One of Joomla’s interesting (and common) problems is when a user logs in to Joomla’s administrator’s control panel only to be greeted by a blank page instead of seeing Joomla’s control panel. The blank page doesn’t have any code in it, at all, not even the <html> and the <body> tags. So what’s going on?
This means that there is an error on the page. In fact, when you have a blank page after you login to Joomla, 99% of the times Apache will return a 500 Internal Server Error. But where did that error come from, and, more importantly, what caused it?
The error results from a PHP error, but you don’t see what the error is because Joomla, by default, and for security reasons, hides all the PHP errors from the outside world.
Now where did the error come from? In most of the cases we have encountered so far, the error comes from PHP trying to include a plugin that no longer exists in the filesystem. Here’s an example that we encountered today:
Warning: require_once(/home/yourwebsite/public_html/components/com_joomfish/helpers/defines.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/yourwebsite/public_html/administrator/modules/mod_translate/mod_translate.php on line 15
Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required '/home/yourwebsite/public_html/components/com_joomfish/helpers/defines.php' (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/yourwebsite/public_html/administrator/modules/mod_translate/mod_translate.php on line 15
We were able to see the error above (instead of the blank page) because we forced PHP error reporting in /public_html/administrator/index.php using:
Now what caused this error? Regrettably, we have to say that it was you, but without knowing, here’s how:
- You installed an extension (in the above case Joomfish).
- It didn’t work for your, you didn’t like it, or it caused you problems.
- Instead of uninstalling the extension from Joomla’s control panel, you deleted all the physical folders related to the extension on the file system.
- Since the extension was not uninstalled properly, then it is still considered, in the eyes of Joomla, as active.
- Joomla tries to load the extension (usually extensions that cause these problems are plugins) and fails.
- PHP reports an error and you will see the blank page.
How do we fix the error?
We cleanup the filesystem, we cleanup the database, basically we remove everything that has anything to do with the problematic extension.
This job takes an hour, for a total cost of $75 according to the our fee structure. If you’re having this problem, then contact us, even if it’s 2 AM in the morning, on a Sunday, which happens to be New Year’s eve! We know that your website is very important to you and we’re always here to help you!