White Screen of Death: How to Fix it

If, when attempting to access any given page on your website, you get a blank white screen, you’re in the right place!

  • You may see a line or two of text describing an error.
  • If you’re using WordPress 5.2+ instead of a white screen, you will likely instead receive an error like “The site is experiencing technical difficulties.
  • Using WordPress you receive an error like “there has been a critical error on your website.

This indicates that there’s an error with the code that runs your site or (more likely) parts of your site. It could be due to any number of things, but the most common are:

  • The result of an update for either your web app (like WordPress), a plugin, or theme that contains an error in the code
  • Having your site set within Plesk to run a version of PHP (either newer or older) that the code that runs your site isn’t compatible with.

The next step is to find the real error and determine the cause from that error message.

If you use the Avada theme and you’re using a caching plugin that enables minification (like WP Rocket or Autoptimize) and you’re experiencing a blank white screen, first try disabling minification entirely (HTML, Javascript, and CSS). This is likely to fix the issue.

If you’re hosted with us and you have a Platinum management subscription, simply open a ticket and we’ll take care of the issue for you. If not, then read on to learn how to resolve the issue yourself.

How to find the real error

The blank white screen or vague error is just the visible output of the actual underlying error. If you do not see a specific error on the screen, this is because your web app (like WordPress) is suppressing the error from showing on-screen. This can be a good thing for security, but it does make troubleshooting just a touch more difficult as you’ll need to access your site’s logs to find the error message.

Begin by using our guide to learn how to view the logs for your site within Plesk. If you’re using cPanel, you’ll probably have to ask your host to provide the logs.

Once you have associated the white screen of death with the correct error from the logs using the steps described in the above-linked guide, look closely at the error to determine the file path where the problem lies. Here’s an example of a file path to look for: /var/www/vhosts/<your_domain>/httpdocs/wp-content/plugins/wpseo/some_random_file_within_the_plugin.php

This means that the file referenced contains the code which is causing the error. In the example above, this would be the wpseo plugin in a WordPress install.

How to resolve the problem

If none of the above links helps you resolve the problem, please open a ticket and we’ll help steer you in the right direction.

About Jordan Schelew

Jordan has been working with computers, security, and network systems since the 90s and is a managing partner at Websavers Inc. As a founder of the company, he's been in the web tech space for over 15 years.

1 Comment

  1. Alan Whitton (Big Cajun Man) on May 10, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Very good, helped me fix my issues with Wordfence.

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