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4 Ways To Resolve Common WordPress Theme Issues

Normally, WordPress is relatively easy to use but since it is an open-source content management tool, usually it is the web owner who is responsible for fixing bugs any other WordPress theme-related issues that may arise.

Every day you will see people posting questions on WordPress.org about issues that can actually easily and quickly resolved. We are pretty sure that a lot of the developers are already tired of helping WordPress users go through the same issues over and over again. If you are running a WordPress site yourself, allow us to fill you in with four of the most common WordPress theme issues people typically encounter. We will be showing you how these issues get resolved.

1. Internal Server Error
Sometimes it’s “Internal Server Error”. Other times it’s “500 Internal Server Error”. This could be one of the most confusing encounters any beginner can ever experience.

When you get an issue notification like this, it means that there is something wrong with the site but the server has no idea how to identify the problem. The problem with this error message is that it does not indicate where the issue lies. With that, it is solely up to you how you are going to figure it out.

We will be showing you how to fix this problem but first, let’s talk about why the internal server error even appears in the first place.

What Causes The Internal Server Error In WordPress?
When you get an internal server error, know that the problem is not really specific on WordPress. As a matter of fact, it can happen to any website on a server regardless of what platform you are using.

Most of the time, the internal server error is caused by a plugin or theme function. There could also be other possible causes such as PHP memory limit and corrupted .htaccess file.

Here is a compilation of things you can do to resolve the problem:

Check For Corrupt .htaccess Files
You can check for corrupt .htaccess files by renaming the main .htaccess file. Perhaps you can change it to something like .htaccess_old.

To do that, you need to log in to your site using either your FTP or File Manager app which can be found in your cPanel dashboard.

Once you have connected to the network, you will most likely locate your .htaccess file in the same place your wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes are found.

After you have renamed the file, you can go back to your site and take a look if the problem was fixed.

Increase The PHP Memory Limit
Internal server errors can occur if your PHP memory limit is exhausted. If this is the case, you just need to increase your PHP memory limit.

Here is how you do that:

  • Create a php.ini which is a blank text file
  • Paste “memory=64MB” in the file
  • Save the file
  • Upload the newly saved file to your /wp-admin/ folder through your FTP

Deactivate All Plugins
If the error message still persists, your plugins must be the ones that are causing the problem. It can either be a specific plugin or the combination of all the plugins you use.

Unfortunately, there is no simple way to fix this. You just have to deactivate all your plugins. If you see that your site is working again that means that it really was the plugin all along.

You just have to reactivate the plugins one by one to see which one was causing the problem.

Re-upload You Core Files
If the last one didn’t work, it’s worth re-uploading your core files. There is no need to worry because not a single one of your data has to be deleted but this will resolve your internal server error if ever this was a case of a corrupt file.

Just go to WordPress.org and click on the Download WordPress button.

A WordPress zip file will now be downloaded to your laptop or PC. Once you extract the file, you will find a WordPress folder inside it.

Now, use your FTP client to connect to your WordPress website. Once the connection is successful, you can go to your root folder.

Open your WordPress folder in the left column of your computer. Just highlight the wp-includes and wp-admin folders. Now right-click and then choose Upload.

Your FTP client will be transferring those files to your server. You will then be asked if you want to overwrite the files. Choose Overwrite.

Your old WordPress files will now be replaced with newer copies. If any of your old WordPress files were corrupted, hopefully, this will fix your internal server error.

2. Syntax Error
When you are adding codes to your WordPress snippets and then you miss some codes or typed incorrect syntax, a syntax error occurs. As a result, there will be a PHP parse error and you will see something like this:

Parse error- syntax error, unexpected $end in /public_html/site1/wp-content/themes/my-theme/functions.php on line 278

In order to fix the issue, you need to edit the code. A lot of beginners freak out because when you get this kind of error, it becomes pretty difficult to access the whole website.

For instance, if you entered your code through WordPress admin at the Appearance » Editor section, if a syntax error occurred and then you would be locked out. So what do you do then? Well, you can always your FTP client to connect to your website.

First, you have to install an FTP program. Once you have, you can connect to your website and then go to the file that needs editing.

Syntax errors aren’t like internal server errors wherein the issue is vague to the user. Syntax error messages usually tell you which line and file that needs to be edited.

Once you have edited the code, you can save it and then upload it to the server again.

3. Missing Stylesheets
Imagine that you downloaded a WordPress theme that you really liked. You were eagerly waiting for it to be installed. Just when you thought you could finally see your website in all its glory, you saw that there was a failure in the installation. The error notification said something about missing stylesheets. What does this mean and how do you fix it?

One way to fix this would be to look for the folder where you kept the theme and then put it on your Desktop. Try to open it. You can expect all your files to be there. Otherwise, the theme must be in a subdirectory. If that is the case then you need to locate your theme. Don’t worry because it is most likely in a place that is obvious. A lot of times, the theme folder is named exactly what the theme is called.

When you find it, you can zip it and then upload it again via FTP or WordPress.

4. The Homepage Does Not Look Anything Like The Demo
It would be amazing if every theme that you install on your website would look exactly how it looked when you were looking at the demo.

Take the Total Theme for example. Once you install this theme, you will see that it looks precisely the way it looked when you were just viewing it. Unfortunately, not all themes are like that.

Let’s look at a couple of reasons why some themes don’t look just the way they should.

One reason could be that the reading settings are all wrong. Some themes require a homepage. Others don’t. There are times when your settings do not correspond to the requirement of your theme.

To fix this, you need to go to Settings > Reading and check everything under “Front Page Displays.”

If it says that your theme does not need a homepage then you need to set your homepage layout to ”Your latest posts.” If your theme requires a homepage then you can set the layout to a static homepage.

There is also a second solution to this problem. It could be that you need to set a homepage template for your theme.

You may find that there are a lot of developers that make use of custom homepage templates. This does not, in any way, mean that you should do the same. First and foremost, you need to read the documentation files. If you don’t see any template there, you can create a new page.

After that, you need to head over to Page Attributes > Template and check to see if there any homepage templates. If you find one then you need to create a new page using this template. After you saved and published it, you can go to Settings > Reading and then set it as your static homepage.

Due to the simplicity of WordPress, some people are led to believe that managing a website is easier than it actually is. The theme issues that we have discussed here are the most basic ones but it will most definitely help you go around WordPress.

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