What to do When a WordPress Plugin Breaks Your Site

Nothing evokes more fear into the heart of a blogger than trying to access your blog only to find the dreaded ‘white screen of death’ instead of your blog or admin login page. Many things might race through your head when this happens: What happened to my blog? Why is this happening? What has caused this? How can I fix it? What will I have for my tea tonight? Ok, maybe not that last one.

When this happens, and it WILL happen, the main thing to do is to stay calm, it might seem like it is the end of your blog, but it really isn’t. Take a big deep breath and then slowly start troubleshooting to find the pesky little blighter who is responsible for causing this.

Most commonly when this happens it is due to a plugin misbehaving. Sadly not all plugins do as they are told and there are some plugins who do a great job at what they are created for, but they refuse to play nicely with other plugins that might be encroaching on their ground.

The first thing you should do is create a folder via FTP, something like “plugins-old” is fine, and then copy all of your plugins to the new folder. Once you have done that you should delete the plugins in the “Plugins” folder and then access your admin panel or site – you should now be able to see your site.

(If you still can’t see your site then it might be a theme problem, try deleting your theme and installing a different one.)

Now you have your site back up and running it is time to weed out the culprit.

Start copying the plugins back into the “Plugins” folder one by one and after each one go and activate it and then check your site to see if the latest plugin you uploaded is the one that broke the site.

The most common cause of a white screen of death is a plugin, but there will be the odd time where it might be the theme or your updated install of WordPress, deleting and installing a different theme and reinstalling your latest update of WordPress might help if it isn’t a plugin problem.

Have you ever suffered the dreaded white screen of death? How did you fix it? Was it a plugin? Was it a theme? Or was it something else entirely? Let us know.

Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.