Fix a Blank WordPress Dashboard Screen

When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, are you seeing a blank white screen, with only the dashboard menu items on the left hand side?

Possible Cause: Your hosting company may have recently upgraded to the latest PHP version. There are plenty more WordPress Help Articles Now Available on our website.

Contributing cause: You may be running a version of WordPress that has not been updated in a long time, perhaps more than a year or two.

To fix it, try the process outlined below.

IMPORTANT: In order to use these steps, you must have FTP access to your website. It is highly recommended that you have a backup copy of your website downloaded to your computer before beginning this process. Our backup plugin of choice is Backup Buddy. We have included the backup procedure in the steps below:

Here are the general steps we have successfully used on several occasions to solve the issue:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard so that you can view the blank screen.
  2. Log in to your website through FTP.
  3. Change the name of your htaccess file to x-htaccess. (We will change it back later)
  4. Refresh the browser window where you viewed the blank screen. It should no longer be blank. (Your website may not function properly at this point. Usually the home page works fine, but the internal pages don’t.)
  5. Purchase the Backup Buddy plugin from iThemes. If you already own it and have a reliable backup on your computer, skip to step 10.
  6. Install the Backup Buddy plugin by uploading the “backupbuddy” folder into your WordPress plugins folder via FTP. (The plugins folder location is: /wp-content/plugins)
  7. In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the plugins folder and activate the Backup Buddy plugin.
  8. Once activated, click BackupBuddy/Backup (bottom left of your WordPress dashboard).
  9. Backup and download a zip copy of your “Complete Backup” (not Database only) to your computer desktop.
  10. Upgrade to the latest version of WordPress (with the confidence of knowing you have a backup.)
  11. With your FTP program, rename the x-htaccess file back to htaccess.

You should now be able to view your entire WP dashboard. You have a quality backup of your website and your website should be functioning properly.

We have successfully used this process numerous times. If your website or dashboard still does not function properly, restore it with your backup copy and continue to diagnose the problem.

Your hosting company’s technical support team should also be a good source of information. There are plenty more WordPress Help Articles Now Available on our website.