How to troubleshoot WordPress white screen of death

Every WordPress user had encountered this problem. All of a sudden your WordPress website turns into a white screen and there is no way for you to access your dashboard. Don’t worry – there are few techniques that can get you out from this horror movie.

In order to troubleshoot this issue you need to know the reason that stands behind this occurrence.

  • You have exhausted your memory limit
  • There is an issue with a plugin that you have installed or updated
  • Your theme is poorly coded

You have exhausted your memory limit

Your memory resources are consumed mainly by the plugins that you’ve installed. This means that certain plugins can be problematic. There are three ways in which you can increase your memory limit:

1.Increase your memory limit using the wp-config.php file.

Include this code into your wp-config.php

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');

You can determine your own memory limit – in the example above the memory limit is set to 64M.

2.Increase your memory limit using the php.ini file

If you have access to your php.ini file edit the following lines:

memory_limit = 64M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (64MB)

3.Increase your memory limit with the use of the .htaccess file

Add this piece of code:

php_value memory_limit 64M

Warning: Always make a backup before editing your files.

There are plugins that can determine your current memory usage inside your WordPress Dashboard.
You can try Server IP & Memory Usage Display. This plugin shows your current memory usage and your memory limit. This way you can properly adjust your resources.

There is an issue with a plugin.

The problem may be related to a plugin that you have installed or updated recently. If you don’t remember when the error occurred and what have you done before the occurrence, try this steps.

  1. Access your website using a FTP client-ex. FileZilla
  2. Navigate to wp-content
  3. Rename your plugins folder to plugins_old – this will deactivate all your plugins.
  4. See if you can access your website. If you your website is back to normal there is a problem with a certain plugin.
  5. Rename the plugins_old folder back to plugins.
  6. Open the plugins folder and deactivate one by one your plugins by renaming them to your_plugin_name_old. Every time when you rename a plugin try to access your website. This way you can determine which plugin is causing the problems.

If this doesn’t solve your problem proceed further.

There is a problem with your theme

Your theme can be the cause of your problems. In order to deactivate it follow those steps:

  1. Access your website through FTP.
  2. Navigate to the wp-content/themes/ and rename your wordpress theme to your_wordpress_theme_old. This will activate your default WordPress theme.

Activate the debug function of WordPress

You can always activate your WordPress debug function. This way an error log will be displayed on your white screen. You can use this for determining the cause of your problems. You can also copy those errors and google them.

Paste this code inside your wp-config.php file:

error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set('display_errors', 1); define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);

If none of the steps above fix your problem, your WordPress core files may be corrupted. Replace your wp-admin and wp-includes folders with fresh copies downloaded from To do this you have to use a FTP client.


With the use of these techniques you have very good chances to fix this error. You have to pay attention to the actions that you’ve made before the error occurred. This way you can determine the cause of WordPress white screen of death.

If none of the above steps helped you restore your website from a backup.

Do you have some thoughts regarding this topic. Feel free to share them in the comments field below.

About Georgi Ivanov

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