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HELP! My theme is broken Print

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Fairly regularly a 123host customer is editing a Wordpress theme and something breaks making the site completely unusable, including the admin section. It is so broken you can't even log in, there is an ugly error being displayed. Here's how to fix it.

WARNING:  The database is a dangerous area to mess with.  I am happy to help if you open a support ticket.

Log into your domain management panel:

cpanel login

Your login details are in the welcome email you should have received. If you can't find it, lodge a support ticketand it will be resent

Don't be intimidated by all the offerings in cpanel, it can be overwhelming. Also be careful you could break the internet...well, maybe just your kidding.

Scroll down and find the database section and phpMyAdmin. This is a way into the data in your database. Be careful here, follow the instructions closely.

database section

Once phpMyAdmin opens you'll see something like this. Assuming you only have one WordPress install you will only see one database. If you have more or are confused you should contact me - see link at the bottom


When it opens you will see something like the image below. You are looking at all the tables in the database, think of them as folders containing all the information on your website on bits of paper. Click browse next to wp_options

Fortunately I have done much of the work finding where to edit the database. Right now you are on page 1 of the list of options, we need to go to page 2, click the single arrow.


You need to edit the field named template. See it circled below? The current theme title is on the right where the arrow says "theme" in this case it is 'rtpanel'. To reset your site we are going to set the theme to one called twentyten.

Click the edit link on the left, the one that is on the template line.

Remember I said the database was like folders with bits of paper with information? Now you are editing one of those pieces of paper. Change the name of your current theme (circled) to twentyten. Yes exactly that, you can even copy and paste it twentyten

It should then look like this. Then click go (circled) to save it.

But we aren't quite done. Now that you have done that successfully, you need to do it again on the line below named stylesheet. Again, click edit, change the theme name to twentyten, click go to save.

Now, it is time to check. Leave phpMyAdmin open and in a new tab or window, open your website. You should see it with the default WordPress theme. Well Done! You can close phpMyAdmin now, no need to log out.

Next thing you need to do is figure out why the other theme broke. Sorry, that is outside the scope of what I can do here. Good luck!

Once you have it all fixed you need to make your site look great and then start adding content.

Get blogging already!

Need some help administered? Lost? Confused? Lodge a support ticket

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