There are times when your website will crash, failing to load and displaying a blank, white screen instead.
This is commonly caused by a PHP error, which will prevent the rest of the page to load and halt it completely. Since most live hostings will disable errors on public-facing pages, the result is a blank screen instead.
A blank page may be caused by a number of different issues:
- A PHP error on a plugin or the current active theme
- A badly uploaded file
- Incompatibilities between plugins
To solve a blank page, there are different ways to take action:
Enable PHP Errors
The first is to set your wp-config.php file to display errors, so you may track down the source of the problem. You will need to use a FTP account and download the wp-config.php file of your WP install, located in the root of the site. Then, proceed to open it with a text editor and locate the following line:
Set false to true instead, and reupload the file. Then, refresh your website and you may see a PHP error line instead of an empty screen.
The error should contain information about the directory that caused it. For example, if you see the URL points to the plugins directory of your WordPress site, then a plugin may be the source of the problem.
Deactivating All Plugins
Alternatively, you can try deactivating all plugins and see if that solves the problem. Then you can enable them one by one until the error reappears, giving you clues as to which one is causing the error. If you cannot access the admin area either, you can change the name of the plugins folder through FTP. That will force WordPress to deactivate every plugin and let you access the admin again.
Deactivating The Theme
Sometimes, the current WordPress theme may be causing the error itself. In these cases, you might not be able to access the admin area either, so you can change the folder name of the active theme to force its deactivation. This way, WordPress will revert to one of the default themes.