I updated my website to the latest version of WordPress this morning. That’s usually a fairly straightforward process. But not today.
After updating WordPress itself I did the same with the plugins and everything else that reported new versions. I checked the site afterwards as I routinely do and…. BLANK.
An entirely white screen (Firefox) and an entirely black screen (IE). Neither very useful.
I did what basic checking I could. I tried changing the template and the problem seemed to be related to my custom theme. I built the theme myself and it’s been through a lot of tweaking to get it just how I want, so I wasn’t happy about that. Also, even with one of the base themes installed, not everything was working correctly.
Luckily my host provider (bluehost.com) has excellent support. With their help the problem was isolated to an incompatible plug-in: the “Simple Follow Me Social Buttons Widget.”
It’s difficult finding the cause of these kinds of problems when all you’re faced with is a blank screen, without even an error message to provide a clue!
It also shows how important it is to use a good hosting company and how critical good support is. Sure there are cheaper hosting companies around, but Bluehost’s rates are very competitive and well worth the extra couple of bucks it costs.
Sometimes though… I really hate technology…