Understanding and Troubleshooting the WordPress White Screen Issue

Hey there, fellow website enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving deep into the world of WordPress troubleshooting to tackle a pesky issue that every website owner dreads – the dreaded WordPress white screen problem. If you’ve ever encountered this frustrating situation where your website suddenly turns into a blank canvas, fear not! We’re here to guide you through understanding and troubleshooting this problem step by step. So, let’s grab our detective hats and get ready to unravel the mystery behind the WordPress white screen issue!

Understanding the WordPress White Screen Issue

What is the WordPress White Screen Issue?

Picture this: you eagerly navigate to your WordPress website, only to be greeted with a blank white screen instead of your meticulously crafted masterpiece. Cue the panic! The WordPress white screen issue, also known as the white screen of death, is a situation where your website fails to load and displays nothing but a blank white page. No error messages, no content – just pure emptiness.

Possible Causes of the WordPress White Screen Issue

Now that we know what the WordPress white screen issue is, let’s explore some of the potential culprits behind this frustrating occurrence. Understanding the root causes will help us navigate through the troubleshooting process more effectively. Here are a few common triggers for the white screen problem:

  1. Plugin or Theme Compatibility: Incompatible or poorly coded plugins or themes can clash with your WordPress installation, leading to the white screen issue. It’s essential to keep all your plugins and themes regularly updated to avoid any compatibility conflicts.

  2. PHP Memory Limit Exhaustion: WordPress relies on PHP to power its dynamic functionality. If your website exceeds the allocated PHP memory limit, it can result in a white screen. This often occurs when your site experiences increased traffic or when resource-intensive plugins are activated.

  3. Corrupted Core Files: Although rare, corrupted core files can also trigger the white screen problem. This can happen during the WordPress installation process or due to a faulty update. Keeping your WordPress installation up to date and using trusted sources for themes and plugins can minimize the risk of encountering this issue.

Troubleshooting the WordPress White Screen Issue

Now that we have a solid understanding of the white screen issue, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the troubleshooting process. We’ll guide you through a series of step-by-step solutions to help you get your website back up and running smoothly. Remember, patience is key!

Solution 1: Deactivate Problematic Plugins and Themes

Plugins and themes are often the main culprits behind the white screen issue. To identify the troublemaker, follow these steps:

  1. Access your WordPress installation files using an FTP client or the file manager provided by your hosting provider.
  2. Locate the "wp-content" folder and rename it to something like "wp-content-disabled." This action temporarily deactivates all plugins and themes.
  3. Visit your website. If the white screen issue is resolved, one of your plugins or themes was causing the problem.

Now comes the detective work. Rename the "wp-content" folder back to its original name and follow these steps to pinpoint the problematic plugin or theme:

  1. Access the "wp-content" folder again and open the "plugins" directory.
  2. Rename the "plugins" folder to "plugins-disabled." This will deactivate all plugins.
  3. Visit your website. If the white screen issue is resolved, you’ve identified a problematic plugin. Rename the "plugins-disabled" folder back to its original name and proceed to the next step.
  4. Access the "wp-content" folder again and open the "themes" directory.
  5. Rename your current theme folder to something like "theme-disabled." This will temporarily switch to the default WordPress theme.
  6. Visit your website. If the white screen issue is resolved, your theme was causing the problem.

Once you’ve identified the troublesome plugin or theme, update it to the latest version or consider finding an alternative that doesn’t conflict with your WordPress installation.

Solution 2: Increase PHP Memory Limit

If deactivating plugins and themes didn’t solve the white screen issue, it’s time to address the PHP memory limit. Follow these steps to increase it:

  1. Access your WordPress installation files.
  2. Locate the "wp-config.php" file and download it to your local machine.
  3. Open the file using a text editor and add the following line of code just before the line that says /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */:
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

    This code snippet sets the PHP memory limit to 256 megabytes. Feel free to adjust this value based on your website’s requirements.

  4. Save the changes and upload the modified "wp-config.php" file back to your server, overwriting the existing file.
  5. Visit your website to check if the white screen issue is resolved.

Increasing the PHP memory limit can accommodate resource-intensive plugins and prevent the white screen issue caused by memory exhaustion.

Solution 3: Reinstall WordPress Core Files

If the white screen problem persists even after trying the previous solutions, it’s time to consider reinstalling the WordPress core files. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Backup your WordPress database and all your website files to avoid any data loss.
  2. Download the latest version of WordPress from the official website.
  3. Delete the existing "wp-admin" and "wp-includes" folders from your WordPress installation directory.
  4. Extract the downloaded WordPress archive and upload the new "wp-admin" and "wp-includes" folders to your server, replacing the deleted ones.
  5. Visit your website to see if the white screen issue is resolved.

Remember to proceed with caution and double-check all the steps to avoid any accidental data loss during the reinstallation process.


Q: Can a caching plugin cause the white screen issue?

A: Yes, caching plugins can sometimes clash with your WordPress installation and lead to the white screen problem. If you suspect a caching plugin to be the culprit, try temporarily deactivating it to see if the issue is resolved.

Q: Is it recommended to edit the "wp-config.php" file directly?

A: Editing the "wp-config.php" file is a common practice when adjusting WordPress settings. However, it’s crucial to make a backup before making any changes. Incorrect modifications to this file can cause your website to become inaccessible.

Q: How often should I update my plugins and themes?

A: It’s essential to keep your plugins and themes up to date to ensure compatibility and security. Check for updates regularly and install them promptly. However, always remember to create a backup before updating to avoid potential compatibility issues.


Congratulations, fellow troubleshooters! You’ve made it through the WordPress white screen issue odyssey. We’ve explored the possible causes, delved into the troubleshooting process, and armed you with a set of solutions to overcome this frustrating problem. Remember, patience and persistence are your allies when it comes to troubleshooting WordPress issues. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the white screen problem head-on and restore your website’s functionality. Happy troubleshooting and may your WordPress journeys be forever white-screen-free!