White Screen of Death (WSOD) in WordPress

The White Screen of Death (WSOD) is one of the most common errors that occur in WordPress. It is a common issue that can occur for a variety of reasons, including plugin conflicts, theme issues, insufficient memory limits, and server-side problems.

The WSOD can also occur when there are errors in the code, such as PHP syntax errors, which prevent the website from loading correctly. When the WSOD occurs, it can be difficult to determine the cause of the issue, as there are no error messages or other information displayed on the screen.

However, by following a series of troubleshooting steps, it is possible to diagnose and resolve the problem.

Here are some steps you can follow to try to fix WordPress blank page (white screen):

Note: It’s always recommended to take a backup of your WordPress site before making any changes.

Increase Memory Limit

This error happens because a script has exhausted the memory limit. To fix this, you need to increase the PHP memory available. You can do this by adding the following line of code to your wp-config.php

define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’);

Or follow the detailed instructions in our knowledge base article on how to increase PHP memory in WordPress.

Disable Plugins

If increasing the memory limit doesn’t solve the problem or the memory limit is already 256M or 512M, the next step is to disable all plugins. You can do this by renaming the plugins folder in your WordPress installation to plugins.bk or From your WordPress admin area

  • Go to the Plugins » Installed Plugins page.
  • Select all the installed plugins and then select ‘Deactivate’ under ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down.
  • This will prevent all plugins from being loaded and will allow you to determine if a plugin is causing the issue.
  • If this fixes the issue, then enable one plugin at a time to know the plugin causing the issue.
  • Once you find the plugin causing the issue, you can uninstall and reinstall it or report the issue to the plugin developers.

Switch to the Default Theme

If disabling plugins doesn’t solve the problem, you can try switching to the default WordPress theme. This will help you determine if a theme conflict is causing the WSOD. A poorly coded function in your theme’s functions.php file can also cause the white screen of death error. Consider downloading a fresh copy of your theme from its source and then installing it.

  • First, connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. It contains all installed themes on your website.
  • Download the current theme as a backup by right-clicking to select, then proceed to download it to your computer.
  • Proceed to delete the theme folder by selecting ‘Delete’
  • Take a look at your theme’s functions.php file. If there are extra spaces at the bottom of the file, then you need to remove those, and sometimes that should fix the issue.

Check for Error Messages

If none of the above steps solves the problem, you should check your error logs for any error messages that might be related to the WSOD. The error logs can be found in the root folder of your website(public_html folder) in your hosting control panel or by using a plugin such as WP Debug.

Enable WP_DEBUG mode

You can also use the WordPress debug function to see what type of errors are being outputted.
Locate the wp-config.php file in the root folder(public_html folder) of your website
Enable the WP_DEBUG mode by adding/editing the code below in wp-config.php file.

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true );

Once you add this, the blank screen will now have errors, warnings, and notices. These may be able to help you determine the root cause.

If you don’t see any errors, you may still want to check the debug log. 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.

Switch PHP Versions

The blank page can also be caused by an incorrect PHP version. You can try switching PHP versions to check it.

Contact your hosting provider

If you are still unable to resolve the issue, you should contact your hosting provider for assistance. They will be able to help you diagnose and resolve any server-side issues that may be causing the WSOD.

Sometimes, you may have access to the backend, but the front end of the site has the white screen of death. This can happen because of a caching plugin. Simply empty your cache.

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