WordPress White Screen

The “White Screen” in WordPress is one way that a WordPress site will show bugs in the underlying PHP code or system configuration.   In geek-speak this is known as a fatal error.    It can be a bug in PHP code or an incompatibility between the code and the server configuration.

The most common cause is a bug in the PHP code itself.  Plugins, themes, and WordPress can be the source of the problem.    If you have upgraded more than one item on your site prior to noticing a white screen, any of the updated items is suspect.

Note: You should ALWAYS back-up your site before upgrading to new versions of WP or any plugins. We suggest using JetPack . BAck-up your Word Press site

Here are some ways to track down the source of a “white screen” and recover from it quickly.

Turn on WordPress Debug Logs

If you updated Store Locator Plus and your admin panel stopped working  you need to track the error with WordPress debugging. WP Debugging will log an error message that can then be tracked down and reported for resolution.

This article will help you setup WordPress Debugging

Debugging With Debug Log

– Turn on debugging as noted in the article.

– Install & activate SLP and go to the page that creates the white screen.– Deactivate SLP (or delete the ./wp-content/plugins/store-locator-le directory via cPanel, FTP, or other web service file manager)

– Send via email or post in the forums ; the URL to your site and/or the contents of your debug.log file.

Quick Recovery

You can recover from plugin updates that caused a white screen quickly by removing the entire plugin directory.    Store Locator Plus will not lose settings or data, that is stored in the WordPress database.   You can always re-install the original code by re-installing an older version of the plugin or a patched version.

Go to your wp-content/plugins directory and remove the entire directory of the plugin that caused the white screen.   You will likely need to do this by logging into a service such as cPanel, using FTP / SFTP , or by logging into the command line of your web server.

If you updated multiple plugins it is recommended you remove on  plugin subdirectory at a time and re-check the admin and/or main website pages after each removal.  This will help isolate the specific plugin that is causing a problem.

The best way to solve an issue like this moving forward is to keep the errant code in place long enough to setup the WordPress debugging and/or system debugging log files and capture the error logs.  This can be invaluable to a developer and will expedite any necessary patches to the code.