The White Screen of Death in WordPress

Both PHP errors and database errors can manifest as a white screen, a blank screen with no information, commonly known in the WordPress community as the WordPress White Screen of Death (WSOD).

Before resorting to desperate measures, there are some reasons for the WordPress white screen of death:

A Plugin is causing compatibility issues

If you can access the administration screens, try deactivating all of your plugins and then reactivating them one by one. If you are unable to access your screens, log in to your website via FTP. Locate the folder wp-content/plugins and rename the plugin folder plugins_old. This will deactivate all of your plugins. You can read more about manually deactivating your plugins in the Troubleshooting FAQ.

Your Theme may be causing the problem.

This is especially likely if you are experiencing the white screen of death after you have just activated a new theme or created a New Site on a WordPress Network. Log in to the Administration Screens and activate the default WordPress Twenty Sixteen Theme. If you can’t access your Administration Screens, access your website via FTP and navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. Rename the folder to the active Theme.

Your Theme directory may be missing or renamed.

This is common for developers who have just created a local development environment and cloned the database, which is pointing to a theme (or theme directory) that might be missing or renamed. To test this solution, try accessing wp-login.php or /wp-admin/. If you see anything, this is a good indication it’s theme-related. Log in as an administrator, then try to view the front end, and you should see a WordPress error message that the theme directory “{theme-name}” does not exist.

You can solve this in any number of ways, including switching themes on the admin side, renaming your directory, or editing the “theme” and “stylesheet” records in wp_options

The WP_DEBUG feature often provides additional information. If you are still experiencing problems and are looking at your error logs, you can check out the PHP errors. 

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Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and freelancer.com. He loves writing. When not working he plays Valorant.

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