Fix a WordPress blog after a “white screen of death” using Google and ftp

A “white screen of death” turns your blog pages to white. The image doesn’t show the problem in a literal way.

A few days ago I updated a plugin I use for my WordPress blog but the operation had an unwelcome consequence: a totally white screen. The refresh didn’t change the result and after a few tries I saw that all the pages gave that result, both in the control panel and in the blog. After a moment of panic I did a Google search because I didn’t know the problem and I solved it in a few minutes thanks to the solution found on an official WordPress support page. However, after thinking about the problem, I wondered how many bloggers would be able to solve it so quickly.

In fact, most bloggers use services that offer tools to create their blog for free and with no need for technical knowledge. In case of technical problems, they wait that the staff that takes care of them solves them. Those services are too limited for my needs so I installed WordPress on my site. This means that I can do anything I want but in case of problems I have to fend for myself.

You can build your own WordPress site without knowing the PHP language in which this blogging platform is written. However, problems can happen so you should at least know how to find a solution. Today anyone can go on social media for help but how long do you have to wait to get an answer? You still need be able to implement the suggestions.

When I had the problem with my blog my first reaction was to use Google to search for a solution. I didn’t know the expression “white screen of death” so I tried the keys “wordpress plugin update error”. The amount of guides I found on the subject is huge so knowing the basics of Google is enough to find as many as you want.

I discovered that the so-called “white screen of death” can have different causes but in my case it occurred after updating a plugin so I followed that specific guide to fix my blog. The solution requires access to the site via an ftp client. I had already configured it because for me it’s normal to be always ready to access my site via ftp even though this is a WordPress blog. As a result, I was able to disable the plugins I use and then reactivate them after verifying that the blog was working again in a few minutes.

If a blogger chooses to open a website for his blog he should be able to navigate through its directory in an ftp client but I wouldn’t take it for granted. If you don’t know have some basic technical skills, you better use for your blog some service that handle the possible problems, if you want to have no limitations you must also be prepared to face certain contingencies.

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