My WordPress Website is Blank.
How Can I Fix It?

Usually a blank page in your browser instead of your website page showing means that the web address has resolved correctly but there is some other condition preventing your website from rendering. In other words: looking up the website address on the internet took you to the right place, but there’s something wrong with the website itself and it can’t display for some reason.

The first step of any user communication from a browser is for the address of the resource to be resolved to a specific location. This is how all traffic on the internet is routed. First the browser (your Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc) requests a resource by its common name (the website address) after you type in the domain name into your browser, click on a search result in a search engine, click on a bookmarked link, or follow a link from another website. Usually that address is human-readable, like a domain name and page name. Your browser then connects to a resource held by your Internet Service Provider (a “DNS” record) that determines where the resource location is that this name refers to, which is translated into an IP address and page name. The IP address locates the exact server that the website is hosted on, and then the name re-translated back into a specific website on that hosting server. The server then responds with a result. If there is no matching page at the requested location, the normal result is to get a 404 error in the browser, but when the mechanisms in the website are not working properly it may not respond as expected. This can render a blank page in the browser.

The blank page means the website did signal back to your browser, but hasn’t been able to send the code that renders the page. A blank page response is usually a fault with the website installation, not the hosting server.

The conclusion is that a blank page when visiting your WordPress website means that either the website is not installed or the website response system is broken. Usually this can be tracked down to files in the root directory for the website, which you have to access via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or some fault in your database file – which is more difficult to determine.

WordPress is really great in that its installation can be replaced, upgraded or downgraded very easily, and in a matter of minutes if you have FTP access to the web hosting server’s files. WordPress will provide a step by step process on how to do this, but essentially it’s just as simple as deleting some folders and files and replacing them with ones issued in the WordPress installation package Zip file. No extra installation processes required, aside from a possible database upgrade – which is handled automatically anyway.

Here’s an idea of what files you should expect to find in the public directory of your hosting server:

A common cause of a WordPress malfunction is due to the upgrade or installation of a plugin that is not compatible with some other part of the website or its plugins. If a plugin causes your WordPress website to be blank in your browser, you will need FTP access to resolve it because you probably can’t log in and fix it from the backend. It’s worth trying though, so test your backend login URL anyway – because the backend system is actually a different website system that doesn’t necessarily use the plugins you installed or upgraded. It’s possible for the backend system to work, independently of the front-end.

Disabling plugins one at a time and re-visiting the front end of the website will help you determine which plugin caused the problem. To do this when you can’t get access to the backend, just remove the individual plugin folders one at a time from the /wp-content/plugins/ directory via FTP. Save the folders and their contents to add them back if you confirm it’s not causing the blank screen fault. As you remove each plugin folder, the plugin becomes disabled and removed from the plugins list in the backend in a similar way as if you were deactivating and deleting them from there. Visit the front end after each folder removal to check function of your website. Once you located the faulty plugin, leave that one out but return all the rest of the folders back to the plugins directory.