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WordPress White Screen of Death Tips and Tricks

Posted on August 8, 2011  in Technology

WordPress White Screen of Death (WSOD) hit my blog last month, but I learned a lot so I am sharing my experience here at menardconnect.com.

But what is WordPress White Screen of Death (or WordPress White Screen)? And how do you fix it?

WordPress White Screen of Death is like the Windows Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) but this time it’s for WordPress and the screen is all white (and not blue, brilliant eh!). Sometimes browsers will have some error codes (e.g. 5xx error) while most of the time its just pure white screen.

WordPress White Screen affects both the main website as well as the WordPress admin site, so that solution will most probably be the hard way (example is to use Cpanel or WHM (Web Host Manager) consoles).

Sample Cpanel Screenshot

Image Credits: Cpanel.net and Wikipedia.org

Here are the steps I tried to Solve WordPress White Screen of Death:

Step 1. Connect to your Cpanel or WHM/Web Host Manager
Step 2. Choose File Manager or Legacy File Manager
Step 3. Go to wp-content folder (usually found at Root folderWP-Content)
Step 4. Rename the “plugins” folder to “plugins_temp” (or any other name)
Step 5. Create new folder and name it as “plugins”

Step 5 technically means you will disable all the WordPress plugins

After step 5, you should check your blog (either the main website or the WP-Admin site). The WordPress White Screen of Death should be gone by now.

Step 6. Delete the new “plugins” folder you have created a few minutes ago.
Step 7. Rename back the “plugins_temp” folder to “plugins” folder
Step 8. Log in back to WordPress Admin Console
Step 9. Re-enable WordPress plugins one at a time to check if it is causing the white-screen of death. Note: Step 9 is a trial and error

Repeat Step 9 until you find the problematic plugin.

Step 10. If you have identified which plugin/s, then congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚ kindly leave some comments at the end of this post.

Alternatively, you can decide to maintain a small set of critical plugins only so that your website will be functional. This is good way to keep your blog lean and mean.

Sometimes Step 6 and 7 will not disable all the plugins. An alternative step will be to skip Step 6 and go to Step 6.1 below

Step 6.1. Manually copy one plugin folder from “plugins_temp” folder to “plugins” folder.
Step 6.2 Log back into WordPress Admin Console
Step 6.3 Enable that plugin from Step 6.1. You should see 1 plugin only.
Step 6.4 Delete the new “plugins” folder you have created a few minutes ago

Then proceed to Step 7 onwards.

Lookout for some error log files in the “plugins” folder, as in my case I saw some log file that have helped me identify which plugin may be the problematic one.

If you do not have cPanel or Web Host Manager consoles, use the related web hosting admin consoles and tools given to you by your web hosting.

Special thanks to Daryl of web.com.ph, my friendly web host admin (need to check if itโ€™s ok to give his name/handle); he gave me very helpful tips to fix my WordPress White Screen (WSOD).

I hope you find my WordPress White Screen of Death fix tips and tricks post helpful.