White screen of death on upgrade to current WP version

I recently upgraded my site bridgecatalyst.com to the current version of WP and immediately got the white screen of death.

I have
1.. Disabled Plugins (folder set to plugins.old)
2. Disabled Themes - at first this resolved the problem. After getting access to WP-Admin, I upgraded the themes on the site and that killed it again. All themes have been renamed to .old except default WP themes.
3. I have enabled DEBUG and DEBUG_LOG in the WP-Config file. I have not found any log file though....

What else should I do?

  • Dimitris

    Hey there bridgecatalyst,

    from your findings I can understand that the conflict is somewhere in themes folder as the second step revealed the website again.
    Have you accessed your themes folder again after updating the themes from admin page? This procedure should re-renaming the folder to its default state. So if you renamed mytheme to mytheme.old after updating it should be mytheme again.
    I'd advise you to rename all of yours theme folders one-by-one this time, until you get the white screen again and narrow this down. :wink:

    After doing so, getting the white screen again, the debug log file should be located in /wp-content/debug.log. Is there where you were looking previously?
    More info on debugging can be found here https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/debugging-wordpress-how-to-use-wp_debug/

    Looking forward for your results,
    Dimitris :slight_smile:

  • bridgecatalyst

    Hi Dimitris -

    Once I got back into WP-Admin, I updated themes that were out of date. That then resulted in the same white screen error. Have not determined why this would be the case.

    I'm going back through themes as you suggested.
    Thanks for post on debug. Question - If white screen is in play, will debug kick off the log file? I did look for it in the /wp-content folder and have not seen it. I figured that attempting to launch the site and getting the white screen error would kick off debug logging...

  • Dimitris

    Hey there bridgecatalyst,

    Once I got back into WP-Admin, I updated themes that were out of date. That then resulted in the same white screen error. Have not determined why this would be the case.

    There must me some kind of conflict or fatal error in one of these themes.
    When you renamed their folders, you were able to access the /wp-admin pages again, but after proceeding with their updates, their folder names were re-renamed to the default ones, that's why you ended up with the white screen again.
    It seems that the updates didn't resolve this.

    If white screen is in play, will debug kick off the log file? I did look for it in the /wp-content folder and have not seen it. I figured that attempting to launch the site and getting the white screen error would kick off debug logging...

    This is true, if you have the following in your wp-config.php file

    // Enable WP_DEBUG mode
    define('WP_DEBUG', true);
    // Enable Debug logging to the /wp-content/debug.log file
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
    // Disable display of errors and warnings
    define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
    @ini_set('display_errors', 0);

    then all error logs (this presumes that there are actually some PHP catchable errors) should be in /wp-content/debug.log file.

    I look forward for your feedback on this! :slight_smile:

    Cheers,
    Dimitris

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