Methods to Fix the White Screen of Death error (WSOD) in WordPress

White screen of death error on WordPress CMS

The white screen error is a common WordPress error that can occur on WordPress websites. When it occurs,

The white screen error is a common WordPress error that can occur on WordPress websites. When it occurs,

the user is greeted with a blank white screen without any error message. It can be frustrating to see the white screen as it hinders access to the website.

The occurrence of the blank page may vary in different cases. Sometimes, it only appears on certain pages and not on others, whereas in other instances, it can be observed throughout the entire website, including the WordPress admin section.

Without any error message from the blank screen, it can be challenging to identify the root cause of the issue and fix the problem. However, some common factors could potentially trigger the White Screen of Death, which we can explore.

Following are the detailed steps where we show you how to fix this weird WordPress error showing a white screen:

Clear Cache and Cookies from your Browser to fix the WordPress white screen of death

The steps to clear your browser cache may vary depending on the browser you are using, but here are some general instructions:

  • Google Chrome:
    Click the three dots icon in the top right corner of the browser window.
    b. Select “More tools” > “Clear browsing data”.
    c. Choose the time range for which you want to clear the cache.
    d. Check the box next to “Cached images and files”.
    e. Click “Clear data”.
  • Mozilla Firefox:
    Click the three lines icon in the top right corner of the browser window.
    b. Select “Options” > “Privacy & Security”.
    c. Scroll down to the “Cookies and Site Data” section and click “Clear Data”.
    d. Check the box next to “Cached Web Content”.
    e. Click “Clear”.
  • Safari:
    Click “Safari” in the top menu bar.
    b. Select “Preferences” > “Privacy”.
    c. Click “Manage Website Data”.
    d. Select “Remove All” or choose specific websites and click “Remove”.
    e. Click “Done”.
  • Microsoft Edge:
    Click the three dots icon in the top right corner of the browser window.
    b. Select “Settings” > “Privacy, search, and services”.
    c. Click “Choose what to clear” under “Clear browsing data”.
    d. Check the box next to “Cached images and files”.
    e. Click “Clear now”.

If the problem originates from your browser, performing this action should rectify the issue and permit access to your website. Once clearing the browser cache, please check if the error is fixed. If the problem persists, it may be stemming from your website. In such an event, proceed with the subsequent step.

Clear WordPress Cache using Plugins or manually to get rid of this fatal error

Clearing the WordPress cache is another solution for resolving this fatal error. Access to your WP Admin Dashboard is a requirement for implementing this solution.

Please note, however, that there are instances where the WordPress White Screen of Death can also affect the WordPress Dashboard, rendering you unable to access your site. In such cases, this solution will not be helpful, and you should consider proceeding to the subsequent solution.

  • Clear Cache using WordPress Plugins: WordPress offers a variety of caching plugins that can be used to clear the cache. Some popular ones include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Fastest Cache. Once you have installed and activated the WordPress plugin, you can typically find an option to clear the cache within the plugin’s settings or dashboard.
  • Clear Cache Manually via cPanel: If your website is hosted on a cPanel web hosting account, you can clear the cache manually by following these steps:
    Log in to cPanel and navigate to the File Manager.
    b. Locate the root directory of your WordPress installation and find the wp-content folder.
    c. Within the wp-content folder, locate the cache folder (usually named “cache” or “wp-cache”) and delete it.
    d. Reload your WordPress website to confirm that the cache has been cleared.
  • Clear Cache using a WordPress Cache Clearing Plugin: You can also use a dedicated WordPress cache-clearing plugin like WP-Optimize, WP Rocket, or Autoptimize. Once installed, these plugins have options to clear the cache on a one-click basis.

Deactivate all Your WordPress Plugins to fix the white screen

Plugin conflicts often cause the White Screen of Death in WordPress. This is particularly likely if you’ve recently installed a new plugin or updated an existing one.

To troubleshoot the issue, it’s necessary to deactivate all your plugins to determine which plugin issue in WordPress may be causing the problem. There are several methods to disable all plugins simultaneously.

WordPress plugin deactivate from the admin dashboard

WordPress Plugin De-activate window

Assuming you have admin access to your WordPress site, you can deactivate all plugins at once by navigating to the “Installed Plugins” page under the “Plugins” menu. Once there, select all the plugins listed, choose “Deactivate” from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu, and then click “Apply” to deactivate them all. The Process is the same for all WordPress versions may it be old WordPress 5.2 or the latest WordPress 6.1.

Deactivate-WordPress-plugins through FTP

Deactivate-WordPress-plugins-FTP


If you don’t have admin access to your WordPress site, you can still deactivate all your plugins by accessing your site directory through cPanel or an FTP client such as FileZilla. Once in the site directory, navigate to the “wp-content” folder and find the “plugins” folder within it. Rename this folder to anything other than “plugins” to deactivate all your plugins.

After disabling all the plugins, check your site to see if the white screen has disappeared. If it has, begin activating each plugin one by one until you reencounter the white screen, which will help you identify the problematic plugin.

If you have found the faulty plugin, you can either roll it back to a previous version or contact the plugin’s customer support. Alternatively, you can look for other plugins that offer similar functionality.

If deactivating the plugins does not solve the issue and you still see a white screen, you must continue investigating the root cause of the WordPress White Screen of Death or contact our WordPress support team to fix this issue.

Change your theme to the Default WordPress Theme

If disabling your plugins does not resolve the White Screen of Death issue in WordPress, the next step is to check your theme. To determine if the problem is related to your theme, you can switch to a default WordPress theme. If the issue is resolved after switching the theme, you can conclude that the problem lies with your previous theme.

To switch to a default WordPress theme, you must access your site directory through the host cPanel or an FTP client. Once you’re in the directory, locate the “wp-content” folder, which contains a folder called “themes” that contains all your downloaded themes.

Main theme folder
Main theme folder

Within the “themes” folder, locate the sub-folder for your currently active theme. We recommend creating a backup of your theme before proceeding. Once you have a backup, select your active theme and delete it. This will change your site to the default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One.

Theme Folder
Theme Folder

If you do not have any default themes or have previously deleted them, you will need to manually upload the default theme files to your site directory.

After switching to the default theme, visit your website and see if it resolves the issue. If the White Screen of Death is gone, then you have confirmed that your theme was causing the problem. In that case, you can roll back the theme to a previous version if you recently updated it. Additionally, check the “functions.php” file for any programming errors or white spaces at the end. This should resolve the issue, but if it does not, contact the theme developer for technical support.

If the White Screen of Death persists after switching to the default theme, the issue is elsewhere and further investigation is required.

Check your WordPress Integrations if it is causing the screen of death

Other than plugins and themes, there are several third-party tools that you can integrate with your WordPress site, such as an SSL certificate or a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Amazon Cloud Front, Cloudflare, MAX CDN, etc.

It’s essential to be aware that a conflict between any of these third-party integrations can lead to the White Screen of Death. For instance, a clash between Cloudflare CDN and your host’s SSL certificate can bring down your website.

To identify whether a WordPress integration causes the problem, you should recall the activities you performed before the white screen appeared. You may ask yourself questions like, “Did I add a new service to my site?” or “Did I modify the settings of any configured services?”

If you made any changes, you should undo them to see if the problem is resolved. If it is, then you have successfully identified the cause of the issue. If any of the services have malfunctioned, you may need to seek an alternative or contact the service provider for assistance.

However, if your integrations are functioning correctly, and you are still unable to fix the error, proceed to the next step.

Enable Debug Mode in the WordPress site to identify potential PHP errors causing WordPress white screen of death

If previous attempts to fix the issue have been unsuccessful, you may need to activate Debug mode to identify any potential PHP errors that could be causing the plain white screen.

This mode records all errors encountered by the site in a debug.log file and for the most cases, the error is displayed on the white screen as well. This information can help you determine the root cause of the White Screen of Death and take necessary actions to resolve the problem.

To enable this mode, you must access the site directory, which can be done through cPanel or an FTP client such as FileZilla. Once you are in the site directory, search for the wp-config.php file and open it in a text editor.

After that, search for the following line:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false )

And change it to:

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true )

If the wp-config.php file does not already contain the above code, you can simply paste the following code and save it.

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false )

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true )

To enable WordPress debug logging and begin recording errors to the debug.log file, you will need to add the following line to your wp-config.php file and then save it.

define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true);

Enabling debug mode will save all errors to the debug.log file, which can be found in the wp-content directory. This log file will provide valuable information about any errors encountered by the website, allowing you to identify and address the underlying issue.

After completing the debugging process, it’s important to disable this mode and logging. You can do this by changing the “true” value back to “false” in both code snippets.

By activating this mode, you should gain valuable insights and be able to resolve the White Screen of Death. If the issue persists, however, consider trying the following solutions.

Fix Corrupted WordPress Core Files or custom codes to fix WordPress white screen

Did you recently modify a core WordPress file, such as wp-config.php or .htaccess, before encountering the White Screen of Death? If so, it may be necessary to revert these files to their original state to undo the recent changes and fix the WordPress white screen issue.

To undo recent modifications, you can download a fresh copy of WordPress to your local computer. Visit wordpress.org and click “Get WordPress” to download the latest version of WordPress. Once the download is complete, extract the zip file and locate the file you need to replace. Copy this file. Please download the latest WordPress file so that it helps your WordPress Update.

Download Latest Version WordPress
Download the Latest Version of WordPress

To replace the modified file, access your site directory using FileZilla, another FTP client, or via your cPanel. Replace the current file with the new file you just copied. Return to your site and check if the issue has been resolved. Alternatively, if you have a recent backup of your site that doesn’t include the changes, you can restore it.

This should resolve the issue. If the White Screen of Death persists, proceed to the next solution.

Increase WordPress Server’s Memory Limit or Maximum Execution Time to get rid of the white screen of the death error

If you’ve exhausted all other options and are still experiencing issues, adjusting the server’s memory limit or maximum execution time may be worth exploring. Insufficient resources can cause your site to crash and display the White Screen of Death.

To resolve this issue, you can manually increase the server’s memory limit and maximum execution time, as either one or both of these may be the source of the problem. Begin by increasing the memory limit and, if that doesn’t resolve the issue, try increasing the maximum execution time.

To increase the server’s memory limit, you can add a line of code to one of several files, including wp-config.php, .htaccess. Start by editing wp-config.php and testing if it resolves the problem. If it doesn’t, proceed to edit the .htaccess file, and so on.

  • Add the following line to the wp-config.phpfile:

       define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘128M’);

  • For .htaccess, add the following line:

       php_value memory_limit 128M

  • For ini, add this:

       memory_limit = 128M

The aforementioned code sets the memory limit to 128 MB, which should suffice for most websites. However, if necessary, you can raise it to 256 MB or 512 MB.

If increasing the memory limit fails to resolve the issue, the next step is to increase the server’s maximum execution time. This can be accomplished by modifying one of these files:
wp-config.php, .htaccess, or php.ini.

It’s important to note that only one file needs to be modified. Begin with wp-config.php, and if the issue persists, move on to editing the .htaccess file.

  • For wp-config.php, add the following line:

       set_time_limit(120);

  • For .htaccess, add:

       php_value max_execution_time 120

  • For ini, add the following line:

       max_execution_time = 120

The line of code above simply sets the maximum execution time to 120 seconds, but you may wish to increase it further to see if it resolves the issue.

In some cases, hosting providers may not permit users to adjust the server’s memory limit or maximum execution time. If this applies to you or you are uncomfortable making the change yourself, contact your service provider to request an increase.

For further guidance on this topic, consult our guide on how to increase the maximum execution time in WordPress.

If none of the aforementioned solutions work and you’re still unable to resolve the WordPress White Screen of Death, you’ll need to contact your hosting provider for assistance.

If the above steps do not fix the WordPress white screen, Contact Your WordPress Hosting Provider or WordPress support experts to discuss the issue that causes the white screen

At this point, you’ve completed all of the potential troubleshooting steps that can be taken from your end to address the White Screen of Death. We hope that most of you have been successful in resolving the issue.

For those of you who are still experiencing the problem, unfortunately, there may not be much more that you can do. It’s likely that the issue is not on your end, but rather with your hosting provider. We suggest that you contact them and explain the issue you’re encountering.

Your hosting provider can inform you if they’re experiencing any issues on their end or provide technical assistance if the issue is specific to your site.

If any of the above fixes do not work, please feel free to Contact Us for resolving such an issue.

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