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Website Publisher completely blank or white page or pages on installer, front end or control panel

If a page (or pages) on your Website Publisher 5 installation (such as the front end, control panel or installation wizard) are coming up completely blank (i.e. no errors, no headings, no text, no images... just the default, white background colour of your web browser) then the issue can be difficult to diagnose due to there being no error messages logged, and no visible error on the page.

Presented in this article are possible causes and solutions for the "blank page" problem:

cPanel and File / Directory Permissions

If your website is running cPanel or other such "control panel" software, it may have a security feature installed that prevents PHP scripts from running if the script file (or the directory it is in) is writable. We have another knowledge base article which addresses this issue:

I am using CPanel and the installer quits with a blank page or Internal Server Error message

UTF8 Byte Order Mark issue

If you have edited any of the files in the Website Publisher installation with Windows Notepad it is likely that they will have a hidden "Byte Order Mark" (BOM) added to the very beginning of the UTF-8 encoded file. This can cause issues with web servers because the file then has an extra character at the start of it, before the "
The only way to correct this is to re-edit the files with an editor other than Windows Notepad. You must the save the file as UTF-8. The options for this are usually on the File menu under 'Encoding', or when File -> Save As... with an 'Encoding' selection. There is usually an option to save UTF-8 with BOM, so make sure that this is not selected.

TextPad, EditPlus, Scite, UltraEdit, PhpEd, Eclipse, Notepad++... these are all capable text editors for Windows, it is not possible for us to list all text editors as there are so many around.

Corrupted Control Panel Template Cache Files

Cached template files in the /cache/ folder can sometimes become corrupted and cause the caching system to output a blank template. This can particularly occur if the site is moved from one location to another. To correct this you may use FTP to delete all the files in the /cache/templates/ folder. Eventually the problem will correct itself as the files become 'old' and are automatically replaced by the caching system.

Double Gzip Encoding

If possible, Website Publisher will gzip encode it's output to reduce the size of pages that need to be downloaded by users. If your hosting service also has it's web servers configured to transparently compress output it may result in output corruption. Some browsers will show a blank page while other browsers will show an error message relating to "Encoding" or similar. A sure way to debug this issue to is use an HTTP Debugging proxy such as Fiddler to examine your website. The pages that cause issues will be flagged in Fiddler since the proxy will not be able to decode them.

The only way to correct this is to request that you web hosting service disables output compression for PHP scripts.

PHP Memory Limit and Timeout Settings

If you have access to your server's PHP.ini file, check the memory_limit, max_input_time and max_execution_time settings. If possible, set these to:

memory_limit = 64M
max_input_time = 600
max_execution_time = 300

If you are unsure of where PHP.ini is or how to edit it, or if you're on a shared hosting account, contact your hosting provider's support team and ask them to make these changes. Once these changes have been made, the Apache web server process will need to be restarted for the change to take effect.
This kb article will be updated with common causes and resolutions as they become available.

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