your access to the whole website or its selected parts, such as sub-pages or posts. At first sight, you may not feel up to solving the problem yourself. Your website is down and you have zero clue on how to approach it. You’re starting to believe that the WordPress blank page has genuinely earned a reputation as an irreversible synonym of death. In all that apprehension, try putting the panic on hold just for a bit. You can make it work again by ticking off a few workable and instant solutions.
Cache – handling the WordPress white screen of death fast
Cache is nothing but a way in which browsers store some of the website files on your computer. It helps load the website faster every time the users visit it. If you make changes to your site often, the cache may not recognize them and use outdated files where no changes have been recorded yet.
So if your browser misses the recent update on your website, clear your cache through the browser’s settings. In addition to that, try activating W3 Total Cache plugin which will monitor browser caching and optimize the speed of your website.
Now check if the blank screen has gone. If not, nothing’s lost. Go on and look for something more sophisticated that will bring your site back.
Extensions – a trial-and-error solution for the blank screen in WordPress
Install your plugins in moderation. Often, the white screen of death hits in a bad response to the updates and too many active extensions that run on your site.
Here’s what to do:
- Open your dashboard and enter the plugin section. Mark all the plugins.
- Using a bulk option from the top context menu, deactivate them.
- Now start activating them one by one. With every action, refresh your site and check if the blank page reoccurs.
- If so, you found a bad plugin. Treat it with care.
You can contact the authors of the plugin to ask for the fix. Or you can replace it with a new extension. There’s a high chance someone already created a substitute. If this can’t help, keep digging.
Memory – how too much is enough for the WordPress blank page
Your hosting server has a limited capacity. When you exhaust it, it will send you signals, such as the white screen of death. It would mean that the PHP memory which is reserved for files and plugins simply begins to falter. To help it, you have to run the FTP manager and use it to access the files on your server. Once you’ve been successfully connected, find the public_html folder in which you should also see the wp-config.php file. You can open it using a standard text editor. The file needs an extra line to increase the memory and this line says:
Add it, save the file, and close the manager. Now see if the problem has gone.
Sometimes hosting providers prefer to control the modifications of memory. In that case, you will need to contact them and ask for the increase of limit.
What else to keep WSOD away?
The wp-config.php file can become even more helpful when the cause of white screen of death remains unknown. This time feel free to edit it by adding the following lines:
error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set('display_errors', 1); define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);
It will trigger a debug mode in which the list of errors turns up on your screen. Somewhere there a message should inform you about the root of the problem.
Every handbook of WP issues would probably begin with the white screen of death. It is so common that you will come across it at some point of a daily website handling. Scary as the WordPress blank screen is, the ways to fix the bug are well-proven and easy. You just have to stay fearless and be ready for this user’s challenge which you already know how to approach.