Do you believe we are living in a digital world? Do you extol all the new electronic devices (such as cameras and phones)?  Or are you a luddite, indifferent to this spinning world?

I was almost driven mad by a mistake I made several days ago.  I could not login my website admin again after doing a plugin update. The site was apparently running but the admin page appeared to be empty.  But I guess it was probably because I cleared the cache too fast without waiting for the system to run the update in full strength. By the time I realised this mistake I opened different browsers to test whether touchwood my luck was still with me, I found my admin page was nowhere.

Yes, to my dismay,  the blank page was true.  So what has happened? I was sure I have accessed the admin page, but I could not see any content. Things seemed harder than I thought.

The good thing is that every solution can almost be found by doing a search online.  There is no doubt that Google is king. I searched by typing WordPress Admin page is blank after login. I got some solutions related to this topic.

Then I started to consider the rescue plan.  The cause of this issue was no longer important.  I remembered I run a weekly backup by using a WordPress plugin called WordPress backup to Dropbox (Thanks to my colleague Sam who recommends this to me).  It allows you to schedule an automatic backup to your Dropbox account after authorisation.  This free version can backup all the files from you site to a folder called “WordPress Backup”in Dropbox.  What it actually means is that when there is an active network connection, you can always look for some important files everywhere.

First, I reckoned I can upload the backup files via FTP to overwrite the corrupted files to see if this worked.  I was not working.

Next, I renamed the plugins folder as suggested by WordPress (the blank page may have been caused by plugins). OK I got an error message on this blank page. Some good signs, still not good enough.

At last, there was a suggestion to remove the .htaccess file. .htaccess is a file to specify security restriction to a directory such as controlling the login and password.  Once I renamed this file, then login generated a new .htaccess file and I could see all the content in the Admin page.

Now the situation was that I have accessed Admin page, but the site did not behave normally with many blank pages.  Using the current theme called Gleam by Elegant themes has some restrictions (some plugins are not compatible) as it is built on Ajax. So it was time for me to install the theme again, disabling all plugins and re-install one by one. After that, I had to update the CSS and other php files.

At the end it took me nearly four hours in the evening to get my site up and running.  It was at least not as disastrous as to rebuild everything from scratch. I have not met the worst scenario.

The backup plugin first helped me feeling easy although in fact I did not solve my issue from it directly.  The online search results have shared with me many valuable experience.

Living in this digital world does not necessarily mean our life becomes easier.  We follow trends and keep every new device on our radar.  We have new challenges and every challenge is marked with a price.  Sometimes it may cost a fortune.

Featured image: the maple leaves. Summicron-M 50 mm, ISO160, f3.4, 1/500 sec


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