Magento Blank Page Issue Fixed

After a recent upgrade from Magento Community Edition to, I started noticing blank pages in the admin section (backend only) after certain functions: order entry, email tracking information, order comments. I also noticed no emails were sent out after password reset requests on the front end. I checked /var/log/maillog and didn’t see the messages. However I confirmed SMTP was working.

So, must be code related, I thought. Step 1 in my troubleshooting usually starts in /var/log/httpd/error_log. Upon review I noticed the following:

[Fri Mar 27 12:55:37.491424 2015] [:error] [pid 9974] [client] PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function mb_convert_encoding() in /var/www/html/magento/lib/Pelago/Emogrifier.php on line 556, referer: http://domain/index.php/admin/sales_order_shipment/view/shipment_id/936/key/...

Because I just upgraded, I had a fresh tar ball of my build from the day prior. I ran a diff on the old version and the new version. One of the differences is this file:


This lib was not in my build. This is new to Magento Community Edition

This php file was failing to fully execute because of a missing php library (thank you @benmarks). I quick review of phpinfo(); showed I did not load mbstring in php.ini. After installing php-mbstring and restarting Apache, all email functions were confirmed working and the blank page issue went away.


Chris started building web sites and web applications in 1996, after installing Linux and discovering httpd. It was a career in freshwater fisheries and geographic information systems (GIS) that led Chris to the web, and to start in 1998. Chris has a strong background in Linux/Unix systems administration, HTML, CSS, PHP, as well as Oracle and MySQL database administration. Chris is a proven leader, having lead the development of ecommerce platforms for Fortune 500 companies, as well as start ups. He is able to bridge the gap between Marketing and IT, and turn business requirements into development objectives, and he delivers results. When Chris is not working on web sites, he is usually chasing his kids around or playing mandolin. Finalist, San Diego Magazine's Top Tech Exec Awards, 2012, 2013 Council Member, Magento X-Commerce Merchant Council, 2011

11 thoughts to “Magento Blank Page Issue Fixed”

  1. I’m having this same issue after an update. Is it possible for you to help me with “installing php-mbstring and restarting apache.” I’m COMPLETELY lost there 🙁

  2. Hi Chris,

    I ran into the same issue but I am not that experienced like you to find the answer. I run CE and hope that this will also solve my problem. It sounds easy how you solved it, but how can I do the same? How/wher can I install the php-mbstring you mention?

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    1. Hi Martin,
      Sorry for the delay. You can do a

      yum install php-mbstring

      from the command line and that should do the trick. Then restart apache.

  3. Hi Chris,
    We are running, the site has been performing perfectly until a couple days ago it started having this same issue. We have tried all the suggestions above, uploaded the Pelago folder into /lib, reviewed the php info file and mbstring looks to be installed (not sure if it is setup properly)

    We would like to diagnose further but are unsure of what could have caused this randomly.

    Any suggestions?

  4. Hi Chris, after reading hundreds of posts about customer.xml update I can confirm that the problems for me was not there but in the mbstring.
    Thank you for your research and sharing the solution for the blank page issue. You are the man!

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