Fix a WordPress "White Page" Error

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Introduction

Also known as the "White Screen of Death" or the "Blank Page" problem, this WordPress error will cause a plain white screen to appear instead of your normal WordPress website or admin area. Learn how to investigate and troubleshoot this issue.

Requirements

  • A 1&1 Cloud Server with WordPress installed

Increase PHP Memory Limit

The most common cause of the "white page" error is that PHP's memory limit has been reached. This will typically happen due to an error or bad code in a plug-in or theme.

To fix this problem, follow the steps in our article Fix WordPress "Memory Exhausted" Error by Increasing PHP Memory Limit to increase PHP's memory limit.

Disable Plug-Ins

The next step in investigating this problem is to disable all plug-ins. To disable all plug-ins at once, connect to the server with SSH. Then use the mv command to rename the wp-content/plugins directory to wp-content/plugins-disabled. For example, if WordPress is installed in the main document root directory, the command is:

mv /var/www/html/wp-content/plugins /var/www/html/wp-content/plugins-disabled

Check the site and see if it is functioning. If it is back online, then a plugin was causing the issue. Rename the directory to reactivate all plugins:

mv /var/www/html/wp-content/plugins-disabled /var/www/html/wp-content/plugins

Next, disable the plug-ins by renaming them one by one, checking the website each time, until you find the plug-in which was causing the issue.

Disable Custom Themes

Custom WordPress themes can also cause a "blank screen" problem. If you delete the current theme, WordPress will fall back to the default theme.

Move to your home directory:

cd ~/

List the existing installed themes with the command:

ls /var/www/html/wp-content/themes

Find the name of the installed theme. Then move this theme to your home directory with the command:

mv /var/www/html/wp-content/themes/my-theme .

Check the site and see if it is functioning. If it is back online, then the custom theme was causing the issue.

If the theme was not causing the issue, or you have fixed the problem with the theme, you can restore it with the command:

sudo mv my-theme /var/www/html/wp-content/themes/

Reinstall WordPress

As a final solution, you may need to reinstall WordPress.

We recommend you create a Server Snapshot first, in case you need to revert this process. Server snapshots are a quick, easy, short-term way to create a restore point for a 1&1 Cloud Server. Snapshots are free to create and use. They are automatically deleted after 72 hours.

See our article Use Server Snapshots to Back Up and Restore a 1&1 Cloud Server for step-by-step instructions.

To reinstall WordPress, back up the wp-content directory and the wp-config.php file, as well as any other custom content you may have uploaded. Then delete all of the files, and install a fresh copy of WordPress.

After the installation process is complete, replace the new wp-config.php file with your original and check the site. If it is functioning, replace the new wp-content directory with your original and check the site again.

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