A lot of people have encountered the WordPress white screen of death at least once. This is a very frustrating and annoying issue, especially when it locks you out of your admin panel.
Sometimes, the white screen of death may affect only a certain area of your website, like a post, for example, so you might not even notice it.
WordPress white screen of death fix
Usually, there are three things that can trigger the WordPress white screen of death: exhausted memory, plugins, or your theme.
Most of the times, memory exhaustion is the reason for the problem.
In order to solve this, you’ll have to increase your PHP memory limit, so you’ll need to access your WordPress files.
Once you have accessed your website’s files, you’ll need to edit the
wp-config.php file located in the WordPress root directory (
/public_html/YourDomain.com/ for add-on domains), and add this line of code:
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M'), right before this line:
/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */.
This will increase your memory limit to 64 MB. You can go higher than 64 MB (96M, 128M, and so on), but it depends on the server.
Increasing your WordPress PHP memory limit might not work may not work if your host won’t allow you to increase it, especially in shared environments.
So, you might want to check with them on that.
If you recently installed or updated a plugin, then you might want to start with that, so deactivate it and see what happens.
If that doesn’t do the trick, then deactivate all the plugins and enable then one by one while checking things out.
1. If you have access to your Dashboard
In order to deactivate all the plugins, go to Plugins (of course) -> tick the box next to Plugin (under Bulk Actions) -> choose Deactivate from Bulk Actions -> hit Apply.
2. If you don’t have access to your Dashboard
Then you have to deactivate the plugin(s) directly from your FTP. To do that, you can use an FTP client, like SmartFTP or FileZilla, or use your host’s file manager.
Once you are on your FTP, go to the
/wp-content/ folder and click on it. Then, some sub-folders will appear, plugins being one of them. Now, rename the plugins folder whatever you like. For example, plugins_disabled.
If you now have access to your
/wp-admin/ (or whatever you called it for security reasons), it means that it’s a plugin issue. You can now go to your FTP again, change “plugins_disabled” back to plugins, and start deactivating the plugins (using the same methodology) one by one in order to spot the troublemaker.
If none of the above solutions fixed your WordPress white screen of death, then it might be a problem with your theme’s coding.
1. If you have access to your Dashboard
First of all, it’s always a good idea to create a backup before making changes, even minor ones like these.
Now switch to another theme by going to Appearance -> Themes -> activate the Twenty Fourteen theme. Check to see if the problem persists, of course.
2. If you don’t have access to your Dashboard.
Go to the
/wp-content/ again, but this time at the themes folder. Rename your theme’s folder as you did to the plugins folder. This will make WordPress automatically activate the default theme.
DON’T rename the whole themes folder, just your theme’s folder, which is inside the themes.
If the white screen of death is caused by your theme’s coding, then it has something to do with the functions.php file (usually).
If you don’t know to code, and you’re not confident that you can fix the issue yourself, contact the theme’s author.
Don’t forget to go back and change your theme folder’s name to the way it was!
If this happens on your other sites as well
If you have multiple sites on the same hosting, and all of them are affected by the WordPress white screen of death, then you can assume that there are some issues with the hosting, so contact them.
This problem is common, annoying and very frustrating, but I really hope one of these solutions will help you out. If they don’t, I suggest talking to your hosting support, which might give you a hand, or to a professional.
Don’t forget to share and help other people out!
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