Things I wish I’d Known – Part 2. WordPress dashboard disappears!

Just when I thought this new blog site was able to breathe unaided, an unexpected disaster strikes. My dashboard disappears! My blog was DOA.

It seems like this happens to a lot of people so here’s what I learnt.


You can log back in to your website (and hence your dashboard) like this

This should get you to a log-in page where you can get yourself back in. Phew!


But this just cures the symptom and, in my experience, doesn’t cure the problem. You don’t want to have to log in like this each and every time. I did a bit of research and came across a possible cause – an index.php file in my wp-plugins folder!

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Follow these steps:-

  1. Go to your FTP software (mine’s Filezilla)
  2. Connect to your host server. Typing should get you there (plus username and password for your web host)
  3. Once you’re connected, navigate down the right hand side (Remote Site) until you get to WP-content. You should find a plugins folder. Open that up and see if there’s an index.php file. If there is, trash it! (Maybe save it somewhere first as back-up)

I don’t know how the index.php file got there. Did I do that at some point? Or did it find its own way there? Who knows. But if it’s messing with your site, get rid of it.

Hope that helps.


5 thoughts on “Things I wish I’d Known – Part 2. WordPress dashboard disappears!

  1. Andrew Johns

    Those blank index.php files are usually there to stop hackers from accessing the plugins folder directly.

    Some people leave “directory browsing” enabled on their hosts. If there was no default index.php file in that folder and you had that setting enabled, it would list all your plugins. From there a hacker could identify if you use any plugins with known security issues, and exploit them to gain access to your site.

    Not sure why that file caused you issues, but I thought I’d explain the usual reason for them being there.

    1. LizHannaford Post author

      Thanks very much for taking the time to point that out. I’ll have another look. I was just excited that it worked! A couple of people suggested that solution on the WP forum so I naively went with it. So if I disable directory browsing, somehow, does that help?


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