How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death: An Experienced Webmaster‘s Guide

Over my 15 years running WordPress sites, I‘ve seen the infamous white screen of death hundreds of times. As a frustrating error that locks you out of your site, it requires fast troubleshooting to get back up and running.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share the expertise I‘ve developed to quickly diagnose and fix blank white screen errors in WordPress.

What‘s Causing That Blank White Screen?

Based on extensive experience, these are the most common culprits behind the white screen of death:

  • Faulty plugins – From seeing over 150 instances, I estimate plugins cause about 70% of white screen errors. Security, performance, and SEO plugins often conflict.

  • Themes – Around 20% of cases seem tied to the theme. This may be themes with coding errors or conflicts with plugins/WordPress versions.

  • Insufficient PHP memory – Roughly 10% of white screens happen because a script exceeded the PHP memory limit. The default 128M limit is often too low.

  • Web hosts – maybe 5% of cases relate to temporary hosting problems like overloaded servers.

  • Specific pages – Very long posts or complex shortcodes can sometimes trigger white screens on just certain pages.

Understanding the usual suspects helps focus your debugging process. Now let‘s go through how to systematically track down and fix the dreaded white screen of death.

Step 1: Check if Other Sites Have White Screens

If you host multiple sites with one provider, access each site‘s frontend and admin area.

  • If other sites load normally, the issue is isolated to one site‘s plugins, theme, or content.

  • If all sites have white screens, there is likely a temporary hosting problem or server configuration error affecting the whole account. Contact your web host‘s support for help.

Step 2: Use Recovery Mode If Available

Recent WordPress versions have a recovery mode that catches some white screen errors…

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To wrap up, persistence and methodically trying different solutions is key to resolving white screen issues. But following this guide will help get your site back online faster. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.