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My page has loaded all white, what did I do wrong?

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Question: My page has loaded all white, what did I do wrong?
You've uploaded your PHP page, and went to view it. Instead of seeing what you expected you see nothing. A blank screen (often white), no data, no error, no title, nothing. You view the source.... it's blank. What happened?

Answer: The most common reason for this problem is that you're missing a character somewhere. By simply leaving out a ' or } or ; somewhere, your PHP won't work. You don't get an error, you will simply get a blank screen.

There is nothing more frustrating than looking through thousands of lines of code for the one missing ; that is messing the whole thing up. But what can be done?

  1. PHP Error Reporting. You can learn a lot about what is going wrong from the error messages PHP gives you. If you aren't currently getting error messages, this tutorial shows you how to turn on PHP error reporting.

  2. Test your code often. If you're testing each piece as you add it, then at least if you encounter this problem you know generally where to look for it... in whatever you just added or changed.

  3. Try a color-coded editor. A lot of PHP editors (many even free) color code your PHP as you enter it. This helps you pick out lines that don't end, because you'll have large chunks of code in the same color. It's non-intrusive for those of us who prefer to code with no bells-and-whistles, but helpful when troubleshooting.

  4. Comment it out. One way to isolate the problem is to comment out large chunks of your code. Start at the top, and comment out all but the first couple lines, then echo () a test message right above the comment. If it echos fine, then the problem is below. Move the start of your comment and your test echo downwards as you work through your document, until you find the problem.

If you are using loops in your code and these tips don't fix things, read this FAQ.

Related Video
Basic PHP Syntax
Using PHP With HTML
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