Knowledge Base

How to troubleshoot blank pages on your web site

This article discusses what to do when your web site displays a blank page. This problem is also sometimes referred to as the "white screen of death."

  • If you experience this problem while running WordPress, please see this article for application-specific recommendations to follow.
  • If you experience this problem while running PrestaShop, please see this article for application-specific recommendations to follow.

Troubleshooting blank pages

When you try to view a page on a your site, a blank page may appear. This problem may occur on only one page, several pages, or the entire site. Additionally, you may be unable to log in to your web application.

There are numerous reasons why this problem can occur, and it is often specific to the web application or CMS you are running. Use the following general recommendations and guidelines to help determine the cause.

Malfunctioning plugins, modules, extensions, and themes

If you are running a content management system (CMS) or e-commerce platform on your site, a malfunctioning plugin, module, extension, or theme is a common cause of blank pages.

To determine if this is the case, selectively disable the web application's plugins, modules, and extensions one by one until the affected page or pages load in your browser. For example, if you install a new module and begin experiencing problems, that new module should be a prime suspect.

Alternatively, if you suspect a theme is causing display problems, try reverting to the default theme.

After you determine which component is causing the problem, you can update it, leave it disabled, or remove it entirely to restore site access.

Application debugging and logging modes

Some CMS applications provides debugging and logging features. By enabling these features, you can often narrow down where problems occur in the application.

For example, WordPress has a debugging feature, and Magento provides detailed logging. Consult the documentation for your own web application to see if it supports debugging or logging features.

Be careful when you enable debugging or logging modes on a web application. Databases and log files can grow very rapidly, leading to additional problems. Only use these features as long as necessary to troubleshoot a specific problem.
Server log files

The server error log and access log can also provide clues as to what is causing the problem. For more information about how to view these files on your server, please see this article.

PHP

During normal operation, PHP error reporting and logging features are usually disabled. This is a good security practice, but it makes diagnosing problems more difficult. To see what is happening behind the scenes, you can temporarily enable the following features.

Error reporting

When you enable error reporting in PHP, error messages are displayed on the page. While this is an obvious security risk, it can also provide valuable information when you are trying to find the cause of a problem. For information about how to enable PHP error reporting, please see these articles:

Error logging

When you enable error logging in PHP, error messages are logged into a file. For information about how to enable PHP error reporting, please see these articles: