What is the White Screen of Death?
As the name suggests, a White Screen of Death means when you access your website, you see nothing but a blank page. This happens both with the website and the admin or I have had it just happen to the admin before.
Why does it happen?
There can be multiple reasons that cause a WSOD, the most common being a compatibility issue with a plugin or a theme. The “incompatibility” maybe a plugin conflicting with another plugin, or a plugin may not be compatible with the latest version of WP. Similarly, a theme may also experience compatibility issues with WordPress after an update.
Up until 3 days ago I had never had the WSOD then had it twice in one day! Both caused by some bad coding in a plugin.
Tell me the fix!
Plugins and Themes Folders in WP Install Directory
The easiest solution is to first isolate your plugins’ directory.
You can do this by navigating to the root of your WP installation via FTP, and then head to /wp-content. Locate the folder named “plugins” and rename it to something like “plugins_old”. Create a new folder called “plugins”.
This will isolate all your plugins, reload your website and if your website works fine again (maybe with some errors), then one of your plugins is at fault. It is important that you do not open your plugins page in the WordPress admin at this point, else you may end up deactivating all your plugins.
Once you have verified that one of the plugins is behind the WSOD, you can copy individual plugins from “plugins_old” to “plugins”. Reload your website after you copy each plugin back to your “plugins” folder. Once you know the plugin behind the WCOD you can begin to look into why.
Still doesn’t work? Maybe its a Theme?
For themes, the procedure is even simpler. Navigate to /wp-content/themes via FTP. Then rename the folder of the active theme. Next, open up your WP admin panel, and head to the Themes page. This will cause WP to fall-back to the default theme.
I did all of that and it still doesn’t work?
If you have done all the steps above and you are still getting the WCOD then please leave a comment below and I will be sure to help you where I can. Why not take a look at my WordPress Management Services. Get a WCOD – I will fix it!