WordPress white screen of death

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    Wazza
    Keymaster

    April 26th, 2016
    Well it sounds bad, and the rate your heart speeds up when it happens would make you think it is important and a problem. Especially when you have clients relying on you to keep their systems running. Well it just happened to me, and it took 2 cheese toasties and I cup of coffee to work it out. Thanks Coops for the toasties.

    I just received my login details for xtreme builder and decided that my searchonline.com.au site needed a refresh. So I watched the videos, downloaded the zip file and the template pack. I am on the verg of greatness. Almost.

    I uploaded the zip file through the theme admin page, I clicked the “Activate” link and there it was. “Nothing”, a white screen with nothingness everywhere. I thought to myself, “Self” thats not good. I immediately jumped into my car to pickup my wife from the bus stop, which gives me a few minutes to jump onto Google from my phone and I was amazed at what I found. Stupid people giving up on the problem and deciding to reinstall WordPress. Are you kidding. Is the force that week in the WordPress community that they can not come up with an immediate and steadfast fix to this problem. Seems like it.

    So at times like this it just takes a cool head and a cheese toastie for greatness to be thrust upon you. So please. Relax, get yourself a coffee and a nice warm cheese toastie and put your thinking cap on.

    For me, I was updating the theme that caused the problem. If I was able to activate a different theme you would think that it would fix the problem. So how do you do that without having access to wp-admin?

    At first I thought that maybe the xtreme theme zip file may have been corrupt. If I could just download the zip file from xtreme builder and re-upload then extract the files to replace the bad theme files, everything would be Ok. No. Still “Nothingness”.

    I then thought well there has to be a file somewhere that tells WordPress what theme is activated. So I went to my cpanel and restored a backup of my public_html folder and that would fix the problem. No. Still Nothingness.

    It had to be database related.

    “Backup your site using cpanel” “now”! No excuse for missing this step.

    A table in the database must hold the theme name and location, but which one. I opened phpmyadmin through cpanel and opened the database for my WordPress site. After checking a few tables I came across wp_options. Its full of greatness, not nothingness so I figured I must be in the right place and there it was. The theme name “xtreme” in two positions. “template” and “stylesheet”.
    I looked up the name of my original theme folder and edited the table to show the previous name in both positions.

    I opened the home page of searchonline.com.au and “theme song from rocky” we are back in business.

    Hope this is helpful. Remember if you screw around with theme files and database tables, you could be making your site worse not better.
    Be careful and proceed at your own risk.

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