Documenting Gutenberg Blank Screen Reports

👋 Hello! I work mainly on the make/test team where our current focus is Gutenberg. I’ve spotted a common issue that’s tricky to troubleshoot and wanted to reach out to see what you think!

The problem is that sometimes a blank screen or a white screen appears when trying to create a new post or page. I wanted to note a few example reports here for reference and as a starting point for working out how best to troubleshoot these types of issues.

Recent blank screen reports

  1. 9990 – blank pages after updating to 3.8.0
  2. 9845 – one user is on WP.com, another reports clearing browser cache fixed the problem
  3. 9834 – editor is blank for all posts/pages, existing and new
  4. 9591 – user reports the problem only happens for child pages
  5. 9295 – likely a Cloudflare conflict
  6. 9222 – likely a plugin or theme conflict
  7. 9221 – user reported back that it started working but didn’t say why
  8. 8891 – possible Safari extension conflict

Older blank screen issues with resolutions

  1. 9926 – solved after making an unrelated change to php config
  2. 9585 – solved by preventing plugin admin notices from displaying on the edit page and post listings page
  3. 9101 – solved by disabling the “Disable REST API” setting in the WP Cerber Security plugin
  4. 9095 – solved by clearing browser cache
  5. 8960 – solved by flushing rewrite rules
  6. 8534 – solved by updating file permissions and restarting the server
  7. 8455 – solved by fixing a race condition in wp.domReady
  8. 7461 – solved by avoiding conflicts when a plugin resets the $post variable (plugin conflicts noted: Strong Testimonials, Webcraftic Clearfy, Table of Contents Plus)

There are a number of possible causes for a blank screen problem. In my experience so far, the most-likely culprits are: plugin or theme conflicts, strict security rules which block the API, and/or some other server configuration problem. When I see the problem reported, I typically start by asking for browser console errors to be documented and if that is already done I ask for a list of plugins in order to try to spot one to ask them try disabling as a test. Recently, a few users reported that clearing browser cache solved the problem for them (which I find baffling 😆). Perhaps I should always note clearing browser cache as a first troubleshooting step? I noticed that a pinned support topic for Gutenberg mentions the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. Should I be recommending that more often, at the beginning of interactions even?

How would you typically approach troubleshooting issues like these?