How to Fix The Joomla White Screen of Death

The Joomla white screen of death(WSOD) is Joomla security situation where a Joomla website returns a blank page with no error showing. This is usually problem related to the database or PHP error on the website. The white screen sometimes happen when you do a major website migration,  you do an update to your Joomla website, you install an extension or you install an incompatible or faulty extension, and then you refresh your website and all you see is a blank white page - the White Screen of Death.

Ordinarily, , you want to revert back to a previous state or even a previous version that worked well, you may also be considering undoing your most recent activity or simply restore a functional backup of your Joomla website To address this problem,

However, you can fix the Joomla WSODwith some proven methods outlined here. it is recommended that you begin by conducting a security check on the website to identify the cause of the error, then proceed to fix the problem. This tutorial takes you through how to recover your Joomla website from the White Screen of Death (WSOD).

 

Further reading:

Joomla Security - The Complete Guide

How to manually update a Joomla website

How to Revert Back to a Previous Version of Joomla

How to secure an outdated version of Joomla

Recommended Security Checks For Your Joomla Website

My Joomla Website Displays a Blank Page, What Should I do

Fixing Problems: Notices, Warnings and Errors on Your Joomla Website

A Practical Guide to Secure and Maintain Your Website

How to Protect Your Website From Hackers

How to Prevent the most common Application Attacks against websites

 

What Might Trigger a White Screen?

Usually the white screen of death occurs whenever there’s an error in the Joomla site’s PHP or database. To be more specific, the following are three most common reasons the white screen happens:

  • There is an module, plugin or an extension update that’s not compatible with any other pieces of software in Joomla;
  • There is a theme that is causing a conflict with the Joomla site;
  • There is a missing theme or extension file from Joomla;

Joomla might simplify the white screen with those three possible issues, but the process of fixing the issue is not always quick and straightforward. The goal of this post is to make it clear how you can troubleshoot the white screen of death in Joomla whenever it happens. You will also learn how to minimize the risk of this problem happening again.

We will look at a logical step to address the WSOD problem in Joomla below.

 

Further reading:

Joomla Security - The Complete Guide

How to manually update a Joomla website

How to Revert Back to a Previous Version of Joomla

How to secure an outdated version of Joomla

Recommended Security Checks For Your Joomla Website

My Joomla Website Displays a Blank Page, What Should I do

Fixing Problems: Notices, Warnings and Errors on Your Joomla Website

A Practical Guide to Secure and Maintain Your Website

How to Prevent the most common Application Attacks against websites

 

How to Fix Your Joomla Blank Page/Screen Problem?

These steps have been very useful to us in addressing WSOD problems and should work for you.

  1. Check your server logs
  2.  Adjust your error reporting in Joomla admin
  3. Edit and Insert Shortcode to the configuration.php File
  4. Replace Your .htaccess File
  5. Check Your Directory Structures
  6. Address Problems with the Joomla core
  7. Address problems with extensions
  8. Seek help from your web host or template supplier

 

As a white/blank page usually indicates a PHP error that won’t be displayed on the screen directly, it is quite necessary to figure out the real reason so as to come up with an effective solution. To do that, you may need to refer to the following methods:

Option 1 – Check Your Server Error Logs

Firstly, you can choose to login to cPanel or other panels you are using now. You shall go to “Files” > “File Manager” so as to access your Joomla website files. And then, head over to the installation directory of your Joomla so as to check your server error logs via this “logs” file. Note that, this method requires full access to the server files.Once you are able to identify the cause of the WSOD, you can proceed to fix the problem

Option 2 – Adjust Your Error Reporting in Joomla Admin

You can login to the Joomla administrator control panel and navigate to “Global Configuration” > “Server.” You will have to adjust the “Error Reporting” to “Maximum.” In the meantime, it is required to enable the “Site Debugging” option and refresh your website to check the page (HTML) source. Once completed, do not forget to disable the above-mentioned “Site Debugging” option.Returning back to refresh your website, you will be able to identify the problem and fix it.

Note that: Alternatively, you can also choose to enable the “Error Reporting” functionality by making changes in the configuration.php file. To do this, you shall edit your configuration.php file via a text/code editor and change this “default” to “maximum.”

Option 3 – Edit and Insert Shortcode to the configuration.php File

If you still have a blank screen, you will need to embed the following short code to the above configuration.php file. Note that, this line of code should be put to the end of this file.

ini_set( 'display_errors', true );
error_reporting( E_ALL );

With one of those options above, you may get to know the detailed error message. If you still couldn't spot the problem, chances are that the white page on your Joomla homepage is caused by other reasons. If this is the case, here are some practical solutions for your reference.

Option 4 - Replace Your .htaccess File

Under most circumstance, a .htaccess file is a kind of configuration file applied on your web server to enhance Joomla security. If you find everything goes fine with your server files and nothing works to fix a blank page, you can try to remove your .htaccess file. In case for any potential risks, you’d better make a previous copy in advance.You the copy a default htaccess file from a functional Joomla website and replace with existing htaccess file.

Option 5 - Check Your Directory Structures

By all accounts, it is necessary to transfer your website files and import the database when you are migrating Joomla site from one server to another. As different servers adopt different directory structures, you should make sure that the third-party plugins and components will point to the right directories so as to avoid this blank page issue. By the way, there is no need to worry about Joomla’s core components during a hosting transfer.

Option 6 - Address Problems with the Joomla core

In some cases, there will be a blank screen issue if Joomla’s core files get deleted, overwritten or corrupted by accident. To resolve this problem, you shall update the current Joomla version. In detail, you will need to go back to the Joomla admin panel and follow the root of “Components” > “Joomla Update.” You will be notified with the “Installed Joomla version” and the “Latest Joomla version.”

You can choose to update your Joomla version by “Write files directly” or “Write files using FTP.” If you select the latter method, you will have to fill in your FTP related information, including FTP host, port, username, password, and directory. Remember to click the “Install the update” button to get it work. For security purpose, you’d better make a backup before this update.

 

Further Reading:

 

Option 7 - Address Problems with extensions

The quickest and easiest solution is to login to your site via FTP.

If the trouble is coming from an extension, go to the /components/ folder and change the name of the extension folder. For example, change /com_sh404SEF/ to /com_sh404SEF_disabled/

You may also need to change the directory name within the component in the /administrator/components/ directory as well.

 

Further reading:

Joomla Security - The Complete Guide

How to manually update a Joomla website

How to Revert Back to a Previous Version of Joomla

How to secure an outdated version of Joomla

Recommended Security Checks For Your Joomla Website

My Joomla Website Displays a Blank Page, What Should I do

Fixing Problems: Notices, Warnings and Errors on Your Joomla Website

A Practical Guide to Secure and Maintain Your Website

How to Protect Your Website From Hackers

How to Prevent the most common Application Attacks against websites

 

Still see a Joomla blank screen?

If you still see a blank screen with no error showing, there might be other reasons why you are getting a blank screen in Joomla. One of these reasons is that there might be an empty index.html file in the directory which you are trying to access, possibly in the root directory. Typically, an empty index.html file is used to protect the contents of a directory from being accessed manually. This is because by default, the index.html file is displayed and since the file is actually empty, the user would just get a Joomla blank screen. So to solve your problem, check whether there is an empty index.html file in the folder which is being accessed, and temporarily rename it.
Thread carefully here, many folders are going to have an index.html. If this solution does not work, don't forget to revert the index.html

 

Further reading:

Joomla Security - The Complete Guide

How to manually update a Joomla website

How to Revert Back to a Previous Version of Joomla

How to secure an outdated version of Joomla

Recommended Security Checks For Your Joomla Website

My Joomla Website Displays a Blank Page, What Should I do

Fixing Problems: Notices, Warnings and Errors on Your Joomla Website

A Practical Guide to Secure and Maintain Your Website

How to Prevent the most common Application Attacks against websites

 

Final Words

If you can fix the white screen of death with solutions above, it's probably time to call in outside help: The Todhost customer support will be the first point to seek more help. You may also need to contact your Joomla template developer.

 

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