March 12, 2021

Fixing the Joomla White Screen of Death


You may make a code change to your Joomla website or install a brand-spanking-new extension, and then refresh your screen to just a blank white screen.

In this blog post/tutorial we will be showing you how to make a swift recovery from the dreaded white screen of death (WSOD).

We'll guide you through how to locate the error that is causing the WSOD, and show you how to fix it.

The first thing we need to do is find the error. Here are 4 methods for finding that fatal error.

Change Error Reporting to Maximum


  • Try to login to your Joomla administrator area.
  • If you have managed to gain access, go to Global Configuration -> Server -> Error Reporting and set it to Maximum.
  • Now check the front of your site to see if any errors are now displaying. Edit Files Via FTP
  • Log in to your Joomla site files through FTP.
  • Navigate to your index.php file located in the root directory of your site.
  • Open the index.php file located in the root of your site and add the following code directly after the first line of the file:
    • ini_set('display_errors', TRUE); error_reporting(E_ALL);


Edit PHP.ini file

The PHP.ini file is a very important file that controls many of your server settings. If you know where it is, you can find it in your root directory (You will need to ensure you can see hidden files through your host's file manager or in your FTP client)

We recommend that you update these two settings:

  • Set Display error to On:
    • display_errors = On
  • Set error reporting:
    • error_reporting = E_ALL & ~ E_NOTICE & ~E_STRICT

Check Your Server Log

You can check your server access/error logs for any indication of what is causing the issue.


If you're unsure of how to access this, you can contact the Snappy Hosts support team. Or, if you're visiting, get in touch and we can discuss moving your site over and getting it fixed free of charge!

You've found the error! Now what?

Hurrah! You have found the error. It's now time to analyze the error that is being reported.

The most common causes are down to extensions and the Joomla core, we will go over what to do next.

Problem with an extension? Disable it. 

The quickest and easiest solution is to disable the extension through FTP.

If your extension is a component, navigate to the /components/ folder and change the name of the extension folder.

For example, change /com_example/ to /com_example_disabled/.

You may need to change the directory name within the component in the /administrator/components/ directory as well.

Problem with the Joomla core? 

If you didn't install any extensions and you think it may be down to the Joomla core files, try reinstalling all of the Joomla core files.

You can do this by going to the official Joomla website and downloading the latest version (Or the version that matches your existing site version) when uploading, you will want to overwrite any existing files.

Still, stuck?

If you're still stuck and can't fix the white screen of death, get in touch and an expert from our technical support team will take a look.