Quick and Easy Steps to Fix a Broken Theme in WordPress

WordPress is a popular content management system that allows users to create and customize their own blogs. One of the key features of WordPress is its ability to use themes, which control the look and feel of a blog. However, sometimes themes can become broken, causing layout issues or even preventing the blog from loading properly. In this blog post, we will discuss what a broken theme is, the common causes of broken themes, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to fix them. We will also share some tips for preventing future theme breakages.

What is a broken theme in WordPress?

A broken theme in WordPress refers to a theme that is not functioning as intended. This can manifest in various ways, such as distorted layouts, PHP errors, or even the inability to access the blog at all. When a theme is broken, it can negatively impact the user experience and make the blog appear unprofessional. It is important to fix a broken theme promptly to ensure the smooth operation of your WordPress website.

The importance of fixing a broken theme

Fixing a broken theme is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, a broken theme can lead to a poor user experience, causing visitors to navigate away from your blog. This can result in a loss of traffic and potential customers. Secondly, a broken theme can reflect poorly on your brand or business, giving the impression of a lack of professionalism or attention to detail. Finally, a broken theme may indicate underlying issues with your WordPress installation or plugins, which could potentially compromise the security of your website. Therefore, it is important to address and fix any broken themes as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Broken Themes

There are several common causes of broken themes in WordPress:

Incompatible plugins

Plugins are add-ons that enhance the functionality of your WordPress website. However, some plugins may not be compatible with certain themes, leading to conflicts and resulting in a broken theme. It is important to ensure that all plugins installed on your website are compatible with your chosen theme.

Outdated WordPress version

WordPress releases regular updates to improve security, fix bugs, and introduce new features. If you are using an outdated version of WordPress, it may not be fully compatible with your theme, causing it to break. It is essential to keep your WordPress installation up to date to avoid compatibility issues.

Theme conflicts

Using multiple themes or switching between themes can sometimes lead to conflicts, especially if the themes have conflicting coding or styles. This can result in a broken theme and inconsistent design elements. It is recommended to stick to one theme and avoid frequent theme changes to minimize the risk of conflicts.

Incorrect file permissions

File permissions control who can read, write, and execute files on your server. If the file permissions for your theme files are set incorrectly, it can cause issues and potentially break your theme. It is important to ensure that the file permissions are properly configured to prevent any problems.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Broken Theme

If you encounter a broken theme in WordPress, follow these steps to fix it:

Identify the issue

The first step in fixing a broken theme is to identify the specific issue. This can be done by observing any error messages or visual abnormalities on your website. It may also involve checking the theme’s code for any errors or conflicts.

Disable problematic plugins

If you suspect that a plugin is causing the issue, deactivate all plugins and check if the theme starts working properly. If it does, you can then reactivate the plugins one by one to identify the culprit. This will help you pinpoint the problematic plugin and take appropriate action, such as updating it or finding an alternative.

Update WordPress and theme

Keeping your WordPress installation and theme up to date is crucial for maintaining compatibility and preventing issues. Check for updates in the WordPress dashboard and update both WordPress core and your theme to the latest versions. This can often resolve compatibility issues and fix a broken theme.

Resolve theme conflicts

If you have multiple themes installed or have recently switched themes, it is possible that conflicts between the themes are causing the issue. In this case, choose one theme and deactivate or delete the others. This will help eliminate any conflicts and restore the functionality of your chosen theme.

Fix file permission issues

If incorrect file permissions are causing the broken theme, you will need to adjust them. Access your server files through an FTP client and navigate to the theme folder. Right-click on the folder, select “File Permissions” or “Properties,” and ensure that the permissions are set correctly. Typically, the permissions should be set to 755 for folders and 644 for files.

Tips for Preventing Future Theme Breakages

To avoid encountering broken themes in the future, consider implementing the following tips:

Keep plugins and themes updated

Regularly updating your plugins and themes ensures that you have the latest bug fixes, security patches, and compatibility improvements. This reduces the risk of encountering issues or conflicts that may break your theme.

Test new plugins before installing

Before installing a new plugin, thoroughly test it on a staging or development site to ensure compatibility with your theme and existing plugins. Thiscan help you identify any potential issues before they affect your live website.

Make regular backups

Creating regular backups of your WordPress website allows you to quickly restore a previous version in case of theme breakage or other issues. This can save you time and effort in troubleshooting and fixing problems.

Use a child theme

A child theme is a separate theme that inherits the functionality and design of its parent theme. By making changes to a child theme instead of the parent theme, you can preserve your customizations even when the parent theme is updated. This prevents any conflicts or issues caused by theme updates.


Fixing a broken theme in WordPress may seem daunting, but with the right approach and knowledge, you can quickly resolve the issue and get your website back up and running. By identifying the cause of the problem, disabling problematic plugins, updating WordPress and the theme, resolving theme conflicts, and fixing file permission issues, you can effectively fix a broken theme. Implementing the tips for preventing future theme breakages will further ensure the smooth operation of your WordPress website and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

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