How to Fix WordPress White Screens and Broken wp-admin Admin Panel
Sometimes the unexpected can happen to software. This is especially true when you’re doing an update of a platform like WordPress, that has lots of modules and add-ons that could break if they aren’t compatible with the latest version. Safest practice dictates that you shouldn’t use plugins or themes that aren’t compatible with your version of WordPress, and that, when doing an update, you should always remember to update your add-ons BEFORE updating WordPress.
However, it is inevitable that if you work with WordPress, or any piece of software, for long enough, something eventually will break, and the solution to the problem won’t always be obvious.
Problems with WordPress are Often Caused By Software Updates
Nine times out of ten, if something terrible happens and WordPress ceases to function entirely, it happens because of a software update. Usually, it’s because a plugin or theme is incompatible with the current version of the WordPress platform. The way that WordPress itself functions changes from update to update, so software written for the platform must be continually updated to change with the tide.
Which brings me to the topic of discussion:
Fatal WordPress Errors, or WSOD (White Screen of Death)
If you have a fatal error, you will usually be presented with a White Screen of Death. Sometimes, a White Screen of Death is a blank document with no text. Sometimes, it has a line or several lines or a screen full of lines describing the kinds of errors that are happening. Most likely, you won’t be able to log in to your wp-admin WordPress administration panel either.
You’re stuck, right? You’ve broken your website irrevocably with no hope of repair.
A good website developer can identify and get you your site back in an hour or less. Here’s how you can do it yourself:
Steps to Solving a Fatal WordPress Error – Repairing a Database after Bad Update
Disclaimer: Incorrectly following the steps in this article could damage your website, WordPress installation, or any of the other websites that might be hosted on the same account. I take no liability for any damage you might inflict upon your or anyone else’s property. If you are in doubt about your technical ability, hire a professional. (http://www NULL.epicwebsites NULL.com/contact-me)
Solving a White Screen of Death fatal WordPress error takes some sly behind-the-scenes technical work, but once you master the basic skills, will give you power over Death. Or at least over all white screens thereof.
Research the Error
If you have lines of text on your screen (which you really shouldn’t, but we’ll save that for another day), you already have a hint at which plugin or theme might be causing the error. Google the error code, along with your WordPress version (if you know it). Try and remember which active plugins and theme you have installed so you can filter out irrelevant results.
Set your theme back to default manually
Okay, this step is going to take some work. If you’re with a good hosting provider, they will provide you with a cPanel Control Panel that helps you administer your site. Try http://cpanel.your-domain.com/, or http://your-domain.com/cpanel. Your username and log in information should have been provided by your hosting provider – hopefully you saved the email!
Once you’re in to the cPanel, scroll down until you find the icon for “phpMyAdmin”. There, click that little icon. Should look a bit like this:
(http://www NULL.epicwebsites NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/phpMyAdmin NULL.jpg)
If you don’t have a good hosting provider, you should get one. You can email me (epicwebsites null@null gmail NULL.com) about hosting with me or about where you should look for a quality web host.
Depending on your hosting provider, the steps you might have to take to get to your phpMyAdmin might be different. Some (GoDaddy) can be a real headache, especially if they don’t have a default administrator account for all hosting services (GoDaddy) or use a password policy that changes depending on what area of the hosting account services you are trying to access (GoDaddy).
- Once you’re at the phpMyAdmin screen, you want to navigate to the database associated with your WordPress website. They will be listed on the left-hand sidebar.
- Next, in that same bar, select wp_options. “wp_options” is the database table where all the options and settings for your specific WordPress configuration are stored.
- On the navigation bar across the top of the phpMyAdmin screen, select “Search”
- On this page, there will be a bunch of different things that you can search by. In the text box next to “option_name”, type exactly: “template”, minus the quotation marks. No need to worry about the other settings at this stage.
- Click “Go” at the bottom of the screen.
- There should be only one search result. Next to that one result, click the “Edit” button.
- In the big text box that has the name of your theme, cut the text in the box and type exactly: “default”, only without the quotation marks.
- Click “Go” at the bottom of the screen.
- Test your website to see if that repaired the problem.
Deactivate all of your Plugins manually.
- Repeat steps 1 thru 4 above.
- Instead of searching for “template”, we’re going to be searching for “active_plugins”. Remember to type exactly and omit the quotes.
- Instead of changing the text in “option_value” to “default”, we’re going to delete the list of active plugins entirely. Make sure to copy that code down somewhere so you can repair the database easily if this diagnostic doesn’t reveal the problem.
- Check your WordPress website again to see if these changes fixed anything. If not, try and remember to set things back the way they were. This will help a professional diagnose the problem if it ends up that you can’t fix it yourself.
Can’t figure it out? Hire a WordPress professional. Contact me (http://www NULL.epicwebsites NULL.com/contact-me) and I’ll fix the problem with no hassle.