Staging site returns blank white page

If you open the WordPress staging site and you get a blank white page indicates that WordPress is throwing a fatal error, technically also known as an error 500 or similar.

This error is mostly caused by other plugins and their malfunction. To find out which plugin causes that error you can enable the WordPress debug mode by editing a few lines in the file wp-config.php of your WordPress installation.

To enable the WordPress debug mode, follow these steps:

  1. Login to cPanel or log in to your site via FTP
  2. Use the cPanel File Manager or your FTP client to edit the file wp-config.php
  3. Add the lines below to the wp-config.php or if they already exist just change their values:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );

After reloading the website all errors will be written into the file debug.log which will be located into the folder: wp-content/debug.log

If you like to get the errors directly outputted on the screen instead of having them written into the debug.log change the one line to
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true );

Now, open the staging site again and the relevant error should be written into the debug.log or directly outputted to the screen, depending on your setting.

Open the debug.log by using a file manager plugin or FTP and look for a line that says ERROR. This line will tell you the exact name of the plugin that causes the error.

If you have difficulties to interpret the entries in the debug logfile you can send us the log file by opening a support ticket.

If the WordPress debug.log file is not going to be created check out this article.


Updated on January 12, 2019