How to Fix White Screen of Death on WordPress (2021)

White Screen of Death (WSOD) is probably the most common as well as most hated issues in WordPress. The numbers of WordPress users are very rare who have never encountered this issue. Well, congratulation to those lucky people who have never gone through the frustrating situation of White Screen of Death.

But, people like you who are devastated with frequent occurrence of White Screen of Death needs some serious help. You can take help from WordPress maintenance services or just go through this blog.

Here, in this blog we are introducing you: the White Screen of Death, reasons behind this annoying issue and possible solutions.

What is the White Screen of Death?

WordPress White Screen of Death is not a new kid in the block. We are familiar with popping up clean white pages from the beginning of WordPress powered websites. But, this statement is not wholly true.


Because, before WordPress White Screen of Death we have experience Windows Blue Screen of Death.

Rings any bell? In lot of ways the WordPress white screen and the Microsoft blue screen are same. Both of then indicating that something is really messed up and you can eventually fixed them up.

But, the main difference is, the blue screen was consisted of information where the in WSOD you will see large white and clean board without a single hint of what is really wrong. Now, staring at a blank paper without any clue is real frustrating.

So, first thing is to learn who the possible culprit of this issue is…

What are the possible reasons for White Screen of Death?

There are several factors could be playing goofy role to produce White Screen of Death. Who are they? Fortunately, the list of such malicious factors is not very long.

We have sorted out the most common reasons (in 75% cases) behind White Screen of Death:

  • Error caused by a WordPress Plugin
  • Error generated by WordPress theme
  • Exhaustion of allotted memory
  • Some unknown database error
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Although White Screen of Death is frustrating, it is easy to diagnose and cure. But, you really need to follow a step by step process to find out the real issue. Only after that you have opportunity to solve it.

A systematic analysis to detect the issue

A systematic analysis is always helpful to diagnose the whole system and find out the trouble maker. Here are the five questions that will help you step by step to detect the issue:

  • Does the WSOD occur in all of your sites?

If you have more than one sites and a common host, first check whether all of your sites are displaying white screen. If the answer is yes, clearly the source of your problem is hosting provider.

  • How frequently you are confronting this issue?

If you are experiencing White Screen of Death frequently, the reason could be your hosting provider. In that case, first consult with your hosting provider.

  • Have you recently edited/deleted code?

In some cass it is found that during the time of cloning or editing certain codes are deleted from the file. This can also lead to similar issues.

  • Have you installed or upgraded any plugins or themes recently?

This is probably the most common reason for White Screen of Death. if you face White Screen of Death, inactive all of the plugins and if this lead to the cure of the situation then surely one of your plugin is doing the wrong thing.

Similarly if you have recently downloaded or upgraded your theme, which may not be compatible with your WordPress version, then it may produce same result.

  • How good is your web host?

In certain cases, especially if one is using shared hosting may face WSOD. So, if you find that none of the plugins or theme is causing issue, the only option for you is to contact with hosting provider.

10 Ultimate Solutions for White Screen of Death

Take Control of Admin Panel

Taking control of Admin panel is important. When you face White Screen of Death, the system shuts you out from the admin area. To take any further step you need to enter admin panel.

The ideal backdoor for this job is an FTP client. Many WordPress users use Filezilla and Transmit as backdoors to enter into admin panel.

Install the default theme

Sometimes installation of incompatible themes can cause WordPress White Screen of Death. in that case, you should “themes” from Appearance menu and select the default them. If theme is the real problem, it will solve the issue. Later you can change into other themes.

Disable the plugins

Similar to themes, if you download any plugin that doesn’t fit with your WordPress, it may lead to WordPress White Screen of Death. bad plugins are often detected as culprits behind this issue.

You have to access the admin panel and deactivate all of the plugins and then activate one by one to detect which one is causing the issue.

WordPress Debugging

If you are unable to detect the problem, access the wp-config.php file and activate debugging process.

In wp-config.php file you will find: define (‘WP_DEBUG’, false)

You have to change ‘false’ with ‘true’ to initiate the process and you will find out that the white display is now offering information including the nature of fault.

Missing Theme directory

While cloning the database, misplacement of theme directory could happen. If you are not very sure, access the admin area and try to locate theme directory.

If it doesn’t exit, install the default theme at once and your site will be back.

Auto-update failure

If for any reason, the auto-update process of themes or any plugins it could lead to White Screen of Death. Open the root directory and find out the .maintenance file. Delete the .maintenance file promptly to resolve the issue.

In this situation, it will be better if you prefer manual update method.

Increasing Memory limit

When the memory limit is exceeded you can either call your host requesting to increase memory limit or maximize memory limit of your one. To increase memory limit, add the following sode to wp-config.php:

define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64M’);

You can also add the following code to .htaccess file for the same:

Php_value memory_limit 64M

Hosting problems

Struggling with other websites under one shared hosting is terrible. You can maximize memory limit (following the above discussed methods) to resolve the problem but it is always recommend switching to private hosting.

File permission issues

It is rare but file permission trouble can cause White Screen of Death. There are three rules that could be set up to minimize file permission issues. You may apply these three rules with SSH access. Use following codes:

sudo find . -type f -exec chmod 664 {} +

sudo find . -type d -exec chmod 775 {} +

sudo chmod 660 wp-config.php

Your Website has been hacked

Hacking is not a common reason for White Screen of Death. even the chances of hacking ordinary websites is very rare. But, if you cannot find any issues, hacking could be a possible reason.

However, there is no particular “cure” against hacking, except activating strong firewall as a precaution.

The Sum up Thought

White Screen of Death is a very common issue experienced by almost every WordPress user. However, the “cure” of this issue is also available. Make sure you have diagnosed well and found the right issue.

If you feel using the above describe methods are not sufficient take the help from WordPress services.

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