WordPress is indeed a powerful and most preferred CMS framework on the internet. Based on builtiwith report it powers more than 17 million websites across the internet.
But do you know there are some common issues that causes white screen error? WordPress community relate to it as White Screen of Death Error.
If your website is suffering from white screen of death error I have four steps to resolve the issue and a tip that will help you prevent this error happening again.
So let’s address your white screen error without wasting much of your time:
WordPress is built on top of PHP framework and there is a limit how much memory a PHP script can occupy. It’s 64Mb in majority of shared hosting environment.
Now the WordPress framework has a limitation of execution memory. By default it’s 40Mb for single website environment.
In decent number of the white screen cases extending this memory limit would help us resolve the issue. Let’s extend the limit from 40Mb to 90Mb.
We need to modify the wp-config.php hosting on your web server. To make the edit you need to login to the CPanel (YourWebsite.com:2082).
Now you would be able to see a list of files, you need the select the wp-config.php file and hit the Edit button on the top navigation bar.
Choose edit code option if asked while opening the file for editing. CPanel ask this option to make sure it wouldn’t change the file’s encoding. Don’t worry about this.
In the file add the following code at the end of the file:
Once you done with adding the code, save and close the file.
Try opening the website on new browser tab. Is it working now? Great you issue fixed. The issue still persist? Follow the further steps.
Memory limit is one of the common solution for the error. Let’s check the other common problems that possibly cause the issue.
Do you have other WordPress website(s) hosted with the same hosting provider? Try opening them each in the new browser tabs.
If you find each of the websites have the same white screen problem. Meaning it’s not something you need to worry about. Your hosting server is facing some technical glitch and it will resolve soon.
But if your website is the only one facing the white screen issue, we need to check it for other not so common problems.
We all love WordPress for the extended features we can add using Plugins. There has to be a plugin for any of your needs. You may at least find a plugin for your unique needs.
But do you know that in a poorly coded plugin can cause more damage then the features you may gain with it?
If none of the above method bring your website up, then there are bright chances that something is wrong with plugins.
Let’ identify if there is a problem with plugin or not. We need to disable all the plugins to complete it.
Login to the CPanel as you did in earlier step. Go to the wp-content directory and rename the plugins directory to plugins-bkp.
Try to load your website, is it working fine? Meaning your website had problem with plugins. What you can do next is simply install the required plugins.
A theme causing the white screen error is pretty rare. But still it’s possible that a theme is causing the error.
We are checking the theme issue after making sure that none of the plugins, execution memory, and common issues are not causing the issue.
There are some themes which are badly coded and some of them are using some code that is conflicting with other WordPress code.
To make sure that your active theme is causing this issue or not, we need to set the WordPress default theme (twentysixteen or other) as the default active theme.
As we don’t have access to the WP admin how would you do that? Simple login to the CPanel, go to the wp-content and enter the themes directory.
You will see a list of themes based on how many themes you have installed on your setup. You need to rename your last active theme directory. It will make WordPress fall back to the latest default theme.
Try opening the website in new tab, is it working fine? Meaning you had problem with the theme. Now what? What to do next?
You need to download the same theme from the author’s website, install and activate the theme. In majority of the cases it should resolve the issue.
If not resolved you need to ask the theme developer about the issue. May be the theme file code is conflicting with newer WordPress framework’s code.
To maintain your website please keep a habit of updating plugins as soon as they available. And the same rule applies to the themes. Any good theme will offer you an update.
Being a founder of WordPress development company I would never suggest you to install plugins and theme on your live website just for fun or testing. You better setup a local server and test additional functionality there.
Additionally, WordPress framework offers updates time to time, keep a habit of updating your wordpress framework to the latest version.
Finally, remove all those extra plugins which you no longer use. It will help you make your website faster and reduce the scope of such errors.
WordPress white screen error can happen to any WordPress based websites. The thing is you need to monitor your plugins, themes and keep everything up to date. This will help you address the white screen issue and prevent such occurrences in future.