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Oh NO! The dreaded blank screen when updating WordPress! All I did was update my website! What should I do now? Is my website lost?

First of all stop panicking! What kind of update where you doing? A WordPress update? A Plugin update? Or a Theme update?

This information is really important to remember so write it down somewhere. Even better if you can remember the name of the theme or plugin you updated, it could be a very quick fix.

Can you access the admin area?

Plugin Update Issue:

If you can access the admin area of your website still, go in and deactivate the plugin you updated that caused the issue. Go back to the front end of your website. Refresh the page, your website should be viewable again. This plugin is no longer compatible with your website. There could be a variety of reasons for this. Your best bet is to find another plugin that does the same job.

If you don’t know which plugin update caused the error, deactivate all the plugins (if you go to the front end of your website and refresh the page your website should be viewable now even if it doesn’t look 100% correct. If it’s not it is not a plugin issue). Then turn the Plugins back on one at a time. Refresh the front end of the website each time you activate a plugin. When you get to the one that breaks the website again you know your culprit. Deactivate it again and find another plugin that does the same job.

If you can’t access the admin area of your website but you are happy to FTP into your hosting files go to:

wp-content > plugins

If you know the plugin that caused the issue rename the Plugin folder name. I usually add a “1” to the folder name. This means that WordPress won’t recognise the Plugin and won’t load it. You should now be able to go to the front end of your website, refresh the page and your website should be viewable.

If you go to your plugin page you will have an error warning that the Plugin you renamed is missing. This can safely be ignored, and you can delete the Plugin files out either through FTP or using WordPress. As long as the website is now viewable on the front end. Then find a replacement Plugin.

If you don’t know the Plugin the cause the issue then rename all the Plugin folder names, so that none of them load. Refresh your website, it should now be viewable on the front end (if not it’s not a Plugin issue). Then, one at a time return the Plugin file names to what they should be. Each time you change a Plugin folder name back refresh the front end of the website. The one that breaks the website again is your issue. Replace that Plugin and remove the files.

If you can’t access the admin area of your website and everything I have been talking about above is just gibberish and you have no idea what an FTP is, it’s best to get in touch with a professional. I’m always happy to help, just pop me an email: [email protected]

Theme Update or WordPress Update Issue:

Issues with both of these updates are much more of tricky problem and I would recommend contacting a professional. However, being able to tell them what cause the issue will make the process of fixing your website a LOT quicker and cheaper for you.


No matter what the issue, be it a Plugin update, a Theme update or a WordPress update if you have a backup of your website you don’t have to worry! If you have a full backup of your website (files and database) you can contact a professional – or depending on the method you use, you could do it yourself – and they will be able to reinstall the backup and get you up and running in just a few hours.

I use the plugin: Updraft Plus to backup mine and my client’s websites. It does have a function for you to be able to reinstall a backup as well.

BEFORE you make any changes or updates to your website just pop in and back everything up. You will be unbelievably grateful if anything does happen to go wrong!

Let me know!

Thank you for reading this week’s blog – Blank Screen When Updating WordPress. Come on over to my Facebook Group and let me know how you got on!

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Until next time, happiness is fleeting, strive for contentment. Gowns on!

Kelly (Your WordPress Queen) x

Kellys Web Designs - 07894 112 567

p.s If you haven’t joined my Facebook group – The Dressing Gown Guild, head on over for more business, web design tips and lots of fun.

Kellys Web Designs

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