How to quickly debug the white screen of death (WSoD) in WooCommerce

We have all been there at some point — your WooCommerce site has been working just fine until seconds ago, then suddenly, you’re met with a blank page instead of your content — this WooCommerce blank page, also known as the “White screen of death” (WSoD), can be a pain to troubleshoot due to the complete lack of any error output when it occurs.

All or some of your pages have no become inaccessible to your visitors. Don’t panic! We are minutes away from locating and fixing the blank page issue.

So, what causes the WSoD

This is almost always caused by either memory exhaustion or faulty plugins/theme

Locating the problem

Introducing WP_DEBUG

Debug mode, by default, is disabled in WordPress — meaning that no error messages will be output on your screen, hence the name “White screen of death”

You won’t know where the trouble is coming from until you’ve enabled the debug, and to do that you’ll need to open the wp-config.php file found in the root of your WordPress installation. You can either FTP into your site, access the directory via cPanel, or use a plugin like https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-config-file-editor/ to access that file.

Once you’ve opened that file (make a backup!), find the following line:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', false );

.. and replace false with true — now go ahead and save this file!

Here’s what you should have:

When you now reload the page where the issue is, it should now show a useful error message that will give you a better idea of where the issue is coming from. In most cases, it will contain the name of the plugin and the line number causing the problem (if it’s a faulty plugin).

If the issue is something along the lines of

Allowed memory size of 103809024 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 72 bytes) in

then you’ll need to increase your WordPress memory limit — and here’s how to do that:

In the same wp-config.php file, add the following line of code:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

Using the .htaccess:

php_value memory_limit 256M

You can replace the mb values with your own values.

Also, you can reach out to your host if you’re not comfortable making these changes yourself

If the problem is with your theme/another plugin, then you’ll need to reach out to the author of that theme/plugin to resolve the issue

Cheers!


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