What Causes a Blank Screen on the WordPress Admin Panel?
It can be worrying when suddenly you cannot access your WordPress Admin Panel but do not panic; there is usually a simple explanation. Quite frankly, most times, the problem is related to a theme or plugin that you gave installed, So think back to recent changes you have made to your WordPress installation, and the chances are that is the root of the problem.
Instead of panicking, we will work our way calmly through several possible solutions to why your WordPress Dashboard is not loading
The following issues are common ones that can result in the WordPress Dashboard not loading.
- Your web hosting company may have problems.
- There is an issue with the theme you are using.
- There is an issue with a plugin you have installed.
- Your wp-config file.
- You are running out of memory.
In the following sections, we will investigate each of the above problems individually.
Your web hosting company may have problems.
I have known people spend ages checking every aspect of their website when errors occur, only to find out later that it is an issue with the hosting provider that affects several sites. It may save you a lot of time if you first check with your hosting company if they have problems.
If, after enquiring, you find that it is the hosting company at fault, you have to wait for them to fix the issue. However, it may prompt you to consider moving to a more reliable hosting solution.
There is an issue with the theme you are using.
It is not uncommon for this problem to stem from the currently active theme, and you should disable that theme and see if the default theme resolves the issue. Yes, I know you cannot open your WordPress control panel and cannot change the theme. You can manually disable the,
instead, by using FTP.
- Go to http://yourwebsite,com/cpaneland enter your Cpanel username and password to log in. These will have been provided by email when you first opened your user account with the hosting company.
- Once in Cpanel, look for the FTP option and open the FTP program. This will display a graphical representation of your website structure.
- Find the public_html folder and click on it.
- Look for the folder called wp_content.
- Find the folder for the current theme.
- Right-click on that folder and change the name by adding ” _disabled” to the title. This will stop your WordPress installation from accessing that file.
- Try reaccessing your WordPress Admin panel. If the problem is solved, activate another theme to start your front end again.
- If this has not worked, then move onto the next option below.
There is an issue with a plugin you have installed
- Now you know it is not the issue causing the issue; we can use FTP once again to disable all plugins.
- Follow the instructions as above but instead of choosing the folder for themes, select the folder that says plugin_temp. Right-click on that folder and rename it to “plugins_temp_disabled.”
- Try reaccessing the WordPress Admin Panel.
- If the problem was not solved, change the name of the plugins folder back to the original title, and then skip the rest of this section and move onto the next one.
- If the problem is solved, we know that it was indeed a plugin that was the problem. We now need to identify which one.
- Go to the Plugins > Installed Plugins on the WordPress Control Panel, and you should see a message that says there are no plugins available.
- Go back to the FTP and change the name of the plugins folder back to the original title.
- Now go back to the Plugins > Installed Plugins page, and you should see all your plugins listed again. However, they will all be deactivated.
- One by one, activate each plugin. If you activate a plugin and find that it stops the WordPress Admin Panel from working, this is the problem plugin and should be deleted.
Your wp-config file.
It is commonly reported that if there is a blank line at the end of the wp-config file, it will stop the WordPress Admin Panel from displaying.
A second problem is when the wp-config file has “?>” at the end of the file.
- To rectify this, using the FTP as before, navigate to the public_html file and open it.
- Right-click on the file named wp-config.
- Select View/Edit and click on it.
- This will open your local text browser so you can check the contents of that file.
- If either of the two issues listed above is present, edit the file to remove the blank line and “?>” tag from the file.
- Seve the file and let the FTP program upload it.
- Check your WordPress Admin Panel and see if it is working.
- If it is, then problem solved.
- If it does not, then move onto the next section.
You are running out of memory.
Occasionally, the WordPress Admin Panel problem failing to load is due to WordPress running out of memory. To rectify this, follow these steps.
- Using FTP go to the public_html folder.
- Open the wp-config file, as we did in the last section.
- Look for the line that says, “Define WP Debug”)
- Add the following code to a new line directly underneath that line – define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’ );
- Save the changes you made and allow the FTP to upload them.
- Try your WordPress Admin Panel again.
- If it now works, then the problem is solved.
- If it still does not work, then move onto the next section.
These are the simple fixes that can cause the WordPress Admin Panel to fail when loading. In most cases, one of the above fixes will have resolved the problem.
If for some reason, it still has not been resolved, you could try one of these fixes.
- a) Clear Cookies and Cache on your computer.
- b) Update your web browser to the current version.
- c) Check you are not exceeding any bandwidth limitations on your web hosting.
- d) Ask a friend to access your Admin Panel (they will need URL, Password and Username).
At this stage, it may well be worth asking your hosting company technicians to see if they can see a reason. It may be a problem that occurs regularly, and they can fix it in minutes.