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Fix WordPress white screen of death [2021] 💥

Fix WordPress white screen of death


The WordPress white screen of death is a very common WordPress errors. It is also one of the most frustrating because there is no error message and you are banned from WordPress. Another problem with the white screen of death error is that sometimes it only affects a certain part of your website.

For example, you can only see the white screen of death in the WordPress admin area, while everything is working fine. In other cases, you'll only see it on a specific post while everything else works fine. In this article, we will show you how to fix WordPress white screen of death by looking at different solutions.

Why do we see the white screen of death in WordPress?

The majority of the time you see a white screen in WP means that a script on your website has exhausted its memory limit. The unresponsive script is either killed by your WordPress hosting server, or it just expires. This is why no actual error message is generated and you see a plain white screen like the image above.

This error can also occur due to a poorly coded theme or plugin installed on your site. Sometimes it can happen if there is a problem with your web hosting server. Since the white screen error can be caused by a number of things, the solution should be looked for.

Komt het probleem ook voor op uw andere sites?

If you have other WordPress sites installed on the same hosting account/server, you should check if the issue occurs on other sites first. If so, that's a strong indication that something is wrong with your hosting service/server. This may be a temporary issue affecting their service, and you should contact their support for further assistance. On the other hand, if the problem only occurs on one website or a specific part of that site, then you know that the problem is with that specific website.

Solution of a white screen with WordPress by means of Recovery mode

If the white screen is caused by a WordPress plugin or theme, WordPress may be logging the error. The new fatal error protection feature introduced in WordPress 5.2 can sometimes catch the error, causing you to not even see a white screen. Instead, you'll see a message that the site is having technical issues:


White screen in Wordpress fatal error


You will also receive an email to your admin email with the subject "Your site has a technical problem".


Wordpress technical problem via email


This email points out the plugin causing the error and also contains a special link. This link will allow you to log into WordPress recovery mode and deactivate the faulty plugin.


Wordpress recovery mode


However, if you see the simple white screen of death with no email or recovery mode option, then you need to fix the error manually.

Increase the memory limit

Usually this error happens because a script has emptied the memory and stopped somewhere in the middle. To fix this, you need to increase PHP memory available to WordPress. This allows the script to use more memory to finish the job it is supposed to do.

Disable all plugins

If increasing the memory limit doesn't help, or if you already have a high memory limit like 256M or 512M, you should start troubleshooting. In our experience troubleshooting this issue, we have always found that the issue is related to a specific plugin or theme. Let's go ahead and disable all plugins. If you still have access to the WordPress admin area, you can simply go to the Plugins » Installed Plugins page. Select all installed plugins and then select 'Deactivate' under 'Bulk Actions' drop-down.


Wordpress Disable all plugins


Anyway, without access to the WordPress admin area, you'll need to deactivate all plugins via FTP or a panel like Cpanel. First, connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client such as Filezilla. Once connected, go to the wp-content folder where you will see the 'plugins' folder.


Wp-content plugins


Now you need to right click on the plugins folder and then rename it. You can rename the plugins folder to plugins deactivated.


Wordpress compress folder


Your FTP client will now rename the plugins folder. WordPress will look for a folder called plugins to load all plugins. If it can't find the folder, all plugins will be deactivated. If this resolves the issue, enable one plugin at a time to fully resolve the issue. Once you find that the plugin is causing the problem, you can replace it with an alternative or report the problem to plugin authors.

Replace theme with a standard WP theme

If the plugin doesn't fix the problem, replace your theme with a default WP-Theme. First, connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ directory. It contains all installed themes on your website. Right click to select your current WordPress theme and download it to your computer as a backup.


download Wordpress folder


Next, you need to remove your current theme from your website. Right click on your theme folder and select 'Delete'. Your FTP client will now remove the theme from your website.


Remove Wordpress theme


Now if you have a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty or Twenty Twenty-one installed on your site, WordPress will just start using it as the default theme. However, if you do not have a default theme installed, you will need to install it manually using FTP. If this fixes the problem, you need to go to your theme's functions.php file.

If there are extra spaces at the bottom of the file, you should remove them and sometimes the problem will be solved. Using a poorly coded function in your theme's function php file can also cause the white screen error. Consider downloading a fresh copy of your theme from source and then installing it.

Enable Debug Mode to Find Errors in WordPress

If nothing has helped so far, the next step is to enable debugging in WordPress. Allows you to see what type of errors are being performed. Simply add the following code to your wp-config.php file.


define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

Once you've added this, the blank screen will now contain errors, warnings, and messages. These may be able to help you determine the cause. If you don't see any errors, you may still want to check the debug log. Simply go to the wp-content folder on your website using an FTP client. There you will find a new error-log file with a log of all errors, notifications and warnings.


error log Wordpress


Delete WordPress Cache

Sometimes you can access the back end but the front end of the site has the white screen of death. This can be done by a caching plugin. Just clear your cache.

Fix longer articles

If you only have a white screen on a very long post or page, this little trick might work. This trick basically increases PHP's word processing capabilities by increasing the recursion and backtrack limit. You can paste the following code into your wp-config.php file.


/** Trick for longer articles */
ini_set('pcre.recursion_limit',20000000);
ini_set('pcre.backtrack_limit',10000000);

We understand that this is a very frustrating error and we hope that one of the above tricks fixed the problem for you.



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