Blank Page When Trying to Edit a Gantry Template in Joomla’s Backend

We had a call earlier this week from a client telling us that whenever he tries to edit his Gantry template from Joomla’s backend, he gets a blank page. Hmmm!

We tried to edit the Gantry template ourselves but we also got the blank page… Of course, there are many, many reasons that cause the dreadful blank page issue in Joomla, but the problem with this one, is that even after we set the Error Reporting value to Maximum, the blank page was still there, and no error was displayed…

So we did some debugging until we found the root of the problem; it was this line located in the function display which is located in the view.html file (which, in its turn, is located under the administrator/components/com_gantry/views/template folder of the Joomla website):


The above line is a function call that checks whether Gantry has released an update for its core or not, and if yes, it’ll tell the user about the update. Now, the issue with the above function is that not only it checks if there are updates for Gantry or not, but it’ll also check for updates for all the extensions, and this is the heart of the problem. Some old/not very well maintained extensions have a wrong update URL, which makes the whole function fail silently, and hence resulting in a blank page.

So, how can this problem be fixed?

A quick way to fix the problem is to remove the aforementioned line from the display function. Technically, this method doesn’t fix the problem, but it avoids it. It’s very quick, but the downside for it is that Gantry won’t be able to check for updates when in edit mode (which, in our opinion, is not extremely necessary).

A better way to fix the problem is to locate the problematic extension and either uninstall it or exclude its update script from the batch update process. Here’s how you can find out which extension is the culprit:

  • Login to the backend of your Joomla website.
  • Go to Site -> Global Configuration -> Server, and then set the Error Reporting to Maximum.

  • Go to Extensions -> Extensions Manager and then click on Update, and then click on Find Updates on the top.

  • You will see some fatal errors that will tell you which extension(s) has(have) problems being updated.

Now, once you find that extension, you have 2 choices:

  1. Uninstalling the extension (which is very easy but most likely not the desired action) OR
  2. Disabling the update script for that extension.

As stated above, uninstalling the extension might not be what you want, so you’re better off with disabling the update script for that extension. This can be done the following way:

  • Login to phpMyAdmin and select the database that is powering your Joomla website.
  • Go to the #__update_sites table and search for the extension that you’re having problems with.

  • Set the field enabled to 0 for the matching row. This will ensure that this extension will no longer be included in the batch extension update.

Now, the big question is, why does Gantry, in edit mode, show a blank page instead of the error even on maximum error reporting?

Well, it’s because in the function checkForGantryUpdate in the Gantry model, the call to findUpdates on the JUpdater object is preceded by the @ sign, which suppresses any error, regardless of Joomla’s error reporting or even PHP’s native error reporting. Clearly, the Gantry team felt that it’s better to display a blank page on error and confuse their clients instead of actually displaying the error.

In any case, if you’re having the same issue, then we hope that our post was helpful. If you felt that it was a bit complicated or if you felt that you need some help implementing it, then fear not – all you need to do is to contact us and we’ll fix it for you in no time and for a very reasonable cost!

4 Responses to “Blank Page When Trying to Edit a Gantry Template in Joomla’s Backend”
  1. Pingback by Disable Update of Certain Extensions in Joomla | itoctopus — February 18, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

    […] security issues on the website, but, in some cases, such updates can create problems as described here, so they should be disabled. Additionally, and as discussed in the beginning of this post, some […]

  2. Pingback by Blank Page When Using a Gantry Template | itoctopus — May 10, 2014 @ 4:42 am

    […] using a Gantry Template (on the frontend, we’ve discussed the same issue on the backend before), then most likely this is a module. Try disabling the published modules, one by one, until the […]

  3. Comment by Jeff McCormick — February 7, 2016 @ 5:57 pm

    I am experiencing a Blank Page When Trying to Edit a Gantry Template in Joomla’s Backend. I was not able to locate any params.ini files to upload. Are you able to help?

  4. Comment by Fadi — February 9, 2016 @ 6:45 am

    Hi Jeff,

    Definitely! Just contact us through our website and we’ll be happy to help!

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