The white screen of death error (WSOD) is one of the most common WordPress errors. Most of the time, it is a sign that your site has exhausted the memory limit. But there are many more reasons. It may also be caused due to an erroneously working plugin. Another underlying cause could be that the theme being used has been poorly coded. Problems with the web hosting service could also result in the error. Here, in this article, you will learn different ways to fix WordPress White Screen Error.
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Different Ways to Fix WordPress White Screen Error
Since this WordPress error can be caused due to a wide range of reasons, the troubleshooting can be a daunting task.
1. Plugin-based Issue
If you are facing the WSOD error due to a plugin issue, you have the option to disable that particular plugin or all the plugins. Find out how to disable the WP plugin using FTP.
Many times the WordPress WSOD error occurs due to issues with a particular plugin. You should have FTP access to start with so that you will have appropriate permissions to the WP directory.
You may have to install open-source FTP client like vsftp or proftpd if you are using cloud server/VPS. Usually, the web host provides you FTP access. Installing a client is easy and quick.
Once you have installed the FTP client, follow these steps for disabling the plugin that is causing the problem:
- Login to the FTP server using your account
- Access the WP installation directory
- Open the folder, wp_content/plugins
- There will be different folders, with each one representing a plugin
- Select the folder that represents the plugin with the issue
- Rename that folder so that you can identify it later
When you rename that folder, it will simply disable that plugin. Now open your WP site and check if the white screen error appears again or not.
Disabling All WP Plugins
If you cannot identify the plugin that has been causing the WSOD issue, it will not be possible to use the above-mentioned method. If you were to use the same method for disabling all the plugins, it would take lots of time and effort. A simple strategy is to disable all the plugins at once.
You can disable all the plugins by renaming the plugins folder itself. Then create a new folder and name it as ‘plugins’. This is going to disable all the plugins that you installed in an instant. You can test for the WSOD error by moving one plugin at a time from the renamed folder to the new folder ‘plugins’. This will help you identify which plugin caused the issue. It is recommended to test each plugin on a backup WordPress site. This approach can be very helpful to fix WordPress White Screen Error.
2. Theme-based Issue
If the above-mentioned method doesn’t address the WSOD error in your WordPress, the problem may be associated with the theme. Installation of new themes can result in inter-plugin conflicts. In this case, all you have to do is to disable the newly installed theme.
The right way is to replace the current theme with the default theme.
- Create a backup of your theme folder
- Delete the theme
- This will automatically take back your WP site to the default theme.
This is the simpler methods. You can also follow another method:
- Enter your phpMyAdmin
- Enter wp_options table and update the tables
- Update tables template, current_theme, and stylesheet
If these steps help in fixing the WordPress WSOD error, check the theme’s file, functions.php. If you notice additional space at the bottom, make sure they are addressed. It is important to ensure that the default theme has not already been deleted. If that is the case, you will have to upload the default them into the folder, wp_content.
Disabling Theme Using FTP
This step is just like disabling plugins to address the WordPress error. In this case, you will be accessing the wp_content/themes folder and not the plugins folder.
- Navigate and find the themes folder
- Open the folder and search for the specific theme that has been causing the WSOD error
- Rename the folder
This will simply deactivate that theme.
Many times WordPress updates themselves can result in having poorly coded themes. When a theme gets outdated or has poor coding, it is highly likely to have conflicts when a new update is released. If you face the error right after you updated WP, it is a clear indication that the theme is no longer working. So, in that case, you should deactivate the theme and return to the default theme.
3. Memory Limit Getting Exceeded
Besides the abovementioned caused, there are many other reasons why your WP site could have the white screen of death error. You can find a complete list of all the different causes and their solutions at 000Webhost. Exceeding memory limit is another cause that can lead to the WSOD error. It simply means that your WP site’s requirements have exceeded the resource provided by your hosting provider.
It is because your website is generating more traffic than what the available resources can handle. This means that it is the right time for you to upgrade your web hosting plan so that there is more than enough resources for your WordPress website. If the web host doesn’t have the available plan, you may also have to consider switching to another host.
Increasing Memory Limit
You can, however, increase your PHP memory limit. This can be done by adding this line to wp-config.php:
If you continue to face issues, you should contact your hosting service provider. This cause is more common with those who use cheaper web hosting services. You could be receiving poor quality hosting services because a large number of accounts have been created on the same server. So upgrading to a better quality host and choosing a better plan can be the right decision.
So make sure to follow the above-mentioned steps to address the WordPress white screen issue. It is most likely going to be one of these 3 underlying causes. All the steps involved are easy-to-follow and anyone with basic IT skills can fix this error.
That’s all in this article. Do let us know if you have any other ways to fix WordPress White Screen Error. Also, do not forget to share it with your friends. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.