Fixing Blank, Empty or White WordPress Pages after Upgrade

Just a few hours ago, WordPress 2.8 was release to the general public (for the self-hosted version). I was notified within my admin portal and, after I did a quick database backup and downloaded all of my blog’s files, I clicked on the upgrade button. After a few seconds, WordPress told me that everything was successful. I was pretty amazed at how quickly the entire process took. Note: this is NOT unique to just WordPress 2.8 but also other releases of WordPress!

NOTE: I can help you fix your WordPress (self-hosted) issues. Read the information at the end of this article for more details!

So, I went to my blog’s main page to ensure that everything was working, and this is what I saw:


That’s right, absolutely NOTHING. Some people have referred to this as the “WordPress White Screen of Death“ or the “Blank Screen of Death“ or just “WSOD“. I went to the login page and it too, was not working. Ouch!

But after a few minutes of quickly troubleshooting (since I had been through this before), I corrected the issue. Here are some troubleshooting and fixes you might want to try if you encounter this issue. I hope that you find a solution within this list. If you do, please leave a comment and let me and other readers know! There are three things that you can try: plugins, wp-config and wp-settings. (There may be others but these are ones that have been proven to be culprits.)

Plugins – usually, after an upgrade, a plugin is the culprit. One way to quickly check to see if one of your plugins is problematic is to do the following:

  • Rename “plugins”folder TEMPORARILY to something else – I changed my plugins folder to “plugins_temp” and then tried the login page again and was able to see it, so, immediately I knew that I had an issue with one of my many plugins. Note that once you log into WordPress after renaming the plugin folder, WordPress will automatically disable ALL of your plugins as a safety precaution. The problem is, in order to do the next step, you need to remember which ones you had active. Be sure to change the name of your plugin folder back to its original name of “plugins”
  • Enable all your plugins at once – Once you are back in to the plugins section of the WordPress admin, and all of your plugins have been automatically disabled because of the step above, you can try this option by “bulk enabling” all of your plugins. WordPress should enable anything that doesn’t crash it and will disable any plugins that produce “fatal errors.” If any of your plugins are automatically disabled, they could be your culprit.
  • Enable plugins one at a time – Optionally, if you are having trouble with the “bulk enable” step above, you could try to enable each plugin one by one.

Once you identify the problematic plugin or plugins, see if they have been updated. If they have, delete the ones on your server and replace with the newer versions. Hopefully that will work. Otherwise, just leave the bad plugins de-activated until they are updated.

Empty Line in wp-config.php file – one thing that you should check is the wp-config.php file (obviously, make sure that it is in the WordPress directory, AND that it has the proper DB information). Scroll to the last part of your wp-config file and double check that there is no extra space after the closing “?>” tag. IF there is a trailing space before the actual end of the file, delete that space so that you are sure that your file truly ends with that tag.


// Get everything else


// Get everything else


Tweak your wp-settings.php file – First, I don’t recommend really messing around with this file as it is pretty critical to the smooth operation of WordPress. However, I had noticed that when I migrated my blog over from a different hosting provider to a new one (in this case, BlueHost), that when I was activating some of my plugins, I was receiving the following error “Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted” and the plugin was not activating. The way that I corrected that issue was by editing the “WP_MEMORY_LIMIT” setting within the wp-settings.php file. The WordPress “out-of-the-box” settings for this is “32M”, which explains why the memory size was exhausted (by this point, I was pretty exhausted as well). Note, that this error may be different for different hosting providers and may manifest in other ways.

So what I did, and what fixed the blank screen issue for me in the past and with this latest WordPress upgrade, was to change the value of WP_MEMORY_LIMIT from 32M to 64M. After I did that, everything worked just great!


So, my fix took actually all of about 2 seconds, but several hours of research, testing and tweaking to get to that fix.

Update: 12/27/10 – As I have now fixed quite a few of these issues on a variety of WordPress blogs, I have found that the items mentioned above might NOT correct your issue. You may have a script that is infecting your PHP files (I can help remove those), or you may have an issue with a theme or plugin. Additionally it may be another issue. But I can definitely help out. Read the NOTE below for details.

Note: I have received many requests for help each time a new version of WordPress comes out. I have helped a few people out but please realize that this does take time away from me writing reviews and other articles. However, I want to help, so I have come up with the following solution: I will ask for a $35 “up front fee” for me to review your FTP account and WordPress environment. After I receive that initial fee, if I can fix it, I will let you know and you can decide if you want me to proceed with the fix (for an additional fee typically starting at an additional $25). Depending on the amount of work, the additional fee could be a bit more (I haven’t charged more than $200)…but I’m not here to gouge you, just to get your WordPress blog back up and running. I will also keep you in the loop of what I am doing so that in the future, you can do it on your own. If you want my help, please fill out my WordPress Issue Form and I will get back to you quickly. You will need to provide me with both your FTP login information and WordPress admin credentials (which you can change after I fix or review the issue). I have helped people recover from iFrame viruses to reinstalling WordPress, so far with complete success!

Anyway, those are 3 things that you can test: Plugins, wp-config and wp-settings. If you find a fix that is different, please be sure to let me know!

Did you find this solution useful? If so: [paypal-donation reference=”WP WSOD”]

HTD Says: Be sure to follow Douglas Adams famous words of DON’T PANIC if you get the WordPress White Screen of Death. It is fixable!

213 Responses

  1. thank you so much! you solved my problem exactly. I had only half a blank admin screen and wasn't able to configure it the way wordpress 2.8 claimed it would be and that “memory exhausted” is exactly the problem I had.
    I'm also on Bluehost, so I suspect that's the problem right there but everything is perfect now.

    luckily I've been wordpress upgraded before so I've kind of evolved from “omg!omg! I killed it!” to “sigh, here we go again…”

  2. Thanks David for validating that fix. I wonder if BlueHost is going to
    ever do anything about it. I now have to remember that every time I do
    an upgrade, to change that one item in the wp-settings file. I
    appreciate the comment!

  3. Wonderful.
    Sad it happened but great that you were able to fix it and illustrate to the world how to fix theirs.
    I upgraded to 2.8 on a P2 blog yesterday. P2 had no plugins and upgraded no problem.
    I'm a little apprehensive about upgrading my main blog but will follow your suggestions to the T.

    : )

  4. Hey Mike, good to hear from you. Yeah, this was a weird one but
    luckily I had backups and had gone through a few host migrations
    recently of my blog. Good luck with the move of your main one!

  5. How I can deactivate the plugins if I cant even enter the wp-admin of the blog? I tried renaming the plugins directory and still, no login page or wp-admin page…only the white screen of desperation!

  6. Have you checked the other items in my post? You might also need to
    clear your browser cache as well as the cache on your blog. Do you use
    any caching plugins? If so, you might need to remove or comment that
    out from your wp-config file as well (or, gasp, edit you .htaccess).
    Can you provide any more details? What is the URL?

  7. What fixes did you try? All of the ones I listed? Check your cache on
    your blog as well. Clear it and check and perhaps comment out in wp-
    config. Let me know.

  8. You should double check that you didn't rename wp-admin folder and
    just did the plugin folder. Do you have any plugins that work with wp-
    admin (like password login protection or something)? Also, you might
    want to look at your .htaccess file to see if there is something
    redirecting there. Lastly check some of those other tips in the post

  9. I did a little digging on your site and think that I found the issue. Go to:
    and you will see that the error that comes out says:
    “Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/a/u/t/authority77/html/wp-config.php:153) in /home/content/a/u/t/authority77/html/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 850”
    Some quick research suggests that you should look for empty lines at the end AND beginning of those core files. So you should check that as well.
    Use a true text editor when you change as well. Look at the files that were recently modified.

    Another thing, disable your WP Super Cache. I tried accessing your wp-config.php file and the view source of that says: “<!– WP Super Cache is installed but broken. The path to wp-cache-phase1.php in wp-content/advanced-cache.php must be fixed! –>”

    Hope that helps!

  10. I have done the steps listed above

    I am getting this error

    warning: cannot modify header information – headers already send by

  11. Hmm, you got some issues going on. Here is what I would try. Move all
    of the other themes out of your theme folder and see if WP
    automatically takes the default one. If it does, see if the admin
    screen shows. If that does, let me know.

  12. I did that with godaddy and they said it isn't a theme issue

    I am in the process of reverting my site back to 2.71

  13. I gave you a tweet for all your help

    I will write a nice blog post about your site if I can ever get my site back

  14. You might want to just try a manual upgrade. That is what I used to
    do. Also, be sure that all of your plugins are current prior to doing
    the upgrade. (If I had access to your FTP server, I might be able to
    help but…understand if you don't want to do that).

  15. Thanks Michael. In my case, it was the bad behavior plugin that needed an update.

  16. This 2.8 upgrade include database upgrade, i got my database covered yesterday:(

  17. Dear author,

    Today I upgraded my wordpress blog at Today in Myanmar. I failed to upgrade it using the automatic feature of wordpress 2.7. Thus, I decided to upgrade using the manual ftp upload. After the upload, the wordpress asked me to upgrade my database. I did it, and after logging in to my admin page, I was confronted with the White Screen of Death! No where can I find my admin page. Everything was gone. I tried to see my home page but it was still there. But my admin page was gone. I was quite frantic. However, after a frantic search, I found your site. I did not do the plug-in disable but tried to change the wp-config file. It did not work. Then, I saw the third option, to change the wp-setting. There I found the origin of my error. It was evident from a long time that I was suffering from the memory limit problem. I tried in the past to increase the memory limit of my server but failed and I did not know why. Now, I found the problem. The wordpress setting page was limiting my memory limit to 32 MB. I immediately changed it to 64 M as you have suggested, and voila… my admin page again. Thank you very much for your very useful information.

  18. Hi Bamarlay,

    I'm glad that that worked out for you. Just remember that the same
    thing WILL happen again when WordPress decides to do another upgrade.
    The 32M setting is what is there by default.

    I appreciate the comment and feedback on it working!

  19. You can also change WordPress Memory allocation in wp-config.php by adding

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

    Remove the quotes and use a true text editor. Make sure it matches what is in wp-settings.php

  20. Tried them all, failed. I was switching themes using the new theme browser on a fresh install with one plug-in running. In addition to the above, I removed all themes but the default and still I see infinite milkspace. Still poking around, but so far, but losing interest…

  21. Thanks for this post! I renamed my plugins folder, that didn't work.

    I then changed 32 to 64 as you mentioned, and VOILA! THANK YOU! :)

  22. Okay, disabling the Google Analytics plugin solved my problem too. SIgh, what a headache!!!

  23. What worked for me was simply changing the Theme from the default to another. Also, for some reason I could get to my admin folder via IP but not through domain. I had all plugins disabled.

    Plugins should always be disabled on an upgrade anyways….

  24. Thanks for the tips! I'm familiar with the plugin conflict, but the memory increase was a new one. That happened to be the one that did the trick. Appreciate it!

  25. So, I changed the file name on plugins to temp name and deactivated, then changed file name back and reactivated all of the plugins, none of them were rejected and I updated the ones that had new updates.

    Now, in my wp-config.php there is no text that says -END OF FILE-

    This is what it looks like
    if ( !defined('ABSPATH') )
    define('ABSPATH', dirname(__FILE__) . '/');
    require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');

    I downloaded it to my desktop added the -END OF FILE- I did this with Word Pad and uploaded through my FTP but it only added the words -END OF FILE- at the top of my dashboard.

    I'm new at working with code, can you tell…Hope you can help me

  26. Hi Jordy,

    Sorry if that wasn't clear. The file does not actually end with the
    words “-END OF FILE-” . What I was trying to do was illustrate that
    some people had a trailing space after the “?>”. So if you go to the
    close bracket and tapped the arrow down, is there a space or return
    after that or does it not move?

    Remove the -End of File- stuff and be sure that your file just ends
    with the ?>.

    Did you try the memory change?

  27. OK, I have tried all three suggestions and my dashboard still looks like the video I originally posted.

    Any other suggestions?

  28. If you have done all of the options, including disabled all plugins
    and changed the memory settings, you might want to try re-installing
    2.8 via the automatic upgrader, if it will let you. Or, you will have
    to do a manual upgrade. Without looking at your environment via FTP,
    it's hard to tell what is going on.

  29. It appears as if the GoogleAnalytics plugin was the culprit on two different sites I had the WSOD after upgrading to 2.8 also.

  30. Success, whoo!! Here's a nice list of possible solutions.

    One of the suggested fixes was this one:
    7. Some people also reported success redoing the upgrade via Tools->Upgrade->Re-install automatically, then clearing the browser cache.

    That's what I did but I made sure that the plugins were disabled.

    It worked, YES!

  31. Thanks for this write up. I tried all three of the fixes – no luck. :(

    I changed the memory back to 32M, after testing, but left plugins disabled and fixed the trailing space on the config file. Any other ideas?

  32. I suppose Bluehost will eventually have to do something; already I know of people who are migrating elsewhere.

    different question — I see you are using Disqus, and checking on the wordpress plugin repository they appear to have added more features since the last time I looked. I'm currently on Intense Debate, but it's giving me headaches and I'm curious if you've ever used ID and would be able to compare the two?
    What's your overall experience with Disqus, any glitches or downtimes or comments disappearing, etc?

  33. ok, I think my comment is gone so apologies if this is a double posting — I wanted to know whether you'd ever used Intense Debate and could do a comparison between it and Disqus, and if not what's your experience been with Disqus? Any glitches or downtime?

  34. I think your initial comment was held for moderation (but I got the email notification so that I could release it).

    To answer your question, I used to use Intense Debate and it worked pretty well for me. But Disqus added some nice features that I wanted to utilize (like Social Media mentions) so I migrated over. I did have some initial migration problem (not due to Disqus but rather some limitations of my hosting provider) but I figured out how to resolve and was able to sync up my comments just fine.

    I have not experienced any downtime or issues (other than the initial install) and the Disqus folks were really great in going above and beyond to help me resolve (including manually installing the missing comments and associating my ID user with my Disqus user).

    It's worth the change in my opinion.

  35. I have the same problem.
    I tried clean .htaccess, rename plugin and rename themes directories, I delete emty space in wp-config.php and I changed in wp-settings.php 32M to 64M. And still nothing. I also made new installation (on other subdomain) and use in wp-config.php the same mysql base, user and password and I have still the WSOD :/

    What else I can do on ?

  36. Can you post your wp-config.php (without the password info, etc).
    Also, you can force WP to use 64M within the WP-config. I believe I
    listed how to do it in a previous comment. Also, if you have any
    caching, you should comment that out of wp-config and your .htaccess
    and empty that folder.

  37. My problem came from a conflicting function name in my functions.php file. So my WSOD was completely theme related.

  38. Now I see there is some problem with DB-cache plugin :/ I don't know hot to fix him…

  39. My wp-config.php:

    * The base configurations of the WordPress.
    * This file has the following configurations: MySQL settings, Table Prefix,
    * Secret Keys, WordPress Language, and ABSPATH. You can find more information by
    * visiting {@link Editing
    * wp-config.php} Codex page. You can get the MySQL settings from your web host.
    * This file is used by the wp-config.php creation script during the
    * installation. You don't have to use the web site, you can just copy this file
    * to “wp-config.php” and fill in the values.
    * @package WordPress

    // ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */

    define('DB_NAME', '*****');

    /** MySQL database username */
    define('DB_USER', '******');

    /** MySQL database password */
    define('DB_PASSWORD', '*******');

    /** MySQL hostname */
    define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

    /** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
    define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');

    /** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
    define('DB_COLLATE', '');

    * Authentication Unique Keys.
    * Change these to different unique phrases!
    * You can generate these using the {@link secret-key service}
    * @since 2.6.0
    define('AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
    define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
    define('LOGGED_IN_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
    define('NONCE_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');

    * WordPress Database Table prefix.
    * You can have multiple installations in one database if you give each a unique
    * prefix. Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!
    $table_prefix = 'wp_';

    * WordPress Localized Language, defaults to English.
    * Change this to localize WordPress. A corresponding MO file for the chosen
    * language must be installed to wp-content/languages. For example, install
    * to wp-content/languages and set WPLANG to 'de' to enable German
    * language support.
    define ('WPLANG', 'pl_PL');

    define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

    /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

    /** WordPress absolute path to the Wordpress directory. */
    if ( !defined('ABSPATH') )
    define('ABSPATH', dirname(__FILE__) . '/');

    /** Sets up WordPress vars and included files. */
    require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');

  40. OK. I know what was wrong. I must go to phpmyadmin and flush active plugins table :) Then my admin panel works :D I refresh plugin list and all blog run :D

  41. This is indeed an informative hrsaccount post we should be thinking some ways on how to impress our readers and post comments as well, facebook is one of the most famous site now a days

  42. I want to thank you for this! After upgrading to 2.8, one of my plugins was giving me the “WSOD”. I renamed the plugins folder and was able to login, upgrade my plugins, and everything is great again. Thank you!

  43. HighTechDad, you saved my life! Your fix worked just right.
    Many thanks!

  44. I changed the plugin file name to plugins_temp and that allowed me to get into the admin panel. However, the plugins page lists them all as deactivated and non-existent, so I can't bulk activate them. This is with WP 2.8. Any ideas? Thanks!

  45. I fixed it by changing the plugins folder name to plugins_temp, then changing it back to plugins while logged onto the dashboard. i deactivated all plugins, then upgraded the ones that needed upgrading, and deactivating the ones that are not compatible with WP 2.8

  46. Thanks Michael for this post, for me it was an incompatible theme issue.

    Steps to fix were:

    1. Renamed my selected theme folder 'wp-content/themes/tumblelog' (where tumblelog was my selected theme) to 'wp-content/themes/tumblelog-temprename'. This enabled me to get to wp-admin…

    2. Went to http://yourbloghere/wp-admin where there was an update database message. Confirmed I wanted to update the database.

    3. Went to the Appearance section of WordPress admin and selected a different theme and the blog was back up and running.

    I tried reverting back to the tumblelog theme but that didn't work. I'd been planning on switching themes so overall this is worked out well. Thanks WordPress White Screen of Death!

  47. Thanks for the additional steps. Yes, many themes seem to be
    incompatible when new versions of WordPress are released. Typically,
    the issues are plugins, memory, extra white spaces and themes. I
    appreciate you taking the time to write out those steps.

  48. Hello HTD, I wanted to say a special thanks. You are absolutely amazing. I will be a faithful follower.

    My site was in the dreaded white screen of death mode for the past two days. I was at a loss on how to fix. I searched google, came across your site. I read your three choices. Something told me to try your 3rd choice – change WP settings memory from 32K to 64K (my site has a lot of videos, etc, and I did not do any upgrades or installs for quite some time). Guess what. Almost immediately, my website was back up. I adore you! You saved me so much time and stress. Please keep up the good work. Your knowledge and service is sooo….valuable.

    Thanks again!!!!!!

  49. You saved my life..
    just as i was about to crawl into a ball on the floor and cry, your VERY helpful well laid out instructions were an absolute saviour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. I've tried everything possible, but unfortunately not finding a proper solution :(

    Can you please take some time and look into it personally provided u have time for it. If you can let me know how I can contact you, I'll send you my login details.


  51. I just upgraded a friend to wp v2.8.4. Now all her comments have disappeared. She had no activated plug-ins. I've gone through your fixit steps for wp-config.php and wp-settings.php just in case it may relate for some strange reason to all the comments disappearing. I'm in desperate need of finding a way of bringing all of her comments back. Thanks.

  52. I just upgraded a friend to wp v2.8.4. Now all her comments have disappeared. She had no activated plug-ins. I've gone through your fixit steps for wp-config.php and wp-settings.php just in case it may relate for some strange reason to all the comments disappearing. I'm in desperate need of finding a way of bringing all of her comments back. Thanks.

  53. Hmm that is a tough one. Did she use a plugin for comment previously
    (most of the main ones will sync back to the wordpress comment area).
    Do you have access to the mysql db to see if they are in there?
    Another text you might want to do is to export out the comments to see
    if WP sees them and then you could potentially re-import them.

  54. I got this problem after upgrade as well. My problem was just eh plugins directory, I just renamed it and I clicked in the plugins link on the admin page and all plugins were automatically deactivated and I renamed again to the original name and it worked!
    thanks for the tip!

  55. Looks like everyone has had different experiences. I was having blank admin screen after login. The things that worked for me were fresh re-install of wp-includes and wp-admin folders. I had tried all the other tips, wp-config spaces, memory limit, disabling plugins, re-naming theme folder and so on. Great support, thanks.

  56. Hi – thanks for providing all the tips, it gave me hope … but unfortunately I have done all of them and still get WSOD. I had the problem some months ago when I started using WordPress, then went to a local install to continue testing and setting up – then the problem started there too. Today I went back to my live site ( and could get in to the admin area – yippee, I thought! But then I did the automatic upgrade, and poof, all gone.
    Having tried all the fixes I could find here, I have now removed all traces of WordPress, deleted the database and all files, etc, etc, created a new database and uploaded the latest version. But, when I go to the install.php file … I still get the blank screen.
    I'm really stumped. I guess something must be wrong at the server end. Any ideas what I can do?
    Thanks for your efforts to help this program be useable!

  57. Hi Ann,

    I tried going through your site to see if I could find anything.
    Unfortunately there is not much that I can do without having access to
    your DB or FTP. It sounds to me that something odd is going on. You
    might want to check with your hosting provider (The Planet) to see if
    you have the latest version of PHP installed. There might be something
    going on there.

    Also, be sure to check again the settings for the memory and the
    spaces after some of the config pages.

    Let me know how it goes.

  58. Really appreciate you looking in … I did get in touch with my hosting provider, and they advised that (at least for the install problem) it was a permissions issue. Apparently they have PHP installed as CGI and not an Apache module, and the permissions need to be 755 not 644.
    I have asked them if that means I have to change the permissions for all files downloaded with upgrades and/or plugin/them installs, but haven't heard back yet – but this could explain why things went haywire when I downloaded various plugins and the upgrade.
    Anyway, I now have my site up and running, and will give WordPress more of a go – but will certainly look for a more WordPress-friendly webhost where hopefully this doesn't happen.
    Maybe others are having the same permissions issues? Hope this can help.
    And thanks again for all your efforts!
    Have a great day, Ann

  59. phew! thanks so much for this post – I did the temporary re-naming of the plugins file bit and re-activated the plugins one-by-one until I found the culprit (wp backup) Now everything is working great again. But I have a question about the wp-config.php step: I haven't got this at the end:
    “-END OF FILE-“
    just the “?>”
    is that OK? (sorry if it's a silly q)

  60. That should be ok. The big issue was really the trailing white space
    or carriage return. Glad it worked!

  61. Hey! I tried to do all your tips, but my site still won't come back up! O_o I'm pretty new to WP though too. I also tried to re-install manually the new version (2.8.6). Is there something else you suggest? I'm pulling hairs right now!
    The good thing is that everything works: cPanel, Login and FTP, but my site itself…

  62. thanks for the post man, I was starting to panic after upgrading to 2.8.6.
    But I managed to get it working again after your plugins-folder-trick-thingie.

    Again, thanks!

  63. Still a no go for me. I started a brand new site yesterday, no fancy plugins or themes… just the basic and classic. I can access the dashboard just fine but the WSOD is there. I had to add the ?> to the end of my wp-config file, which I thought was strange seeing as how I just downloaded it off of yesterday. I've also done the other things you've suggested. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  64. Thank you SO much for helping me Michael. Your services were well worth the donation requested. I would be happy to be a good referral for you anytime.

  65. i saw you had commented on an error for wordpress can you can you contact me please to tell me if you can help me fix my error PLEASE

  66. i saw you had commented on an error for wordpress can you can you contact me please to tell me if you can help me fix my error PLEASE

  67. If you want to fill out the Contact form with your details, I can
    follow up with you directly. I have helped a few other people fix
    their WordPress issues. I do ask for a small donation for my time to
    go onto your server and troubleshoot.

  68. I want to thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!! I have been having some of the problems you described for days and I was in a real panic since the client for my website needed their site moved ASAP. Finally, I came across your post and realized it as a plugin problem. Seriously, INEVER would have figured that out on my own…not in a zillion years. What you have done is a VERY nice thing. Thanks so much!!

  69. Glad it worked for you! If you (or your client) are in the holiday spirit of “giving”, I have a donation link in there (wink). If not, please be sure to spread the word on the fix.

  70. Your idea for renaming the plugins folder worked for me. Once I did that I was able access the login screen and go through and upgrade my plugins to fix the problem. Thanks.

  71. THANKS! this is great. I have been searching for help on this issue. Your explanations are clear and concise. This worked well for me. Thanks again!

  72. THANKS! this is great. I have been searching for help on this issue. Your explanations are clear and concise. This worked well for me. Thanks again!

  73. I perfectly agree with what Stef has said: Thanks for your very helpful advise! I guess in most cases the blank page phenomenon is in fact due to a bad plugin which hadn't been deactivated beforehand (as one really should according to the “official” upgrade procedure). But confronted with it for the first time I was sort of panicking… But renaming the folder, deactivating everything and reactivating plugin by plugin quickly brought me to the culprit. Thanks again!

  74. Michael absolutely saved my soul this morning –

    I had completed the WP 2.9 upgrade and all was working just fine – and suddenly, this morning, the blank admin screen of awfulness was staring me in the face.

    – I manually reinstalled all wp-admin and root WP files.

    – I went through and deleted all blank lines on the root files (there were quite a few).

    – I got new security keys.

    – I renamed the plugins folder.

    – I renamed my theme folder.
    **** This turned out to have been the problem – I renamed it, but should have clicked the Refresh on my browser a few more times before giving up ****

    Anyhow, I wrote to Michael, my hands up in the air – he was back to me in fewer than 5 minutes, and HE FIXED EVERYTHING within an hour. I'll have to go in and customize my theme again, but I had all that backed up here, anyway – we still don't know why the theme (wpframework) was suddenly crashing, but there you have it.

    Thank you, Michael!

  75. And now, on further examination, it might have been a customized template – still checking that out.

  76. I was having a blank page problem and I increased the wp_memory_limit to 64M and it wahla it was fixed. Thanks so much

  77. I believe you can put it in your wp-config file so that it sticks
    after an upgrade. Wp-settings will get overwritten. Glad it worked!

  78. Another problem can be whitespace in your themes function.php file. Any whitespace before or after a <php> tag can render the dreaded blank screen. (Hunted this problem for a good hour… never close your documents lest you underestimate the power of 'undo')

  79. These suggestions were very helpful. My issue was actually in the themes folder. Once I changed the name of the themes folder I was able to login to my account. Then I went back through my theme and found an extra line of code that had somehow been inserted. No more WSOD!
    Thank You!

  80. I still have the issue but I'm upgrading to version 2.9.2 and I can't see my website neither the admin panel – This is the list of things I've try:

    – I install fresh copies of WP 2.9.2.
    – I check all the blank spaces after the “?>” on every single file and fix them.
    – I rename the plugins folder and disable them all via PhpMyAdmin.
    – I rename the themes folder to force WP to use the default.
    – I upgrade the memory limit on the wp_settings.php file from 32 to 64.

    Is there any other solution that I haven't try? Any other idea?.

    Thanks in advance.

  81. Hello Vivian,

    Yes, these can be very tricky to figure out. I do offer a service (noted in the post) that I can take a look at your server/WordPress configuration for you and attempt to correct should you desire it. I have had 100% success with all of the people that I have helped. If you are interested, please fill out the contact form and include the following information: FTP information w/ user/pass login, WordPress admin user/password and the blog URL. I will follow up with you offline on this. If you want, simply send me some of the information in the contact form and I will follow up via email.

  82. Thank you so much for your help. At the beginning I was hesitating about giving you my information but you really help me in such an honest way. I am really happy with the results. You keep all my files saved and solved my problem really neatly. :-)

    Thank you Michael.

  83. Gracias por su commentario. Fue un placer ayudarle! Si necesita mas ayuda, usted sabe donde se puede encontrarme.

  84. Thank you VERY, VERY MUCH for the tip. I just upgraded a plug-in and I did receive the white screen of death. And I always install the newest version of WordPress as soon as one becomes available.

    I solved the problem by renaming the plugin folder, logging in, logging out, and renaming the folder back to plugin. That did the trick.

  85. Thanks to Michael, my blog,, is finally updated to the latest version of Wordpress and I can add images and view Visual view again!
    I've been looking around for over 6 months for someone to help me with my Wordpress issues and Michael fixed them all. Michael was great to work with.. very fast and efficient.. and communicated often during the process which took less than a day.

    Thanks Michael.

  86. We had the WordPress WSOD. Asked hightechdad to take a look. With a very short turn around time he managed to fix it. It had to do with wp-cache which gets a bit freaked out when upgrades happen. He disabled the line in the wp-config.php file that starts the caching. Then I was able to log Thank you!

  87. Just wanted to add to the chorus of comments…you totally saved me.
    I had the white screen of death after a transfer and after much searching and head scratching, changing the settings.php to 64M did the trick.
    Thanks a lot.

  88. Just upgraded to 2.9.2 and got blank homepage and admin screens. Was searching around for solutions, getting the feeling I would have to do major surgery, then came upon your post. Renaming the Plugins folder enabled my sight to come back up. Thanks so much for saving me hours of trouble(shooting).

  89. Yep, it looks like you got hit with the WSOD. If you want, I can help you fix it. I will send you a direct email.

  90. Hi guys, my problem is a bit different.

    I've changed host last week. Everything was OK. But now some posts are blank.

    I've disable and enable all plugins and found where the bug was. However, I can't fix it.

    There's a function of the plugin which calls a lot of SQL data. Only those pages this error looks.
    I've changed memory already. Still broken. Any ideas?

  91. The fix for something like that can be complicated. There may be paths that have changed between your old hosting environment and your new one. Some of those paths are stored within the MySQL DB and other thing may be coded automatically in a plugin. It does help sometimes to deactivate and delete the plugin in question and then reinstall and reactivate it again.

    Let me know how it goes. I could potentially help but I would need access to your environment (DB & FTP)

  92. Hi Michael, thanks for reply.

    It's a strange thing. I've deleted the plugin two or three times that day yet. Nothing happened. So, I gave me a time to lunch (i was really stressed) and later everything was OK again. I did anything more. It just works. Well, three days and problem don't back. I think it's fixed.

    btw, thanks again. Very useful blog.

  93. Yes! thank you!! i was missing the ?> at the very end of my wp-config.php file. what was confusing was that that's exactly how i downloaded it from (version 2.9.2). but i saw this and added the ?> to the end of the file (with nothing after it, as you said) and it works!!

    many many thanks

  94. Michael, Thanks for this page and your helpful advice.

    After using auto-upgrade (to 2.9.2) on a XAMPP setup (something I don't recommend) I found WSOD on home page and admin page. Tried all suggestions with no luck. So I manually upgraded:
    1. copied all upgrade wp-admin files into my wp-admin folder
    2. renamed all folders inside of my wp-content folder to *_TEMP
    3. then copied the upgrade files for wp-content into my wp-content folder
    4. copied all upgrade wp-includes files to my wp-includes folder
    5. copied all files in the root of the upgrade wordpress folder to my root folder overwriting all files. Be sure to keep your wp-config.php file if you choose to delete first instead of overwriting.
    6. checked to see if it worked…it did.
    7. I then renamed the upgrade folders in wp-content to *_UPGRADE and rolled back my original folder names.
    8. still works

    This was my experience on my Windows XP machine using XAMPP. Your mileage may vary. I would suggest paying particular attention to setp 7 of the Upgrading Wordpress Extended page, especially if you are not on the same type of environment:
    wp-config.php file;
    wp-content folder; Special Exception: the wp-content/cache and the wp-content/plugins/widgets folders should be deleted.
    wp-images folder;
    wp-includes/languages/ folder–if you are using a language file do not delete that folder;
    .htaccess file–if you have added custom rules to your .htaccess, do not delete it;
    robots.txt file–if your blog lives in the root of your site (ie. the blog is the site) and you have created such a file, do not delete it.

  95. Michael fixed this up for me super quickly. In my case I was getting the dreaded WSOD because of a script injection attack, which I would have had a tough time even figuring out, let alone fixing! Thanks a lot Michael for working on it so quickly and taking the time to explain what you did to me so I can try to work out my other sites that may have also been affected by this. I really appreciate the help!

  96. Thanks a lot michael, it my old plugin that make i can't login to my dashboard. Great tips…

  97. Michael is great at tracking down WSOD (White Screen Of Death) issues. I contacted him on a Friday, after I had tried about a dozen different fixes myself, and he replied immediately. He was indefatigable, even re-installing my core WordPress files, and kept at it all weekend. By Sunday he had my problem isolated. Although I know he must have put in many hours on the problem (we exchanged about 20 emails!), his fee was minimal. I would definitely use him again and recommend him to others.

  98. thanks you for this! editing my memory limit in wp-settings did the trick for me in my 3.0 ugrade

  99. Michael hooked it up right away! After persistent problems with wordpress WSOD and bad code, we were up and running 100% healthy site in way under 24 hours!

  100. I had recently upgrade my japanese recipes blog to WP ver 3.0. Since then, I am facing the dealth of white screen. I restored back to the previous version 2.9.1 now. But still no luck. Tried all above tricks, it didn't solve my problem. Any help is appreaciate. To my suprise, most of my add-on domain also facing the same problem.

  101. If you need help with the WSOD, please fill out my contact form with some details and I can definitely help you out!

  102. Much appreciated – renaming the plugin folder got me back in. I was able to re-activate each plugin until I found the culprit.


  104. Unfortunately just updating the wp-config file will not fix all of the cases. I have personally fixed people's wp installs that had nothing to do with the config file.

  105. thank you very much. today my wordpress font page and wp-admin got blank. after I try your advice to rename plugins folder to other name, I can access my wordpress again. Thank you very much.!!

  106. thanks alot for this great idea… it really solves my problem in my site

  107. I got the blank screen after updating to wordpress 3.0.1 . The renaming myplugins folder and then going back to the admin panel brought it back up just fine. Then i just went back and renamed the plugins folder back to normal plugins and presto everything is back to normal…yes i had to update a couple plugins and activate them but that is simple simple. Thank you so much for posting this fix. My site is

  108. Hi there ,

    I had this problem with 3.0.1 and renaming the plugins folder helped indeed !

    In addition to that I could easily troubleshoot that it was the outdated plugin:
    Wordpress Backup (by BTE)

    which lead to the blank page.

    Thanks for this post !

  109. wordpress 3.0.1. – and the damn blank screen. Set in./wp-includes/default-constants.php WP_MEMORY_LIMIT to 64MB and everything works. You made my day!!

  110. Thanks for your help
    a little french who lived during many hours with a white screen of Death. The solution was to the last part of one of the many wordpress files…


  111. Michael your help was AMAZING in getting my site back up and running from the WSOD – within 20 minutes. You are brilliant and I encourage everyone to contact Michael with questions. Truly awesome the way you figured it out. Thank you so much!

  112. Thank goodness I came across this post early this morning when I was unpleasantly confronted with the dreaded white screen. In a panic, I filled out HighTechDad’s contact form (per his note, above) and within minutes he responded and offered to help. For a small fee he dropped everything and dealt with my issues (and I had many!). He was extremely knowledgeable and never gave up. Within several hours my site was back up and running strong, for which I am forever grateful!!! I would HIGHLY recommend HighTechDad to others who also have the unfortunate WSOD problem.

  113. Ive been struggling for days from this WSOD after updating my site from 2.7 to 3.01. Just renaming the plugins folder and reinstalling updated plugins and everything worked perfectly Thank you so much!

  114. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Saved me a lot of time and frustration. Just renamed the plugins folder _bad and then logged in, renamed plugins back to normal and tried 3x before it let me activate all. The only one that updated was… SecureWordPress. Thank you so much!

  115. In the config.php file, I did notice there wasn’t a closing ?> . So I placed one there. In my wp-settings.php fill, I didn’t see any place to exchange 32M to 64M so I left that file alone. Even though I did make that small change in my config.php, I still get a blank home page. Thank anyway.


  116. If you are still having issues, please fill out my contact form and I can help you get it fixed.

  117. Thanks Oliver You saved my day. I was searching this problem for quite a long time. Tried all solutions but could not solve. Your solution worked for me . Thanks

  118. This post helped me to find which plug in was causing problems and I was able to get pages and posts up and running again. Thanks!

  119. Thanks so much for your help Michael. I really appreciate it. I would recommend anyone who can’t fix their site on their own, to contact Michael to fix it. He did a great job. Thanks again.

  120. The blog name is What happened was I changed the db password. After I did this the blog disconnected from the DB… somehow I fixed that, and now when you go to the site you will see it is up and running just fine. The problem is when I try to login to the wordpress site through the admin panel, as soon as I put in a username/password I get the “blank white screen of death”. I have no idea what’s going on but I did make sure to update the php.config file with the new db-pword. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  121. I have to tell you- you so rock! Super fast response and you don’t even know me! Why, you’re almost like an angel of sorts, aren’t you? I totally appreciate your assistance, nothing but good karma coming your way…

    As it happens, (and if you can believe this) I’ve actually got it figured out. I cheated though ha ha, I host w/ and you can roll back the .config file, and this is how I fixed it.

    Just know now next time I have trouble- instead of surfing the internet for hours bound to figure it out myself, I’m coming here. All hail “High Tech Dad”…

    Thanks again!

  122. I tried to open my blog last night and got the dreaded white screen of death. ACK! Normally I try to fix everything computer-related myself, but I was in over my head.

    I googled around & found HighTechDad’s website and thought he looks like a good, honest, technically proficient guy, and sure enough, my vibes were correct. He figured out and fixed the problem in about an hour, and he went above and beyond the call of duty by helping me with a few other blog things. WHAT A GUY!

  123. Thanks. Off all the resources available on the web for this problem, yours was the most useful. Thanks a ton.


  124. Thanks Michael for helping me out!
    You saved me so muck time and agony, and now my site is up and running!
    I can recommend you that have trouble, to ask Michael for help!
    Thanks again / Patrik, Stockholm

  125. Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional
    business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about
    how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment. 

  126. Hi Mike:

    Thanks for this useful post. You pointed me in the right direction.

    In my case the cause was wp-super-cache. I had to delete the plugin to bring home page back. Deactivating the plugin did not work.

    Thanks again.

  127. Thanks for pointing that out. That plug also writes to your .htaccess file so sometimes you can comment it out or remove it there.

  128. Excellent work. Disabling all the plugins and then bulk activating them worked like a charm to fix my WSOD.


  129. I am having a serious problem at my blog. Let me see if your suggestions work.

  130. WOW, It is very useful post. I was facing the blank page on wp-admin but I follow above instructions & placed ?> and removed extra spaces. I was shocked due to think of Hacking. But now my blog is working perfect & wp-admin page coming. Your solution is still important from 2 years.

    Thanks a lot Michael

  131. For me too same wp super cache plugin caused that trouble.After renaming plugins folder, i could log into dashboard and then i deactivated the theme. Tried to activate all plugins at once , but it showed error again. Then deleted all plugins and after renaming plugins folder uploaded all plugins and was able to activate it in bulk.

    But i activated the same error-caused plugin now , but it now works well…  

  132. Michael was phenomenal!  I had several nasty problems: a corrupted page
    causing the WSOD and Contact Forms that had NEVER worked correctly since the website
    was created by a professional organization. Michael took the time necessary
    to solve my problems. He was proactive, answered emails super quickly, charged
    an extremely fair rate, and satisfied every small request. He is TRUSTABLE,
    FAIR and will GET YOUR PROBLEMS SOLVED! Thanks Michael. :)

  133. Hi there, thank you for this post. This didn’t fix my problem but it did help me to think outside of the box and to start troubleshooting in a different way. I turns out that — this is kind of obvious but backup is the most important piece of data you can posses –, I fixed all the empty lines in the wp_config but this was not the problem (my question here will also be why there is empty lines in a particular file when I never edited the file?). Then because my problem was with the wp super cache plugin I checked the wp_cache_config and I compared it to an earlier version from backup and it turns out that the newer file was off for 4 lines of code, weird! I never have edited this file before in my life, then I just replaced the wp_cache_config with the backup, refreshed the website and what do you know! It worked.
    I hope this helps some else in the same situation. Thanks!

  134. Thank you very much. It is working when I tried to switch off the plugins and enabling one by one. Thank you so much

  135. awsome.. after reading a lot of topics about this, your solution of renaming the plugin folder is what it fix it.. i was getting really frustated… thank you again and thank you to explain it easily….

  136. Awesome Michael, thanks for the help in getting my site up and making it quick and painless, highly recommended!

  137. Hello Michael,

    Thanks for the tips. However, I’m a little stuck on the wp-config.php file.  I don’t have…


    …that comes right below ‘wp-settings.php’);

    Perhaps that’s causing my Wordpress Semiologic theme and W3 Total Cache plugin conflict. I have one post and one page that doesn’t allow me to edit them with W3TC activated. But I can edit my other 70 pages/posts.

    When activating the twelve eleven theme with the W3TC plugin activated I can edit the post and page in question.

    So I’m wondering would inserting the…


    …fix the issue. I tried already but keep getting the following message…
    Could not open /home/xxxxxxxxx/public_html/ for writing: Permission denied.

    I’ve tried changing the permission from 755 to 777 for wp-config.php but that didn’t work either.Appreciate any help you can provide.Philip

  138. First of all, you end the file with the “>” not with “- END OF FILE -” that was just a marker. If you need me to take a look, just fill out my WSOD form. Thx!

  139. Plugin was the culprit in my case. When I renamed the plugin folder my wordpress started to work again. Great post. You save my life :P

  140. What a RELIEF to know that this is fixable. All I did was change the url to one that originally was pointed to the main url, but I had changed it already with GoDaddy 4 day ago. One I made the change, it slowly became the WSOD! I tried to go back and change the name back, but it wouldn’t save the change? Now I can’t get in the back door at all to figure this out, or at the very least recover the content so that I can rebuild the site. Any recommendations as to what the next step would be based on the info below?

     Warning: require(ABSPATHwp-includes/load.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/x/x/x/xxx/html/xxx/wp-settings.php on line 21

    Fatal error: require() [function.require]: Failed opening required ‘ABSPATHwp-includes/load.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/local/php5/lib/php’) in /home/content/x/x/x/xxx/html/xxx/wp-settings.php on line 21

  141. Michael is FANTASTIC!! I thought I’d tried everything, but he was able to fix my WSOD issue so quickly I was up and running again in no time. I’m so relieved and couldn’t have asked for a better fixer for my WP probs. Thank you Michael!!

  142. I am testing like everything, but can’t get it to work. I have managed to create a blank page and it had worked, but then my blog showed as /about/blog/ and showed in the menu at the top, which I do not want. i want it to be /blog/ (listing of all blogs) and that be it. for example, if you go to my site,

  143. Cool, I’ll fill out the form shortly my friend. No apology necessary, I know you have tons to do. I still hadn’t figured out how to fix the issue so hopefully you can fix it. I’ll make it worth your while some way.

  144. Hello! Thank you so much for this post. My problem was the wp-config.php file, and I was missing the end php tag like this ?> I added this at the end of the file and now it works!! It’s worth checking.

  145. even 5 years after you writing this article it’s still up to date. I made the update from 3.4 to 3.8 you saved me with you solution.

  146. I didn’t know about the white space issue after the trailing ?> and that helped me out tremendously. Thanks.

  147. Tried a few of the suggestions, but wasn’t getting anywhere, so I went ahead and clicked through and asked Michael to help me. He responded almost immediately, fixed the problem, and charged me only a tiny amount. Saved me hours of frustration; what a relief!!

  148. I change the Plugin folder as instructed and I was able to lo-gin and Fix the rest of the Problem. By enabling the Plugins one by one.

  149. Thank you very much, i had a blank pages after updating some of my plugins, i was searching for hours for the right solution and i found it here you saved my life and a month of work thx again

  150. I am doing a multilangual joboard site for a customer using wordpress and was thinking about using multisite one of them. The issue is that users would exist in English but not in French. So if someone switches from french to English, he would go to another website where he does not exist. The theme I am using does not support WPML (it breaks core features) .,.

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Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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