WordPress post edit area is blank (displays white text on white background)

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Have you recently updated WordPress and then noticed that your post area looks blank when you edit existing posts or pages?

I noticed this after going through the hassle of upgrading to WordPress 3.3.1, and manifests itself as white text being displayed on a white background when your post edit page loads. You might also find that switching between ‘Visual’ and ‘HTML’ modes doesn’t work either, and the wysiwyg icons don’t display.

Having looked through loads of forums and support groups, with various suggestions such as uploading the WordPress files again, clearing cache, and switching off plugins, I came across a random suggestion that has appeared to fix the ‘white text on white background’ problem for me.

Use Google Libraries

Try installing the Use Google Libraries plugin, then clear your browser cache and try again. If this works for you then it suggests a problem with one of the WordPress libraries or files in your install, as the plugin will go off to Google’s libraries to get the files it needs instead. This could also improve the performance of your site too, as you will be making use of Google’s content delivery network and it’ll reduce the load on your server too.

Other ways to fix the WordPress blank post area problem

[Updated April 2017] If the above doesn’t fix the problem for you, try one of these other suggestions from people who have commented here….

Check for plugin conflicts

Try deactivating each of your plugins to see if your text editing area becomes visible again. If you use All-in-One SEO, User Access Manager or WP Auto Responder Newsletter, try them first. If this is the problem, then make sure that plugin is up-to-date. If that still doesn’t resolve the problem then try finding a replacement plugin that does the same thing as the one causing the conflict.

Theme issue?

Switch your theme back to the default WordPress theme by going to ‘Appearance’–>’Themes’ and activate the default theme. If this resolves your issue, you’ll need to check if there are updates to your theme and apply them. If there aren’t, it’s worth asking your theme developer if they have a solution. You should be able to switch between themes without impacting your site, but do back your site up beforehand just in case.

Does your .htaccess file have a rule that causes the problem?

If your site is hosted on a Linux platform you may well have a file in your site root folder called .htaccess. This can be used to execute various rules whenever visitors reach your site. Use ftp to (temporarily) rename this file and see if your problem is solved. If the problem is resolved you’ll need to rename the file back again and look for a piece of code in there that is causing the issue.

Have you blocked access to wp-content or wp-includes files?

One of our visitors blocked access to his WordPress php files in his web server configuration (nginx) in order to stop hackers getting in. However, this also stopped him getting to his own site! So check you haven’t done the same.

Try installing the jquery updater plugin

Your theme comes with it’s own set of libraries, including jquery. Newer versions of WordPress and some plugins may need more up-to-date versions of the jquery library to work properly. If you regularly update your theme then this library will be updated naturally. If you don’t it can get out of date and break certain things on your site. This plugin makes sure that your site always has the most up to date version of the jquery library. However, it’s possible that it could break your site somewhere else, so check your site thoroughly after you add the plugin.

Add concatenate_scripts(‘false’) to wp-config.php

Another file in your site root folder is called wp-config.php. You’ll need to edit this through FTP. Try adding… define(‘CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS’, false);
into this file. This stops WordPress from concatenating scripts to improve performance. Mostly, concatenating is a good way to speed things up, but sometimes themes and plugins could break this.


If none of the above fixes your problem, don’t forget to clear your cache and force reload your browser. It’s possible that the problem is solved, but you are still looking at a cached version of your site!

If you find another solution, please let us know by commenting below.

51 Responses to “WordPress post edit area is blank (displays white text on white background)”

  1. Website Design March 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    What a strange bug. That would totally drive me bonkers. Normally WordPress is good about that stuff.

  2. Austin September 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Just encountered this bug today — The google libraries definitely helped out.

    Thanks

  3. heidi September 14, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    This did not work for me. I did the plugin install listed above. I updated WordPress today and now I have no Jetpack stats, and all of my edit post pages are blank.
    Like you said, in the HTML window, the content is still there. But I can’t do any editing in the visual window.
    I’m wondering if I should just restore from my latest backup?

  4. Martin Jarvis September 14, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Heidi.
    I’m sorry this didn’t work for you. I don’t think you should revert to a backup version of your WordPress site just yet. There are many good reasons to keep your WordPress install bang up to date – including security, so let’s try to resolve the text editing issue for you first.

    1. You could have a plugin conflict – try de-activating each of your plugins in turn to see if your text editing area becomes visible again (start with the All-in-One SEO and User Access Manager plugins if you have either of those installed). If this is the problem, then make sure that plugin is up-to-date. If that still doesn’t resolve the problem then you might need to look for a replacement plugin.

    2. It could be an issue with your theme. Take a backup of your site and data and then try switching your theme back to the default WordPress theme – go to ‘Appearance’–>’Themes’ and activate the default theme – and see whether that resolves your edit problem. You should be able to switch between themes without impacting your site, but I have suggested backing up beforehand just in case!

    If either of those suggestions resolve the issue for you then please let us know. If it is not resolved then get in touch again and we’ll try to help out.
    Martin Jarvis recently posted..Why you shouldn’t align html justify

    • Cristina March 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

      Hello Martin,

      I have wordpress 4.7.2 and have lost all editing tools plus can’t see text. I am trying to follow your advise here. My theme is Sundance Demo.

      A question from an ignoramus trying to sort out. How do I do a back up?

      I said I was an ignoramus. But trying to learn!

  5. Banana September 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Use Google Libraries plugin fixed it right away. Thanks!

  6. Graham September 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Thanks. This did the trick.

  7. Aaron October 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Ugh…another plugin issue. Mine was the wp auto responder newsletter plugin causing the blank screen on the post page. Solved! Thanks!

  8. Stefanie November 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    thank you!!! use google library fixed it for me too. phew!

  9. aplc December 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Thx this solution help me to solve the problem!

  10. Greg December 29, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    The google library thing worked. Sadly, a ton of other stuff is buggy with the layout in the new WordPress update. What a colossal hassle. I can’t even add widgets I deactivated.

  11. Martin Jarvis December 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    I’m glad you fixed the main problem.

    Have you just updated to WordPress 3.5? If you ping me (privately) your WordPress admin access details I’ll have a quick look to see if I can resolve your layout and widget problems. It could be that your theme, or one or more of your plugins, has yet to be updated for WordPress 3.5.
    Martin Jarvis recently posted..Do you password protect your WordPress posts or pages?

  12. Billfeld January 3, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Really strange, but it elped for me. Thnx a lot! 🙂

  13. Ajman January 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    This is Genius !! the plugin suggested worked first time. Its take me 2 weeks of trying all sorts of fixes i found online.
    God Bless

  14. Kevin January 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Thanks for this tip. Totally fixed my error.

  15. Marcel Jansen January 18, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Thanks a lot.

    After trying out a lot of tips that didn’t work, finally i found your solution to use the Google Library plugin and that worked for me.

    Marcel Jansen

  16. Jonathan January 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I can’t quite believe this worked, thanks so much – saved a lot of time!!!

  17. Julo February 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    But how to solve this without plugin. I would say that it is really easy problem that can be set up somewhere in css

    • Martin Jarvis February 7, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      @Julo I don’t think this can be resolved with CSS changes, as it is a problem with the WordPress dashboard. I suspect that CSS changes (if they could be used) would need to be applied to the WordPress core code. these would then be overwritten the next time you upgrade your WordPress version.

      Whilst I don’t like using too many plugins in a website, as they can bloat an installation, there are times when they are a good idea. It also means that non-technical website owners can continue to maintain their website without needing to know any code.
      Martin Jarvis recently posted..Have you filled up your WordPress storage quota?

  18. Xyborg February 7, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    Thank you so much! Google Library plugin was the solution!

  19. Jo April 4, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    Thanks Martin
    You saved me hours!
    Jo

  20. Maartje April 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Too bad. This does’nt work and makes the edit section dissappear totally untill I deactivate the use google library plug-in :((

    I use WordPress 3.5.1.
    This is a new install, no plug-ins except for the standard Askimet and Dolly.
    Just the standard themes.
    I’ve cleared the cache, I have deleted all wp files and did a re-install.
    Is there another solution?

  21. Big Birtha April 12, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Hi, I’ve got this problem too – have had it over a week and it’s driving me bananas. My support thread on WordPress about it is here:

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/edit-page-is-blank-site-not-displaying-properly-either-please-help?replies=20#post-4081771

    I’ve already tried removing all plug-ins (especially W3 Total Cache),and after reading this thread tried installing google libraries plug-in, but the edit page and post windows are still blank 🙁

    • Avic September 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Hi Big Bartha! This blank page screen to death in edit posts in wordpress just happened to me and sent me a hell of a panic.

      1. I tried deactivating all my plugins
      2. Revert my theme to the default theme.

      None of this solved the problem and not even google libraries plug-in helped me at all.

      But after hours of figuring it out, I was able to fix it. I turned out that the .htaccess rule was the source of the problem. To check this, I access my server thru ftp and rename the .htacess file. I clear cached and refresh the page and it works just fine for me.

      If this step did not solve the problem then it could be that your wordpress upgrade was not not performed properly and your files may be corrupted.

      I hope this could help you! =)

  22. Sam June 17, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    This worked for me after a week of frustration. Thanks!

  23. Galen September 5, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Thank you!! Was still unable to switch between HTML View and WYSIWYG but it was enough to edit the page in HTML mode.

    Is it possible that this issue occurs when a page is too large? (i.e. full to the brim with text, images and links). I just had this issue with one page, which happened to be the largest by far…

    Thanks again 🙂

  24. Jeroen Ingmar June 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    I encountered the same problem after changing the theme of my new blog on WordPress.com; apparently it’s still there. But I also found a surprisingly easy way to solve it that might work as well on your self-hosted WordPress installation. Just force reload your browser to clear the cache — it might save you the hassle of re-installing the Google Libraries plugin. Well, at least pressing F5 (on Ubuntu 12.04) turned out to work fine for me:

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/missing-visual-editor/

    • James January 6, 2015 at 9:55 am #

      I was looking to find a solution for a wordpress.com site and this was the only reference I could find, and voila, it worked! Thanks!

  25. Miftah January 8, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    thanks so much. . it’s work!! 🙂 🙂

  26. Michelle January 12, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Hi,

    Thanks a lot, this was the fix for me!

    Best regards,

    Michelle
    Michelle recently posted..Par : Michelle Van Den Berghe

  27. JB December 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Can be .htaccess file problem. Restore original .htaccess

  28. Stephan February 2, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    My problem was after trying out a lot, that I blocked access to php files in wp-content and wp-includes through web-server configuration (nginx) in an attempt to prevent hackers abusing my WP.
    I.e., at the end, I locked myself out 🙂
    Re-enabled access to those folders, restarted nginx, and all works…

  29. Alicia February 19, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

    This worked for me! Thank you for posting this fix!

    Many Blessings,
    Alicia
    Alicia recently posted..Tips For Very Active People Dealing With Fibromyalgia Pain

  30. edsbali August 19, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    Great. It worked.
    I had a headache in a month. This problem is intermittent.
    Now back to normal.

  31. Julie November 3, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Same problem with blank Visual editor right after updating to 4.6.1. I tried this google libraries thing, but didn’t help. I’m fine to edit in the text window, but my client is not so tech savvy and needs the visual side. He’s pulling his hair out not being able to add products to his Woocommerce site. WordPress is the most cumbersome, hideous, buggy thing to work with. I prefer to write my own straight php, generating clean html pages that load in a third of the time for the same content. But I know some people love it for whatever reason.

  32. Sorin December 14, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    I have exactly the same problem described above.
    Installing the suggested plugin hasn’t worked for me unfortunately. I also cleared browser cache, deactivated other plugins one by one, reinstalled the theme (I’m using Salient theme), everything is up to date, including wordpress (4.7).
    I have installed a different theme as well to rule out the theme problem. Nothing seems to work. Don’t know what else to do.
    Any help/ideas would be much appreciated!

    • Martin Jarvis December 15, 2016 at 11:47 am #

      Try installing the plugin called ‘jquery updater’ and see if that helps. When you initially install your theme it may well come with it’s own set of libraries, including for jquery. Over time, updates of WordPress and some plugins may require a more up-to-date version of the jquery library in order to work properly. If you regularly update your theme then this library may well get updated naturally, but if you don’t it can get out of date and break certain things on your site. This plugin makes sure that your site always has the most up to date version of the jquery library. However, it’s possible that it could break your site somewhere else, so it’s worth checking the site afterwards.
      Martin Jarvis recently posted..I’m happy paying for Premium WordPress plugins – you should be too!

  33. salaudeen sulaimon January 7, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks its really work for me

  34. Chelsea Gonzalez March 16, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    Hello, I am having a similar problem with a friends website. When someone clicks the actual post, only the background appears- not the post/content. I have tried everything. I have tried the plugins you have mentioned above. The problem started when updating wordpress to the newest version. Here is an example of what people see when trying to view a post:
    http://www.lilysteinphotoblog.com/2016/12/18/san-clemente-ole-hanson-beach-club-family-photography-flores/

    I don’t want to switch themes as this is not my website. Any advice would be helpful.

    • Martin Jarvis March 18, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

      Hi Chelsea.
      Looks ok to me. Is the problem with the front-end (which looks ok to me) or in the WordPress dashboard (which I can’t see because I don’t have login details)?

      Please don’t post your login details here! Email them via the contact form on our Contact Us page if you want me to look into it.
      Martin Jarvis recently posted..I’m happy paying for Premium WordPress plugins – you should be too!

  35. Charlice March 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    Hello,

    thank you for this post. I’m also experiencing this problem. I have cleared browser cache, installed the ‘use google libraries’ plugin, change themes, and even install the jquery updater plugin. With all these, I was able to resolve the problem through the “jquery updater” plugin.

    Thank you.

  36. Fiona April 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

    It was adding :
    define(‘CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS’, false);
    after the php tag in my wp-config file that solved this for me!

  37. Tom May 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm #

    Here is my fix for my problem. After rolling back each addon one by one and then as a group using my backup restore.. Did not fix problem. Then rolled back WordPress. Also no joy…

    At that point, I decided it had to be my Security software on or for my server and #1 suspect was my WAF. Lo and behold, the WAF was blocking what tinymce was doing thinking that it was an SQL injection (poor coding). Once we create a rule to ignore that, boom, WordPress editor now working again.. Don’t forget to blame your security if you have good security.

  38. jack June 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm #

    problem fixed by removing .htaccess file put into wp-includes per recommendation on wpbeginner to supposedly prevent hacker problems.

  39. Jason July 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    Thank you very much! The All In ONE SEO plugin seamed to be causing my issue. I really appreciate your efforts writing this article, because this has been an issue on and off for a long time!

  40. Steve Pringle September 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    “Try installing the Use Google Libraries plugin, then clear your browser cache and try again.”

    After reading that, I went to IE and it work so Chrome was the culprit. Cleared cache and problem was fixed. I guess I should thank you as now I can use SSL in the url.

    I may still try the Google Libraries but I like to limit plugins since the devs has to keep them updated.

  41. Gabriel Lopes October 6, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Hi to everyone, thanks for all the answers.
    I tried all the options, deactivating plugins, jquery updater, clearing cache, Google Libraries, .htaccess…
    Nothing worked for me…
    It’s weird because it happens just on a couple pages, that are the heaviest ones.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks!

    • Martin Jarvis October 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

      Gabriel.
      Is there anything that is unique to those pages but not the rest of the site? Do you have javascript on the page, or maybe some html that isn’t properly formatted perhaps?
      Martin Jarvis recently posted..How do I choose the right blog post topic?

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