Do your WordPress websites show a white death screen after migration?

This may be due to the problems such as incompatibility of plugins and themes, insufficient memory limits, syntax errors, etc

At Bobcares, we often get requests from our customers to fix the WordPress white screen of death after migration as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let’s get into the details on how our Support Engineers fix the WordPress white screen of death.

Reasons for WordPress white screen of death after migration

A WordPress white death screen (WSOD) is caused due to errors in PHP code or exhaustion of memory limit. Also, this error may occur as a result of a poorly coded theme or plugin installed on the site.

Based on the browser, a white death screen may also appear slightly different. Sometimes, Mozilla Firefox shows a completely white screen with no errors or warnings.

However, Google Chrome shows an error as “This page isn’t working and is unable to handle the request.” This is an HTTP 500 error.



WordPress white screen of death – How we fixed

At Bobcares, where we have more than a decade of expertise in managing servers, we see many customers face problems with a WordPress site.

Now, let’s see the major reasons for WSOD error and how our Support Engineers fix this error by different methods.

In order to get more detailed errors on WordPress white screen of death, we’ll enable debugging.

To enable debugging, we open the wp-config.php file of the WordPress install and add the following line.

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true )

Then, instead of the white screen, we can see error messages on the websites.


Insufficient PHP memory limit

PHP needs high memory to run when the sites have many modules or memory-intensive ones in particular. Also, when multiple scripts run simultaneously, it requires a high amount of memory to run quickly. This means each PHP file need their own memory to run.

This can be done through the wp-config.php file. To increase the memory limit we just add the following code to the file.

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');

Again, another way to increase the memory limit is via the php.ini file.

For example,

Recently, one of our clients had a problem with his WordPress site. He had a WSOD error on the site.

By investigating, our Support Engineers found that the site didn’t have sufficient memory_limit. So, we SSH into the server as a root user. Then, we edited and increased the memory_limit value in the php.ini file.

This fixed the error.


Syntax Errors

Often, a syntax error can cause a WSOD error on the site. This can be either a mistake in code or a mistyped thing in the PHP file.

Moreover, single whitespace in the PHP file could take down the entire site. Frequently, we have seen that many customers have added whitespace at the end of a PHP file.

As a result, it triggers the WSOD error without any indication.

So,  our Support Engineers make sure that the settings and codes in the PHP file are given correctly or not.


Problems with plugins and themes

Sometimes, few plugins and themes make problems on websites. Often, a bad plugin update may create a WordPress white screen of death after migration.

So, our Support Engineers log into the server as root user and rename the plugins folder to plugins_back. After that, we check whether the site is working or not. If it works, we’ll confirm that the plugins are causing the error.

Therefore, we will test each plugin one by one and will disable the plugin that causing the error.


[Need assistance to fix the WordPress white screen of death errors? We’ll help you.]



In short, problems like incompatibility of plugins and themes, insufficient memory limits, incorrect file permissions can cause WordPress white screen of death after migration. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fixed this error by various methods.


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