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When you upgrade WordPress you can sometimes be left with a blank white screen.

Known as the ‘White Screen of Death’ (or WSOD for short), this is caused by a misconfiguration or error somewhere in your install.

The cause of this can be down to one or more of many different factors. You might have extra spaces (invisible) in your functions.php file, or there might be an issue with a plugin. What’s required to fix this is a methodical approach to try and nail down the cause of the issue (this is also something we cover-off in our monthly WordPress support plans).

Firstly, why are you seeing just a blank white screen?

Your server reports errors on your site, but there’s a good chance that this option is switched off on your server – probably by your hosting company. One of the first steps is to get this switched on so you can see information about the error – this will help you track it down. If you’re sites on a VPS, you can log in to Plesk and switch error reporting on.

Do you have an issue with plugins?

Another quick fix to try is to rename your plugin directory, temporarily disabling all plugins (but not getting rid of them). Simply FTP into your sites WP-Content directory and rename the plugins directory. See if that fixes the problem. If you site now works, you know it’s a plugin that’s causing the issue. All you’ve got to do now is work out which one.

Is there an issue with your theme?

If renaming the plugin directory doesn’t change things, try switching from your current theme to another one (assuming you have WP-Admin access) – if the front end of the site now works, you know it’s an issue with the theme. The problem could be located in any one of your theme’s templates, so you’ll need to track down where the issue lies. Quite often, blank white screens in WordPress are caused by invisible spaces before or after opening/closing PHP tags. You can test your themes files in a text editor to remove these.

Still no joy? Talk to Toast.

We help lots of business and individuals to fix their WordPress sites when a blank white screen is discovered after upgrading WordPress or plugins. 

We can quickly get your site back up-and-running with a minimum of fuss. If we can’t, there’s no fee, just get in touch via the link below.

Fix my WordPress site

Posted by Charlotte and categorised in Maintaining WordPress.

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