Recently, we’ve been getting reports of what is known as the WordPress “White Screen of Death” when trying to open the Weaver II Admin page from the WordPress Dashboard. This seems to be due to “Memory Usage Creep” with the latest versions of WordPress.
It seems that the total amount of server memory required by WordPress has now increased enough that sometime when you use an advanced theme such as Weaver II along with some plugins (don’t know if it specific plugins or a total number of plugins), your host can simply run out of memory, and this results in the “White Screen of Death”. This will typically happen only from the Dashboard, and not while simply viewing your site.
Since this is a memory issue, the fix is to increase the amount of memory your host has allocated to the PHP version used to run WordPress. The most common default value for PHP on many hosts seems to be 32Mb. Increasing the limit to 48Mb, or even 64Mb will usually solve the “White Screen” problem if you indeed have a memory problem.
Getting PHP memory increased may be simple, or it may require contacting your hosting company tech support. If you have a host control panel, then you can search it for settings related to PHP. There usually will be an option to set the default PHP memory. Increase that to 64Mb if you can. Otherwise, contact your host’s tech support, and tell them you need 64Mb to properly run WordPress for your site. You might even explain that the latest versions of WordPress need more memory than has been the case in the past, and suggest they increase the PHP limit for everyone.
The Technical Details
If you didn’t know it, WordPress is really a computer program written in a language called PHP. In order to run a WordPress site, your host needs a web server (often Apache), a database (usually mySQL), and a PHP system. Each of these elements require real memory on the server that is hosting your site. Memory is a valuable resource, and most hosts will try to allocate only enough memory so that your site will run.
It seems that as new versions of WordPress are released, it has increased the total amount of memory it needs to run. It is also true that the theme you use, as well as each plugin, require their own memory. This is especially true if the theme or plugins have advanced admin interfaces showing many options. This memory is needed from the admin side, and not necessarily when simply displaying the site’s contents.
In the past, allocating 32Mb (megabytes) for PHP has been enough to run WordPress with a theme and some number of plugins. This seems enough to run Weaver II when you are not using many plugins, but at some point, the WordPress system simply runs out of memory. Increasing the amount of memory available to 48Mb or 64Mb seems to fix the problem.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to detect when this happens – the system simply fails with no error messages, and the result is that nothing happens – you only see a white screen. Usually the default WordPress Dashboard screen will show, and you will get the white screen when you try to open the Weaver II admin panel. Other admin panels will also fail (like the Page or Post panels), but other admin panels may still work (some of the Settings panels seem to work.)