wordpress white screen of death

How to Fix White Screen of Death in WordPress

Last Updated on April 24, 2022 by WP Knowledge Hub

Your website might one day be replaced with a full blank white screen and this is one of the most frequent WordPress errors (the “White Screen of Death)! Plugins, or a defective theme are the most common causes of this issue. In order to recover your website, take the following steps.

Turn on WordPress DeBugging

Try turning on the debugging properties of WordPress which will show all PHP related errors on the screen when you visit your website. To do that, you need to access your .wp-config file by logging into the root folder of your File Manager in your hosting panel (like cPanel or Plesk), or accessing it through an FTP client like FileZilla or Cyberduck.

Change the word ‘false’ in the code line below to ‘true’ and save the file.

define( 'WP_DEBUG', false);

Then, refresh your website, and look for anything obvious. If the error speaks to exactly what you need to do, then you have you answer. If the errors are complete gibberish to you, you will need to keep on looking. The next step is to deactivate the plugins to see if they are the culprit.

Deactivate the plugins

Since you don’t have access to the Dashboard Admin Area of your WordPress website anymore, you will need to deactivate all your website’s plugins from the server. To do this, log into the server through your File Manager or FTP client (same as above), and open the folder called wp-content in your server’s root directory.

Rename the plugins folder to something else, like for example: plugins.bak:

If you refresh your site now and your site comes back, then you know that one of the plugins is the issue. You can restore your plugin folder’s anem to ‘plugins’ now and repeat the same process with every single individual plugin in the plugins folder to find out EXACTLY which one is causing the issue. Once you know, you can delete it, or contact the plugin developer for more information.

Check your theme

Another possible reason for the error might also be your WordPress theme. If deactivating the plugins made no difference and you still have the White Screen of Death, try changing to the default WordPress theme. To do that without access to the WordPress dashboard, just repeat the same process as above (renaming the theme folders) and leave only the most recent official WordPress theme. This will most likely fix your issue!