Web Design and Development
Seeing that dreaded blank WordPress page is never a pleasant sight. There are no error message nor any other indication of what might have gone wrong. So finding and fixing the problem can be very frustrating and time consuming.
And as you can probably imagine, with over 50 WordPress websites under our belt, we’ve seen our fair share of blank pages.
So before you pull your hair our, take a look at our list below. Hopefully we can save you some trouble.
The list is arranged in order of most common to least common, as from our experience.
If you have just installed or upgraded WordPress and it just shows you that White Screen of Death, you might not have uploaded all of the core files. And even if you are sure that all files are uploaded, its good to upload again just to be sure.
We had this problem, for example, when dealing with a bad web host which repeatedly timed out and didn’t give any indication that files were being selectively uploaded.
Your FTP client could also be at fault.
To ensure complete upload of files, one simple method is to upload the entire zipped directory and then unpack it on the server.
If you are upgrading your blog, be sure not to overwrite the wp-content directory. But if theme files have been deleted, you will need to upload them or switch to the default theme to see your blog. Additionally, when moving your blog, be sure to keep the wp-content directory, or at least your theme files.
Plugins have very limited compatibility and do not function with all versions of WordPress. So before upgrading or installing a plugin, check for full compatibility. Additionally, not all plugins play nice with one another. So you might have to disable or delete any new plugins to restore your website.
Sometimes, the problem lies with the theme. If you’ve just set a new theme or edited your theme and noticed this error, then go back and undo whatever you did.
Believe it or not, your wp-config.php file could be the culprit. Colin McNulty, who spent half a day finding the problem on his blog, rants:
You getting it yet? Yep, it’s an empty line. That’s all it is. 1 single solitary NewLine at the bottom off the file, right after that ?> a Carriage Return & Line Feed in programmers speak. That’s it. You hit the Enter key in one wrong place and the whole pack of cards comes tumbling down! Shocking, just shocking.
So, if you are editing your wp-config file, beware! Avoid any unnecessary empty lines. Colin McNulty also advises us to beware of
nefarious spaces, because who knows what they’re capable of!
Depending on your web host, if your files do not have sufficient permissions, then your pages will not be shown. And you’ll get an instance of the Blank Page of Death. For information, on changing permissions, see the WordPress Documentation Changing File Permissions.
If you’ve tried everything and have not been able to find a solution, you might just have to restore your blog from a backup, or simply reinstall WordPress. But before you do so, you might want to try Andrew Ooi’s fix below.
We didn’t even think of this one, but ex-PHP programmerAndrew Ooi did. On his blog, he explains the process of forcing WordPress to give error reporting, thus giving you an alternative to the mysterious blank page.
In a video tutorial, he explains the process of creating an error reporting file called tester.php with the following code:
For full details, visit Andrew Ooi’s blog here.
Have a different blank page fix? Let us know.Tags: blogs, content management system, WordPress