Website's WordPress Theme Not Working? 7 Ways to Fix It
WordPress is an amazing tool that powers approximately 39.5% of all websites online today. That’s nearly 711,000 websites! One of the aspects of WordPress that millions of users gravitate toward is the easy-to-use themes. Instead of having to understand the inner workings of HTML coding, users can simply choose one of the nearly 8,367 WordPress themes currently available, and use it to get their initial site off the ground. While that’s a great way to get started, what happens when your WordPress theme is not working?
That depends on the reason why your theme isn’t working. While there are some easy troubleshooting techniques worth trying, others may involve a bit more elbow grease or outside help to fix.
Why Your WordPress Theme May Not Be Working
The White Screen of Death
We’ve all heard of the blue screen of death that indicates a fatal system error. WordPress users have a similar expression for a common problem called the white screen of death. When this happens, it’s usually caused by a PHP error or a database error and results in a blank white screen with no information on it. This can be caused by several issues, including activating a new WordPress theme or a malfunctioning plugin.
Internal Server Error
This is a very common error message that means there’s a problem with the server that hosts your WordPress site. The most common cause of this error is a plugin malfunctioning, but several other issues can also cause it.
Error Establishing Database Connection
As the name suggests, this error occurs when your WordPress site can’t connect to your database. A faulty plugin or corrupt code usually causes this error.
Error Saving Data
This error is triggered by corruption in your WordPress database. If you see this error, you’ll likely need to backup your site, delete the corrupted database, and restore it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the errors that can occur when your WordPress theme is not working, but it does cover some of the most common issues. Now that you understand why your WordPress theme might not be working, let’s dive in and look at some of the solutions you can try.
WordPress Theme Not Working: 7 Ways to Troubleshoot the Issue
If you’ve experienced any of the above issues, then you understand just how frustrating it is when your WordPress theme fails. The good news? There are some simple tricks that you can try to help resolve the issue.
1. Update Your Theme and Plugins
One of the most common causes of a WordPress theme not working is that it’s outdated. WordPress theme developers release updates to fix bugs, patch security holes, and make other improvements to their themes. Similarly, WordPress plugin developers release updates to fix bugs and improve the way their plugins work.
Make sure that you have the latest version of both WordPress and your themes and plugins installed, so you can prevent running into issues.
2. Reactivate Your Theme
If you do not see the changes you made to your WordPress theme, you may need to reactivate it. To do this, you’ll need to go to your WordPress dashboard and click Appearance in the left-side menu. Then you’ll want to click Themes and choose your theme from the list. Click Activate to reactivate your theme.
3. Clear Your Theme's Cache
If your WordPress theme is not working, clearing your theme’s cache may help resolve the issue. To do this, you’ll need to log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance in the left-side menu. Then you’ll want to click Themes and choose your theme from the list. Finally, click the Actions button and choose Clear Cache.
Likewise, you may also want to simply try clearing your browser’s cache to see if that helps to resolve the problem.
4. Deactivate All Plugins
Sometimes a WordPress theme not working can be caused by a malfunctioning plugin. If you have an extensive list of plugins, it can be hard to pinpoint which one is causing the problem. To solve this, you may want to try deactivating all your plugins and then reactivating them one at a time to see if that helps to fix the issue.
5. Convert to a Default WordPress Theme or Try a New Theme
If you’re still experiencing issues with your WordPress theme, then you may want to try switching to a default WordPress theme or try a new theme altogether. You can do this by going to Appearance in the left-side menu and choosing Themes. Then you’ll want to click the Add New button and select the theme you want to use.
6. Restore Your Website
If none of the above methods help resolve your issue, you may want to try restoring your website to a previous version. To do this, you’ll need to log into your WordPress dashboard and choose Tools from the left-side menu. Then you’ll want to click Backups and click the Restore button.
7. Contact Your Hosting Provider or WordPress Themes Provider
If these steps do not work, contact your hosting provider or the provider of your WordPress theme to see if they can help you resolve the issue.