If you’ve been using WordPress for any length of time, you may have encountered the “White Screen of Death” (WSoD) error. This is when your website displays a blank white screen and doesn’t load any content. The WSoD can be caused by a number of issues such as PHP code errors, memory limit exhaustion, faulty plugins, or themes. However, the most common cause of the WSoD is when a script on your website exhausts the memory limit.
Definition of “White Screen of Death” on WordPress
The WordPress White Screen of Death is an error that can occur when a script on your website exhausts the memory limit. When this happens, the unresponsive script either gets killed by your WordPress hosting server, or it simply times out. This is why no actual error message is generated, and you see a plain white screen.
The white screen of death can be incredibly frustrating, even frightening. There are a number of things that can go wrong, but thankfully, the situation is usually not as bad as it seems.
Reasons Why the White Screen of Death Occurs
The most common reason for the white screen of death error is when a script on your website exhausts the memory limit. However, there are other reasons why this error may occur:
- Faulty plugins or themes
- Corrupt files or database tables
- PHP code errors
- Long posts or pages
- Server issues
Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing the White Screen of Death
Step 1: Identify the Problem
The first step to fixing the white screen of death error is to identify the problem. There are several ways to do this:
Check Server Logs
You can check your server logs to see if there are any errors or issues that could be causing the white screen of death error. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can contact your hosting provider for assistance.
One of the most common causes of the white screen of death error is faulty plugins. To test if this is the issue, deactivate all of your plugins and then reactivate them one at a time until you find the culprit.
If deactivating plugins doesn’t solve the issue, try switching to a default WordPress theme to see if the problem is with your current theme.
Step 2: Backup Your Site
Before making any changes to your site, it’s important to make a backup. This ensures that you can restore your site if anything goes wrong during the fix.
Using a Plugin
You can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy to create a backup of your WordPress site. These plugins make it easy to schedule automatic backups so you don’t have to worry about doing it manually.
If you prefer to do things manually, you can create a backup of your site by downloading all of your WordPress files and your database to your local computer. You can use an FTP client like FileZilla to download your site files and a tool like phpMyAdmin to download your database.
Step 3: Fix the White Screen of Death
Once you’ve identified the problem and made a backup of your site, it’s time to fix the white screen of death error. Here are a few ways to do this:
Increase PHP Memory Limit
If the white screen of death error is caused by a script that has exhausted the memory limit, you can increase the PHP memory limit by adding the following code to your wp-config.php file:
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
You can change the value to a higher number depending on your specific needs.
Check for Corrupt Files
If the white screen of death error is caused by corrupt files, you can try replacing the affected files with fresh copies from a clean WordPress installation.
If the white screen of death error is caused by database issues, you can repair your database using a tool like phpMyAdmin. Simply log in to phpMyAdmin, select your WordPress database, and click onthe “Repair table” option for each table that might be causing the issue.
Step 4: Test Your Site
After implementing the fixes mentioned above, you need to test your site to ensure that the white screen of death error is resolved.
Check for Errors
Enable WordPress debug mode to see if there are any errors or issues that could be causing the white screen of death error. To do this, add the following code to your wp-config.php file:
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true ); define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
If there are any errors, you’ll see them displayed on your site, or you can check the debug.log file in the wp-content folder.
Check Site Functionality
Ensure that all aspects of your site are functioning properly. This includes checking your site’s frontend and admin area, as well as testing any plugins or themes that you’ve reactivated.
Monitor Site Stability
Keep an eye on your site’s performance and stability over time to ensure that the white screen of death error does not reoccur. You can use tools like Google Analytics or Jetpack to monitor your site’s traffic and uptime.
Fixing the WordPress White Screen of Death can be a daunting task, but by following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to identify and resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. Remember to always make a backup of your site before making any changes, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your hosting provider or the WordPress community for assistance if needed. With some patience and persistence, you can get your site back up and running and avoid the dreaded White Screen of Death in the future.
Lorenzo has been using the internet for as long as he can remember. He was there for the early days of message boards, he watched social media take over, and he’s excited to see what comes next.