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Common WordPress Issues – Problems

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White screen of death

If all you get when you go to your site is a blank white screen, this is what’s called the white screen of death and it’s a common WordPress problem. It’s normally caused by a fatal PHP error and if you don’t have error reporting turned on, you won’t see anything but that white screen. Common causes include:

  • A problematic plugin
  • A problematic theme
  • You’re running out of memory
  • Corrupted files in your WordPress installation

How do I fix the white screen of death?

As always, be sure you backup of your files and backup your databases before making any changes so that Hostwinds can easily restore your account from a backup

Turn on Debug

  1. Go to your cPanel’s File Manager or connect through FTP
  2. Go to your WordPress document root or folder where this is installed
  3. Open the wp-config.php file
  4. Add the following line:
    define('WP_DEBUG', true);


  5. Take note of any errors that show up, if any so that we can help


The second thing we recommend is checking your plugins.

  1. Go to your cPanel’s File Manager or connect through FTP
  2. Go to your wp-content folder
  3. Rename the plugins folder
  4. See if the problem is resolved
  5. If your site is now working, it’s a problematic plugin
  6. Rename the plugins folder back to plugins
  7. Go in the plugins folder and rename all your plugins
  8. Now put the plugin name back to the original name one at a time to see if the problem happens again and to identify the culprit


If it wasn’t a plugin, check that it’s not your theme.

  1. Go to your cPanel’s File Manager or connect through FTP
  2. Go to your wp-admin area
  3. Go to Appearance > Themes
  4. Activate another WordPress Theme
  5. See if the problem is resolved
  6. If your site is now working, it’s a problematic theme


If neither of the above have helped, your site may be running out of memory needed to load everything on your site.

  1. Go to your site’s root directory in cPanel or FTP
  2. Find the wp-config file
  3. Make a backup copy of this file
  4. Add this line:


    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M');


Corrupt files

If all else fails it might be that you’ve ended up with corrupt files in your WordPress installation. You can Download the newest WordPress version and unzip the file somewhere, or update WordPress through Softaculous if you have installed WordPress using Softaculous. If you have installed WordPress manually, you can upload and replace these folders:

  • wp-admin
  • wp-includes

Important: Do not upload and replace the wp-content folder or you’ll lose all your pages, posts, plugins and everything else.

Why can’t I upload images to WordPress?

If you’re trying to upload images and getting the error “Unable to create directory /wp-content/uploads — try this:

  • Change your theme to use the default theme and see if that fixes it (if so, there’s a problem with your theme)
  • Deactivate all plugins to see if it fixes it. If it does, reactivate one by one to find the problem plugin

Lastly, if these don’t work, check your folder and file permissions in cPanel or through FTP:

  • Files should normally be set to 644
  • Folders should normally be set to 755

If you have any trouble, please open a support ticket so that we can help you in any way that we can.