WordPress is a popular content management system across the globe, including in South Africa. According to a report, 79% of all websites in the country are powered by the platform.
This doesn’t come as a surprise given how easy WordPress is to use in web development. Its system has a lot to offer for both beginners and experienced developers. You can build almost any type of website with the customization options available.
With the number of active internet users in South Africa reaching 41.19 million this year, it’s only reasonable for businesses in the region to take advantage of platforms that can help create websites that cater to the needs of their target market.
Despite its popularity, WordPress isn’t without its problems. One of the most common errors users can encounter on the platform is the WordPress white screen of death.
Let’s take a closer look at this issue to understand what it is, why it happens, and how you can resolve it.
What Is the WordPress White Screen of Death?
The WordPress white screen of death — sometimes known as WordPress WSOD — is an error that occurs when there is an issue within the PHP files or database of a website.
Rather than displaying normal site content to the user, this problem manifests itself as a plain white screen. Based on the cause, the whole website may be affected or just certain parts of it.
For example, the WordPress white screen of death might only show up in the admin area of the platform while the rest of the pages are unaffected. There are also instances where only a specific post has it while the others remain operational.
In most instances, the WordPress WSOD issue is because of an unresponsive script that fails to load. It could also be due to the script failing to synchronize with the current WordPress hosting server.
How To Fix the White Screen of Death Problem in WordPress?
There are many reasons that could lead to the white screen of death issue in WordPress. No matter the cause, these are some of the primary methods to resolve it:
Fix #1: Checking and Troubleshooting Errors
Changing any code in the backend of WordPress could easily result in a WSOD error, especially when there’s a typographical issue with one of the source files. That’s why one of the first things to do is to check and troubleshoot these mistakes by checking the error logs.
The good news is that WordPress has its own debut feature that you can activate to help you fix this problem.
Fix #2: Clearing WordPress Cache
In case there are no typos in the backend, you can try clearing your WordPress cache — particularly when you have a plugin installed that performs the caching. You should see an option in the plugin to clear the cache.
Fix #3: Disabling WordPress Plugins
If the white screen of death persists, then it’s time for more drastic measures. Try deactivating all of your plugins to see which of them is causing the issue. Reactivating them one at a time can reveal the faulty plugin.
In case you’ve identified the specific add-on that’s causing the problem, you can keep it deactivated for now. You should then contact the plugin developer to see if they can help.
Fix #4: Disabling Your WordPress Theme
WordPress themes are constantly being updated by their owners and any changes could quickly lead to conflicts with your existing setup. It might also be due to a theme being installed improperly.
No matter the cause of the incompatibility, you can try deactivating your current WordPress theme and replacing it with the default. This will allow you to see if your theme is causing the WSOD error.
What To Do To Prevent the WordPress White Screen of Death
Now that you know how to fix the WordPress white screen of death problem and successfully resolve it, it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Taking proactive steps to prevent this issue from popping up later on is essential to keep your website up and running.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Install trusted plugins and themes: You should only install WordPress website add-ons that have good ratings and reviews. Read the feedback from users and see if there are any complaints concerning compatibility issues.
- Test first: Using a staging environment to test new add-ons is a great way to see if there are any incompatibility errors. Staging sites allow you to identify problems while not affecting your live website.
- Perform a website backup: You should always perform a daily backup of your website. Having a restore point will let you quickly bring back your site to a functional level in case it goes down.
- Maintain strict user access: Limiting user permissions to your WordPress website can help you prevent any inconsistencies and errors that could happen due to changes from multiple individuals. It also lets you track issues as they arise and pinpoint how they started.
The WordPress white screen of death problem is a major issue that should be resolved immediately. This is primarily because it can prevent visitors from seeing your content or even stop them from landing on the pages you want.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to handle WordPress problems such as the white screen of death. Business owners need to focus on other more important aspects and not have to be entangled with the complications of website development.
At Launch Digital, we know how crucial it is for you to have a website that supports your business endeavors. That’s why we offer our WordPress Care Plans that are designed to help website owners keep their pages running.
These plans are straightforward in that we’ll take care of everything that has to do with your WordPress website. For a monthly fee, you can get weekly reports, backups, updates, 24-hour monitoring, and more.
Our WordPress support packages will ensure that your sites stay updated and operational around the clock. You can choose from three options with varying features, and you can cancel them any time if you’re not happy with the results.
Want to know more? Check out our WordPress packages today.