How to Fix WordPress White/Blank Screen or 404 Error Page

So, you’re just staring at your WordPress blank page and wondering where your website went? Well, you’re not alone. Almost every WordPress user has faced this issue once in their lifetime.The best part is, that WordPress white screen error is relatively easy to fix.

In this tutorial, we will unravel reasons behind the WordPress white screen of death error and various ways to fix it.

Let’s get started.

Why Do You Get WordPress White/Blank Screen or 404 Error Page?

WordPress white screen error might cripple your whole website or parts of it. Everything seems to be working fine, but you get this error on a certain post or a page or even more than one page.

This error might be due to:

- Exhausted memory

- Incompatibility of a theme with a certain plugin and vice versa

- A poorly coded plugin or theme which broke down as you updated your WordPress files

- Issues with web hosting server

- Recently moved your WordPress site to a new web host



Whatever the error is, it can be easily fixed with a bit of troubleshooting. Read below to find out how.


What you’ll need

Before starting this tutorial you’ll need the following

  • Access to WordPress administrator area
  • Access to your Hosting control panel or FTP

 

Fixing WordPress White/Blank Screen or 404 Error Page Issue

In this tutorial we will use FileZilla FTP client to make necessary changes like file editing, renaming. However, the same result can be achieved by using File Manager. We will also asume that WordPress is uploaded to public_html folder.

Fixing WordPress white screen of death issue might seem to be troublesome at first, but it is fairly simple to fix. Here are a few steps that you need to follow:

Option 1 – Increasing WordPress Memory Limit

As we already discussed, lack of sufficient memory might be one of the probable issues behind the white screen. In order to fix this, all you need to do is:

  1. Open FTP Client and connect to FTP server.
  2. Next, look for public_html folder and wp-config.php.
  3. Right click on the file and select View/Edit.Edit/View wp-config.php
  4. The file will open your default text editor. Add the following line of code within main PHP tags:

    Increasing WordPress Memory Limit
  5. Save and close the file. FileZilla FTP client will upload changed file to the server.
  6. Check your website, and see if this fixed the error.

 

It’s also possible that your hosting provider set low PHP memory limit on the server side. You can easily check this with a help of phpinfo() function.

If you still see WordPress blank page after increasing memory limit, proceed to next option.

Option 2 – Checking Plugins

If boosting the memory limit didn’t help you or, if you already had a high memory limit, then it is better to check for plugins. You can detect any probable plugin issues by disabling all the plugins at once instead of disabling the plugins one by one. If after disabling all the plugins, the problem is solved, it would be easier to narrow down to the exact plugin which is creating problems.

Thus, all you need to do is:

  1. Login to your FTP server and look for public_html folder
  2. Navigate to public_html/wp-content folder.
  3. Select the plugins folder inside and rename it to something different for example, plugins-disabled. This is just to trick WordPress that the plugins folder does not exist. And so, it will not load plugins on your website.Fix WordPress White Screen of Death by Renaming Plugins
  4. Check your website if it is working.

 

If your website has started working, indications are clear that the WordPress white screen of death was a result of a problematic plugin.

Now to identify the plugin, follow these steps:

  1. Rename the plugins folder back to plugins and access it.
  2. Now deactivate plugins one by one by renaming their folders.
  3. After each rename check if your web site started working.
  4. Once you know which plugin is causing issues delete it’s folder or try to replace/re-install the plugin.

 

However, if this didn’t fix the error, it is the time to go to Option 3.

Option 3 – Checking themes

If you got this far, chances are high that this issue might be an outcome of an incompatible or broken theme.

The best way to check if your theme is the main reason behind WordPress white screen of death error is to switch your website’s theme to default Twenty Seventeen theme. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Access your hosting control panel and open phpMyAdmin. On Hostinger, it’s located under Databases.
  2. Now click on the wp_options table and find template and stylesheet values (you may need to click on Show all to see these fields).
  3. You should see your current theme name as option values. Double click on current theme name and change it to twentyseventeen.Change WordPress Theme via phpMyAdmin
  4. This will forcibly disable your current theme and switch your website to latest default theme

 

Now, check the website again. If this fixed your error, it is evident that the main problem your theme. In such cases, you can try to re-install corrupted theme.

Option 4 – Checking WordPress error logs

If nothing seems to have fixed the issue, it is time to check WordPress error logs. You can check the errors that are being outputted with the help of WordPress debug function. Follow the following steps to activate this function:

  1. Connect to FTP server and open wp-config.php file for editing.
  2. Now search for WP_DEBUG value and change value from false to true:

    Enable Debug for WordPress
  3. Once added, the WordPress white screen of death will showcase warnings, errors and notices which will help you in determining the major cause behind this issue.



Option 5 – Resaving Your Permalinks 

This is a common issue when moving WordPress sites. 

- Login to your WordPress wp-admin normally at yourdomain.com/wp-admin
- Go to "Permalinks" under the settings module
- You can just hit Save and it should work if not, set the permalinks structure to "default" (don't worry, this is temporary) and see your posts and other pages should start appearing again
- Set the permalinks structure back to whatever fits your blog and hit Save 


The above should reset your links in WordPress.

 

Conclusion

WordPress white screen of death error might be irritating. Follow the above tutorial, and we’re sure you will be able to bring your website back. The above-mentioned steps are easy to follow, however, if you are facing any issues, do let us know in the comments, and we will help you out in all the ways we can.

 

 

 

 

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