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How to deal with the white screen of death?

How to deal with the white screen of death?
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If you have a website on WordPress, you will surely meet the so-called white screen of death. You will recognize it after trying to log into your website and having an impression that... the page has disappeared. See what is the most common reason for the white page error and how to fix it.

What does the white screen of death mean?

This bug is about problems with establishing a database connection. Long story short, if you see a white screen of death trying to visit your website, it means that PHP cannot connect to MySQL. As a result, PHP is not reading data needed to build and display the page properly.

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What may be causes of a white screen in WordPress?

Usually, they are plugins that pose a problem. In the case of plugins, it may happen that one of them has been updated to the new version. At the same time, it could automatically become incompatible with the version of your WordPress. If you remember that you recently updated a plugin, log in to the FTP server and find /wp-content/plugins folder. Change its name, e.g. on /plugins_old. This will disable all plugins and allow you to log in to the administration panel of your website. Go to the Plugins tab and turn on each plugin in turn until one of them causes the white screen of death again. You already know that it is the plugin that causes the vulnerability.


If it is not a plugin posing the problem, it can be your theme. The principle of the error is, in this case, the same as for plugins. Probably, the theme you're using is not compatible with the version of WordPress being used. Log in to the FTP server and find /wp-content/themes folder. Change its name, e.g. on /themes_old. This will deactivate your theme, activate the default one, and allows you to log in to your cockpit. Go to the AppearanceThemes and choose the theme that will work well with your WordPress.


If it is not a matter of plugins either themes, it may be a limited PHP memory causing a white page in WordPress. The white page error can be a simple signal that your memory is being exhausted.To fix it, run FTP manager and look for wp-config.php: under the public_html folder. Open the file using any kind of text editor and place there an extra line:


define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64M’);


Save changes and close the manager. Now you can check if the change solved the error. If you prefer, you can contact the hosting provider directly and ask for increasing the memory limit.

Don’t have any clue?

If the above tips did not solve the problem of the white screen of death, return to wp-config.php: under the FTP manager and place there the following lines:


error_reporting (E_ALL);

 ini_set ('display_errors', 1);

 define ('WP_DEBUG', true);


Now, you can see the list of errors with the information of their roots.

If you use WordPress for your website, you will probably face the white page error at least once. The white screen of death is a signal for you that the site can not be connected to your database. What can be reasons for that? There are actually several issues that may be posing a problem. For most common of them, you don’t even have to know how to fix HTML. What to do to make the white screen of death fixed?


  • First, try to deactivate all your plugins – it is possible that there is a faulty plugin causing the error. Log in to your page via FTP and find /wp-content/plugins folder. Rename it to /wp-content/plugins_x and then log in to your admin dashboard. Turn on all the plugins one by one to identify the faulty one.


  • If it was not a plugin causing the error, try the same path with WordPress themes. Maybe you are using the theme that is no longer updated? Log in to your page via FTP and find /wp-content/themes folder. Change its name for /wp-content/themes_x. WordPress will not be able to find your theme folder anymore, so it will automatically activate the default one. Now log in to your admin dashboard and change the theme for the one you want, but this time make sure its version is updated and compatible with WordPress you use.

If the problem doesn't lie in plugins or themes, it may be the issue of your server memory limit. In this case, you have to know how to fix HTML, but the operation is really easy. Try to increase your memory limit by adding define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M'); to wp-config.php: file, or by adding php_value memory_limit 64M to .htaccess file (for both get the access via FTP). If it doesn’t help, contact your hosting provider and ask for increasing your server memory limit.

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