WordPress 5.1 to Introduce New White Screen Protection Feature, Launches Today

Posted on 21/02/2019 by Neil Skoglund

WordPress 5.1 launches today with some great new features. One of the 9 priorities Matt Mullenweg identified for 2019 was the merge of the Site Health Check plugin into the core WordPress system to help with debugging and encourage "good software hygiene."WordPress 5.1 launches today with some great new features. One of the 9 priorities Matt Mullenweg identified for 2019 was the merge of the Site Health Check plugin into the core WordPress system to help with debugging and encourage "good software hygiene." The Site Health Check plugin, formerly known as "ServeHappy" began with the goal of helping users get their site running on the best supported PHP version, but has since expanded to include other aspects of good site maintenance and debugging.

The Site Health Check project introduces a new white screen of death (WSOD) protection feature that stops the white screen showing when there are fatal errors. This allows admins to login and resolve the issue, without being fully kicked out to FTP or your control panel to check error logs and fix the issue.

In preparation for WordPress' highly requested minimum PHP version increase,  any WordPress installation running on PHP 5.1 will display a warning to users to upgrade their version of PHP. In April this is set to rise to PHP 5.6 and if all goes well (depending on feedback) this will likely be bumped again to PHP 7.0 around December 2019.

You can already see this feature by installing the Site Health Check plugin and then visit Dashboard > Health Check for a detailed overview of your site. There is also a handy troubleshooting mode that enables a vanilla WordPress session, where all plugins, themes are disabled and the default theme is used, but only for your user session at the time. This allows you to check if the fault still occurs (such as editing a post) without disrupting any of the site display for your end users.

WordPress 5.1 also has a range of other features for developers, including the ability to disable the system cron and add a custom cron handler, setting a custom location for WP_DEBUG_LOG to be written to and a new wp_blogmeta table amongst other features.

WordPress 5.1 will be released today, 21st February 2019 and is a big step by WordPress to become even more user friendly. The main enhancements of this version is that users will never be locked out when a WSOD error occurs and allows users to provider a faster, securer WordPress environment.

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