The famous Wordpress white screen of death


Staff member
Like mentioned in the title, i think this is by far one problem Automattic or Wordpress team cannot solve until no matter what version Wordpress will go in future. In this question, i am focusing to the white screen of death that i get whenever i want to activate certain plugins. I am developing a site that requires me to use 30 plugins. Yeah, some will say thats too many plugins for a site, no wonder i will get the white screen. But hey, this is Wordpress, one of the reason that makes Wordpress the most popular blogging platform is because the availability of the plugins that can make you achieve your goal in less time. For those who expert in php+wp development, you guys can say hack the wp is better than using a lot of plugins like what i am doing but hey, majority of wp users are not php guru. Most of them are normal user like me or even just know how to install and use what are available to them.

So far, here the common steps we do when get the white screen of death (WSOD).

<li>Rename the <strong>wp-content/plugins</strong> folder name such as <strong>wp-content/plugins-temp</strong>, this will deactivate all plugins</li>
<li>Like me, i prefer rename the individual plugin folder name, such as <strong>wp-content/plugins/akismet</strong> to <strong>wp-content/plugins/akismet-temp</strong></li>
<li>After that, reactivate all the plugins one by one, so we can know which plugin is the culprit</li>
<li>Check for extra empty space at the end of the plugin file, especially after the php closing tag ?> make sure there is no extra space after the tag. Make sure check at the theme functions.php file (if any) or the plugin file.</li>
<li>Increase the memory allocation for wordpress</li>

Usually, your site will be back to normal after that. <strong>BUT</strong> this will still not solve this problem.

For me, this is very annoying to me, especially the step number 3. How can we know which plugin is the culprit?? At the first place, i thought the step number 3 is really a fact but now i think its a lie. WHY?

Like right now, suddenly after i activate 25 plugins, one of plugin that i cannot reactivate is Akismet. What? Akismet? Yes, the plugin dev by the WP team itself. I know the step number 3 above is a lie because if i activate Akismet first, the Akismet is activated successfully. No problem at all.

So right now the problem is plugins compatibility among the plugins. How can me as a normal user can identify which plugin that is not friendly to what plugin??? If i am using 30 plugins, how many probabilities from one plugin is not compatible to each plugin???? how can i know which plugins should be activated first so the WSOD will not appear?

If there is error, then maybe i can have a clue, but its a plain white screen. I am clueless. This clash of plugins in wordpress is really an unsolved problem that makes me really stress.

Anyone know how to fix this? At least know how to activate the plugins via mysql?