Tag - Screen

How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death (Step by Step)

The WordPress white screen of death is one of the most common WordPress errors. It is also one of the most frustrating ones because there is no error message, and you are locked out of WordPress.

Another problem with the white screen of death error is that sometimes it only affects a certain part of your website.

For example, you may only see the white screen of death inside the WordPress admin area, while everything else works fine. In other cases, you may only see it on a specific post whereas everything else works fine.

In this article, we will show you how to fix the WordPress white screen of death by looking at different solutions.

Fixing WordPress white screen of death error

Note: Before you make any changes to your site, make sure you have a backup of your WordPress site. If you don’t have access to the admin area, then see our guide on how to manually create WordPress database backup.

Why Do You See the White Screen of Death in WordPress?

Majority of the time when you see a white screen of death, it means that a script on your website exhausted the memory limit.

The unresponsive script either gets killed by your WordPress hosting server, or it simply times out. This is why no actual error message is generated, and you see a plain white screen.

WordPress showing white screen instead of website

This error can also happen due to a poorly coded theme or plugin installed on your site. Sometimes it can happen if there is an issue with your web hosting server.

Since the white screen error can be caused by any number of things, it requires methodical troubleshooting to fix.

Does the problem occur on your other sites?

If you have other WordPress sites installed on the same hosting account, then you want to start by checking if the problem is occurring on other sites as well.

If it is, then that’s a strong indicator that something is wrong with your WordPress hosting service. This could be a temporary issue affecting their service, and you need to reach out to their support for more help.

On the other hand, if the issue is only happening with one website or a specific part of that site, then you know that the problem is with that particular website.

Fixing White Screen Error with WordPress Recovery Mode

If the white screen of death error is caused by a WordPress plugin or theme, then WordPress may be able to catch it.

The new fatal error protection feature introduced in WordPress 5.2 can sometimes catch the error, so you may not even see a white screen. Instead, you will see a message that the site is having technical difficulties.

Technical difficulties

You would also receive an email message on your admin email address with the subject ‘Your Site is Having a Technical Issue’.

Technical issue email sent to admin

This email message will point out the plugin causing the error, and it will also contain a special link. This link will allow you to login to the WordPress recovery mode and deactivate the faulty plugin.

WordPress recovery mode

However, if you are seeing the plain white screen of death with no email or recovery mode option, then you need to manually fix the error.

Increasing the Memory Limit

Usually, this error happens because a script has exhausted the memory and quit in the middle. To fix this, you need to increase PHP memory available to WordPress. This will allow the script to use more memory to finish the job it was supposed to do.

You can follow the instructions in our tutorial on how to increase PHP memory in WordPress.

Disabling All Plugins

If increasing the memory limit did not help, or if you have a high memory limit like 256M or 512M, then you need to start troubleshooting.

In our experience of troubleshooting this issue, we have always found that the issue is either with a specific plugin or a theme. Let’s go ahead and disable all the plugins.

If you can still access the WordPress admin area, then you can simply go to Plugins » Installed Plugins page. Select all the installed plugins and then select ‘Deactivate’ under ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down.

Deactivate all plugins via WordPress admin area

However, if you don’t have access to the WordPress admin area, then you will need to deactivate all plugins via FTP.

First, connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. Once connected, go to the wp-content folder where you will see the ‘plugins’ folder.

Rename plugins folder to deactivate all plugins

Now, you need to right-click on the plugins folder and then select rename. You can rename the plugins folder to plugins-deactivated.

Plugins deactivated

Your FTP client will now rename the plugins folder.

WordPress looks for a folder named plugins to load all plugins. When it cannot find the folder, it simply deactivates all plugins.

If this fixes the issue, then enable one plugin at a time to get to the bottom of the issue. Once you find the plugin causing the issue, you can replace it with an alternative or report the issue to plugin authors.

Replace Theme with a Default Theme

If the plugin troubleshooting doesn’t fix the issue, then you should try replacing your current theme with a default theme.

First, connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder. It contains all installed themes on your website.

Right-click to select your current WordPress theme and download it to your computer as a backup.

Download current theme as backup

Next, you need to delete your current theme from your website. Right-click on your theme folder and select ‘Delete’. Your FTP client will now delete the theme from your website.

Delete current theme

Now if you have a default WordPress theme like (Twenty Eighteen or Twenty Nineteen) installed on your website, then WordPress will automatically start using it as the default theme.

However, if you don’t have a default theme installed, then you need to manually install it using FTP.

If this fixes the issue, then you should look at your theme’s functions.php file. If there are extra spaces at the bottom of the file, then you need to remove those, and sometimes that fixes the issue.

If you are using a poorly coded function in your theme’s functions.php file, then it can cause the white screen of death error as well.

Consider downloading a fresh copy of your theme from its source and then install it.

Enable Debug Mode to Catch Errors in WordPress

If nothing has helped so far, then the next step is to turn on debugging in WordPress. This will allow you to see what type of errors are being outputted.

Simply, add the following code into your wp-config.php file.

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true);
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

Once you add this, the blank screen will now have errors, warnings, and notices. These may be able to help you determine the root cause.

If you don’t see any errors, you may still want to check the debug log. Simply visit the wp-content folder on your website using an FTP client. There you will find a new debug.log file containing a log of all errors, notices, and warnings.

Debug log

Clear WordPress Cache

Sometimes, you may have access to the backend, but the front-end of the site has the white screen of death. This can happen because of a caching plugin. Simply empty your cache.

See our guide on how to clear cache in WordPress for detailed instructions.

Fixing Longer Articles

If you have a white screen of death only on a very long post or page, then this little trick might work.

This trick basically increases PHP’s text processing capability by increasing the recursion and backtrack limit. You can paste the following code in your wp-config.php file.

/** Trick for long posts */

We understand that this is a very frustrating error, and we hope that one of the tricks above fixed the issue for you. You may also want to see our WordPress troubleshooting guide which teaches the steps you should take to catch and fix WordPress problems by yourself.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Use Distraction Free Full Screen Editor in WordPress

Crafting your blog posts is a creative process that requires attention to details and concentration. Many writers feel distracted by the on-screen elements of the WordPress writing interface like buttons, columns, toolbars, etc.

WordPress comes with a built-in distraction-free mode for writing. It hides unnecessary elements and gives you a fullscreen canvas to create content.

In this article, we will show you how to use the distraction-free fullscreen editor in WordPress. You will be able to switch between regular and distraction free mode without affecting your content.

Using a distraction-free fullscreen editor in WordPress

The first thing you need to do is log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Posts » Add New to create a new post. You’ll see the post editor with the toolbar and settings columns.

WordPress Post Editor

As you can see in the screenshot above, a WordPress editor screen has the dashboard menu on the left, the document (post) settings on the right, and toolbar on the top.

While these options are important, you don’t need them all the time.

The distraction free editor allows you to hide them while writing and show them only when needed.

To enable the fullscreen mode, you need to click on the three dots icon on the top right corner of the screen. You will see the hidden options and tools including View modes, Editor options, plugin options, and more.

Simply click on the ‘Fullscreen Mode’ option.

Select Fullscreen Mode in WordPress Post Editor

It will hide the WordPress menu on the left and the top toolbar. Now your screen would look much cleaner.

WordPress Editor when Fullscreen Mode Enabled

The new WordPress editor is a block-based editor where you need to use a new block for every piece of content.

WordPress blocks

If you make a content-heavy post, then there will be several blocks visible on the screen at one time.

But what if you wanted to simplify it even further?

This is where ‘Spotlight Mode’ comes in handy. Enabling Spotlight mode will highlight the current block you are working on and dim all other blocks.

Simply click on the three dots icon on the top right corner of the screen and then select the Spotlight Mode.

Enable Spotlight Mode in WordPress Editor

Now you can add / edit content on your block without any distractions around. For example, in the screenshot below you will only see the Paragraph block in full color while others are faded out.

Spotlight Mode Enabled in WordPress Editor

There are two toolbars you will still see on the screen. The one on the top allows you to add new blocks, undo changes, and show an outline of your article.

The second toolbar is the one that appears on top of each block. Most of the times, the block toolbar overlaps with the other block just above it. This can be confusing.

To clean this up, you can move the block toolbar to the top as well. Simply click on the 3 dots icon on the top right corner and then select the ‘Top Toolbar’ option.

Top Toolbar Option in WordPress Editor

Now your block tools for every block will in a single place, on the top.

Top Toolbar Enabled in WordPress Post Editor

You can also hide the Document/Block Settings box on the left. The box includes important metadata fields like categories, tags, featured image, etc. for your post and block style settings.

But if you don’t need it, then simply click on the Settings icon to hide the Document/Block Settings box.

WordPress Editor Settings Icon

You can show it again by clicking on the same icon.

Also, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl +Shift + , (Command + Shift + , for Mac) to hide or show the Document/Block settings.

Using Distraction Free Editor in Classic WordPress Editor

If you have not upgraded your website to WordPress 5.0 or a later version, then your post editor looks and works differently. It’s called the Classic Editor.

To launch the full-screen mode in the Classic Editor, you need to click on the ‘Distraction-free writing mode’ button in your post menu bar.

Distraction-free Writing Mode in Classic WordPress Editor

WordPress will now gracefully convert the post edit screen into a clutter-free full-screen editor.

Distraction-free Writing Mode Enabled in Classic Editor

The full-screen editor has a minimalist layout. It has a menu bar on top of the screen with the text formatting options.

Just like the regular post edit screen, full-screen editor is also available in both visual and text editor.

The visual editor in full screen mode allows you to make text bold or italic, create lists, add links, and insert media using the buttons. Most WordPress keyboard shortcuts will work just like they did on the default edit screen.

Fullscreen Classic WordPress Editor in Visual Mode

Switching to text editor will hide all those buttons. You will only see buttons to add links or insert media.

Fullscreen Classic WordPress Editor in Text Mode

Full screen editor does not have a Publish button or any meta boxes to choose categories and tags. After writing your post, you can exit the full screen mode to select your post options.

You can click the same ‘Distraction-free writing mode’ icon to exit the full-screen mode. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Alt+W to enable or disable the full-screen mode in WordPress Classic editor.

In our experience, the full-screen mode allows us to write faster. Several students have told us that they use this distraction free mode in WordPress when writing research papers.

We hope this article helped you to use distraction free full screen editor in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to check grammar and spelling mistakes in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Use Distraction Free Full Screen Editor in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

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