Debugging the Dreaded White Screen of Death

If you are here because you recently installed a plugin then take a look at this flow chart.

Here are some basic steps you can follow to begin debugging a white screen of death if it’s not been caused by a new plugin being installed:

  1. SFTP to your document root (email support if you’ve lost your SFTP password).
  2. Change into the wordpress directory.
  3. View or download the php-errors.log file.
  4. Take a look at the last few lines of the error log to determine the cause of the white screen.

You might see a very specific PHP error which will provide a line number in the file that’s causing the problem. At this point you can:

  1. Download the file that’s causing the problem.
  2. Go to the line that was listed in the error log.
  3. Fix the issue.
  4. Upload the file back to the server.
  5. Test your website.

If the white screen does not go away then repeat all of the steps above. Sometimes there could be more than one error.