How to Fix Blank Web Page

  • Theme broken message
  • Template missing message
  • Theme Twenty Fourteen
  • Blank web page

Why is my screen blank?? Why am I seeing only white screen??? 

I clicked on my site this morning, only to find a BLANK page staring back at me. Panicked. Clicked here clicked there, not much help. Went into my dashboard, surprised to see the content intact. Meaning, they were still there. Every single one. That at least helped calmed me down.  So what went wrong????

White screen on website

Googled around hopefully could find answers to the mystery.

Looked for ‘ Why blank page on my site ‘, ‘ How to fix blank web page ‘ etc

Gotten some suggested solutions. Pointed me to check on my Theme.

So I went to check on my Theme. I am currently using Hueman. Went into the Appearance – Editor

Didn’t notice anything unusual till I caught a glimpse of this line on top of the Editor. It said: ‘The Theme is broken. Template is missing.’

Template is Missing message

Uh-oh…..  What now??!

Went into Appearance – Theme, looked through the existing Themes installed in my system. Hueman Theme was not there. Searched under the ‘Search Theme’ function, it showed the theme had already been installed in the system. Puzzled. I simply couldn’t see it here. Not to mention re-activate or delete.

Scrolling down, only to realize that there was this message: The following themes are installed  but incomplete. Themes must have a stylesheet and a template.’ 

And it showed Hueman as Template is missing.

Broken theme mesage

Again, now what??!

I kept getting in and out of the page and visited my site, hoping for some miracles! Miracle did happen, only to add to the mystery… It was now in Twenty-Fourteen Theme…. uhhh….. ??!

I then went back to my Editor, noticed it was now at the said 2014 theme. “When did I change it??” No clue. May be auto?! By default was my best guess.

Anyway, better than a blank page!

Wordpress Theme 2014

It went to my previous setting. A setting that I used before I switched to Hueman.

Accessing cPanel

I recalled doing backup via my cPanel 2 days ago. Did delete the backup file after downloading it to my hard disk and Dropbox. Didn’t recall meddling with any theme related function.

Looked under my wp-content — theme folder. Hey, the Hueman theme was there, just as what I had thought it would.

I believed I could remove it, and reinstall the theme once more. Although I believed this to be the workable way, I didn’t have the courage to hit the button. So I wrote to a dear friend to seek his ‘approval’ before I hit the button.

He had no idea as to why It happened. I would have to reinstall it.

So I did just that. Delete the theme via cPanel. Oh before I delete. I did some experiments with my ‘other’ themes in the system. I had always wondered why I had them and found them eating space. Just didn’t get to remove them.

So what I did was, I wanted to first see the LIVE connection between my actions in Dashboard and cPanel. So I went to my Dashboard, deleted 2 redundant themes. Went back to cPanel to check. Confirmed they were gone. DELETED the Hueman in my cPanel.

Went back to Dashboard, searched and reinstalled the theme. Voila! All settings remained intact. Peace returned! Not before I hit ‘Save & Activate’.

I aptly removed another redundant theme. Now I have only my current theme and a Twenty Fourteen theme (as backup, just in case such thing happen again).


What happened? Well…. things happen don’t they. Just be calm and steady and face it. Worst come to worst…. just hope that my backup file is good and restore to how it was as last updated.

Lessons I learnt:

1) First and foremost, BACKUP! I did a full backup 2 days ago via cPanel. Used to do it with a Plugin and had been getting ‘disk quota exceeded’ error. So was advised to do alternative backup method. Hence, so.

2) Things do happen and when happen, STAY CALM. Was I calm, really??? Not sure. I was calm partly because I knew my content was intact. Should it be not, I would likely first SCREAM, second CRY, third (frantically) LOOKED FOR MY BACKUP FILE, fourth HELP! HOW?!

Now I can laugh about it. You know I know it is not fun when it does happen. ‘Stay Vigilant’ is what I would advise.


And thanks to this episode, I am now more familiar with my Theme and getting more comfortable playing around with my cPanel. I tried learning and played around in the cPanel before but didn’t get much clue with what was what. Now I learnt what I didn’t since doing my full backup and through this incident.

I am now slightly more comfortable accessing it. Especially when it comes to DELETING files. You bet I am ‘very good’ at it!

Seriously, I am thankful that this issue resolved ‘on its own’. Let you in a secret… The Theme 2014 you saw above, I didn’t think of taking a screenshot during ‘crisis’ then. I did it only when I was doing this post now.

So, if you ask me what was the greatest thing that came out of this incident, well…. I didn’t have to pause before I hit the ‘Activate’ button to switch theme, took a screenshot and switched back to my current theme!

Super Cool eh! I am grateful!

PS. If you happen to be facing a similar situation and have some burning questions wanted to ask, feel free to Contact Me. I am more than happy to share my best knowledge to help.

Together, we make a Difference!

To your Abundance,

Sandy :)

Sandy Tan

Being a stay at home mum, internet marketing gives me the income I never thought was possible. More so when I have to tend to the demanding needs and constant attention seeking of my 2 young children. If you are reading this right now, I thank you for crossing path with me. Once a beginner myself, I know how tough and overwhelming it can be in this online business. I take it upon myself to give you the Hacks I learn along the way, and making it a profitable business for you!

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24 Responses

  1. Dawn says:

    It is that kind of “OMG, what happened”, kind of sinking panic when your wp dashboard looks fine but the site “isn’t there.” It’s great that you had made a backup but found the real culprit (the theme).

    WP use to let you delete unused themes from your dashboard which was far more convenient than going to cpanel. But I do understand why you were timid about deleting them.

    Whether the theme you use is paid or not, I would write the support folks and let them know exactly what happened. While WP is updated frequently, some theme become outdated and that can cause problems.

    Glad you were able to restore your site. You now can add a new tick box to your areas of expertise.

  2. Great story and one many will experience if they already haven’t.
    Back-up regularly, and quarantine the backup, is essential for any work because it can disappear in an instant.

  3. Joy Healey says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Well done! What a horrible experience to have had. I really hate these technical problems that happen every so often. Luckily I’m in a support forum where I can get help – although it sounds as if your friend would have been able to help if needed.

    Let’s hope for many months of panic-free blogging going forward :-)


  4. Keyur says:

    I went through this 4 yrs ago and still it shocks me at times.

    Good to learn through experience.

  5. Jan Kearney says:

    Definately an OMG moment! They have a habit of cropping up online often. The WordPress white screen of death… I think this is one of the issues with the auto-updates, you can miss when there’s niggles and files that go walk about.
    Glad you have a backup! Even gladder (is that a word?) that you could resolve the issue without using it :) Good old twentyfourteen – always keep a default theme handy for situations like this.
    Hope you find a theme you like soon :)

    • Sandy says:

      Hi Jan, I do like the current theme. I like the clean look it gives. Would love to hv a full header though!

      Such incident was the first time it happened. Definitely a ‘good’ OMG moment! Well…rainbows always appear after a good sun rain ;p

  6. Oh, I HATE those moments!
    Your points about backing up and staying calm are great ones – the first means the problem will never end as badly as it might if you don’t back up, and the second reduces the panic that cam set in. The answer can normally be found somewhere!
    Glad it worked out 😉

  7. Arthur says:

    First … tell Dawn that you can still delete all themes within the dashboard. It’s just not as evident as it used to be.

    Secondly, I thought at first you were going to describe my problem. However, your problem was a bit different.

    I had the problem of one page showing perfect … click to view another page >BLANK , etc.
    You just never knew if you would see the page or not. Wasn’t fault of theme though. Traced to a glitch with the SSD I was utilizing on that particular web host. Fired the host and moved everything after their support pretty much ignored it. Have had no problems since.

    • Sandy says:

      Wow. First of all, thanks for sharing Arthur. Your issue was an unique one, which I hv no wish to encounter!! Lol. Glad it was solved. Now you are well qualified to write a tutorial about it! :)

  8. Ed Akehurst says:

    Great post – best lesson here – STAY CALM! I have seen too many people panic, and then they do something that makes it worse.

    • Sandy says:

      True Ed. Thanks for sharing. That’s the importance of staying calm. Only when we steady ourselves that we can remain calm n collect ourselves, possible solutions appear.

  9. Cararta says:

    Hi Sandy,
    Did you do any updates or install anything that could have caused this?

    Keep reading trying to find a reason…. Think if occurred while doing the manual backup and you didn’t happen to notice?
    Or did a WordPress update?
    Hmm…A puzzle. But one thing different for my site, if I want to delete a theme, i have to do it in Cpanel not in WordPress Admin which is an inconvenience.


    • Sandy says:

      Thanks for analyzing, Cararta. I did do my full backup via cPanel n delete the file after transfer. Checjed to make sure everything remained after that. Checked few times, and it remained in tact. It was another day later that this incident happened . So, seriously no clue. Didn’t do any update as well prior to that.

      Funny you can’t delete theme in WordPress dashboard. Will see ifI can find the solutions for you.

      Meanwhile, keep looking and please do let me know should you manage to fix the ‘delete theme’ issue.

      Thank you.
      To your Abundance, Sandy :)

  10. Lizz Riley says:

    Ah, I’ve been ignoring my back up email for a while now! I think I’ll read it now after reading your post!

  11. David says:

    Thanks for the post Sandy. I’ve had some plugin conflicts do weird things but I’ve never heard of this happening before.

    You highlight two crucial elements when dealing with any misbehaving website: have a backup, and stay calm.

    • Sandy says:

      I am humbled, David. Glad the post gives you some inspirations, and gives you space to find solutions. I look forward to learn your updates. Stay calm!

      To your Abundance, Sandy :)

  12. Hi Sandy,

    When all else fails, stay calm? I like that…

    Sounds like you learned a great deal during this snafu. A blessing in disguise, perhaps? 😉

    • Sandy says:

      Blessing in disguise….nice. It’s a blessing when we view it that way! Focusing on the good thing despite the challenges. Thanks Edward :)

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