Theme keeps reverting to Default

I updated this blog to WordPress 2.2. However, the theme keeps reverting from K2 to Default. I don’t know why.

If you can offer any help or point me in some direction, that’d be awesome. (I won’t be home for a few hours, so I’ll be out of touch until then.)

These are the plugins currently installed:

All Narfed Up WordPress Plugins as of 6/18/2007 All Narfed Up WordPress Plugins as of 6/19/2007

Updated 6/20/07 8:30am – Other than the database, I deleted and uploaded everything again. The plugins were reinstalled essentially from scratch, meaning I went to each website and redownloaded them. I cut even more out, because some of the developers didn’t seem to have updated their plugins to support WordPress 2.2.

The following are installed:

Akismet 2.0.2, Bad Behavior 2.0.10, Disable WordPress Widgets 1.0, FeedBurner FeedSmith 2.2, Full Text Feed 1.03, Remove Dashboard Feeds 1.0, Subscribe To Comments 2.1, Taragana’s mp3 Player Plugin 1.0, Stats 1.0, WordPress Database Backup 2.1.2.

I think the problem still remains. Now what?

Update 6/20/07 8:40am – I wonder if it’s this bug ticket, #3907 “WP reverts to default theme on file access collision”. It’s four months old, though!

Update 6/20/07 6:25pm – In WordPress Support, this is an unresolved issue. Other than the forums, it’s weird that I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere. The workaround for now is to rename the folder of the theme I want to use to “Default.” Done. Things seems fine again.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. He's also a photographer and card magician. He loves reading — especially with Instapaper — and, at the moment, watching Family Guy reruns. Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!

42 thoughts on “Theme keeps reverting to Default”

  1. (disclaimer: i kind of don’t know that much about wordpress, but these are off the top of my head…)

    wow, that’s a lot of plug-ins. have you tried turning all plug-ins off and then going back and turning them on one by one (while checking your site in between each plugin)?

    also, i think the theme reverts to default when something is broken with your current theme’s stylesheet. try running your site through the CSS and XHTML validators.


  2. Well, I’m not exactly sure what the problem is, but I can offer a few suggestions. You’ll definitely want to do what Annie recommended above. That’s the most fool-proof WordPress troubleshooting method.

    Before you do that, you’ll want to upgrade to the latest version of Akismet (v2.0.2), it’s included with WordPress v2.2. Then, make sure you’re running the latest version of K2 (v0.9.6).

    I also agree with Annie that you have “a lot of plug-ins”. You may want to consider retiring some of them, especially if you haven’t made use of them lately and they haven’t been confirmed as compatible with WordPress v2.2 or at least v2.1


  3. @annie and @James: Thanks you two! I’m more vigorous this morning. With deactivating and deleting plugins that are obsolete.

    I overlooked Akismet. On, it states that it’s at 2.0. That should be changed.

    About the theme being broken: I’m using the latest version of K2 (v0.9.6).


  4. Here’s what I’m running right now:

    Akismet 2.0.2, Bad Behavior 2.0.10, Chunk URLs for WordPress 2.0, Disable WordPress Widgets 1.0, FeedBurner FeedSmith 2.2, Full Text Feed 1.03, Obfuscate E-mail 0.9, Optimal Title 3.0, Permalink Redirect 0.7.0, Subscribe to Comments 2.1, Taragana’s mp3 Player Plugin 1.0, Stats 1.0, WordPress Database Backup 2.0

    I’ve cross-checked these at the Plugin Compatibility/2.2 page.


  5. That’s good to hear. At least you found a work-around, but I’d like to know what caused the problem, if this bug is ever resolved.

    I noticed that the feed.png image in the front page’s sidebar next to “My” is still linked to /k2/images/feed.png, so you may want to take a quick look through your blog for other missing images.


  6. Whoops, sorry about the double-post-ish comment. I’m not sure what caused that massive brain-skip, but it’s pretty cool that I wrote exactly the same second sentence in both comments.


  7. @James: Thanks man, awesome commenting. ;)

    I’m sick of all this, so I’m going to San Diego for the weekend. I’m just kidding, but seriously. Haha!


  8. I just find it odd that you would be encountering such an issue, whereas I do not. Mind you, you do have a fair more plugins and are quite a bit more active..


  9. This bug is present in the out-of-the-box install of 2.3.1 with no plugins added or activated.

    I installed the same code for two different sites, same environment. One never reverts, one always reverts with any unmodified theme I’ve tried.

    This problem apparently exists across the WP product line (.com, mu, .org) and has been around for almost two years.


  10. @Charlie: Why link to that thread? Because it hasn’t been officially resolved, so at the time, I was hoping someone could help.

    It doesn’t matter anymore – I’m going to upgrade to the latest version in the next few days.


  11. Here is what I can add – from having the same problems.

    1. I think we can toss out themes being the culprit. No expert here, but considering many of you have tried stock known workable themes, I think that is must be something else.

    2. Of the plugins mentioned, I have only recently installed ONE. My problems started right after that. That was WordStats. I still have it installed, but more on that in a minute.

    3. My wordpress based site started going down REGULARLY when I loaded and tried to activate and use WordPress Mobile. Every time I tried to load a page on the phone, it crashed i.e., made wordpress drop the theme it was on- and since I had deleted the “Default” theme, I got a blank screen.

    4. My wordpress blog is one an outside server. That is, it is not on wordpress’s site. The only reason I can think that this MIGHT be related is, once WordPress Mobile was removed, the site only went down/blank at NIGHT, while I slept. Could it be that the update of WordStats runs into some kind of conflict when it tries to get data? Does it try to get summary data for the day’s activity at night?

    For now, I am going to try to keep going with Worpress Stats (even though it doesn’t do anything for me) and change my new theme to “Default”, and see what happens.

    I am on 2.3.1, by the way, Mac, Safari and Firefox. Not that those should matter.


  12. What I have done so far is simply two things.
    1. Deactivate AND remove WP Stats.

    2. CHANGE the folder of the theme I want to have as the active one to “default”. This must be done at the admin/server level. Be sure to make sure that your theme is not two folders deep. Sometimes there is another folder on the inside of the first, and it has the same original name on it.

    So far, and it has only been just over a day, I have not had the site go down. I AM holding my breath on it…


  13. WP Stats was installed on my REMOTE hosted ISP. I had no idea when I first set it up that it needed to be a WP hosted blog to access and account for the numbers. At least, I am assuming that is necessary, as I never saw a single stat accumulated.

    My concern over WP stats in that configuration was that it might be causing problems when it updated or tried to “count” types of data.

    This of course should not create a problem on a WP hosted blog.

    If you are running it on a remotely hosted registered IP blog, I would like to know – so I could use it!


  14. I have a free blog, so I have that API key. However, this plugin is activated on my blog. (The one that you have to install and update yourself on your own server.)

    I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense. I didn’t understand your wording. WP *does* mean WordPress, but .com and .org are two different entities.


  15. No- I did not reinstall it. That call out in the code they suggest is nothing more than a way to post some of the data on your page, no?

    This would not fix that the data was not accumulating in the first place.

    When I had this plugin installed, it never (over the period of days) ever accumulated data. You can call up the data in the admin mode. All of the data fields were empty.


  16. The plugin requires that wp_footer code needs to be in your theme in order for the plugin to work. It doesn’t post data on your page. It allows the plugin and Stats to generate stats.


  17. I think there is some kind of DB conflict with the postratings plugin. When I install stats, I get ”

    WordPress database error: [Too many keys specified; max 64 keys allowed]
    ALTER TABLE `wp_Counterize` ADD INDEX ( `timestamp` );

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/XXXXXX/public_html/conservativeoasis-com/wp-includes/wp-db.php:160) in /home/XXXXXX/public_html/conservativeoasis-com/wp-content/plugins/postratings/postratings.php on line 826



  18. Yeah, I’m not sure what the problem is. I guess my whole point is that Stats does work, that’s all.

    If there’s conflicts with other plugins, you should bring that up at the WordPress forums.

    I wish I was an awesome coder so I can help you out. :)


  19. I wish I was a mediocre coder!!!!!

    Thanks for the help anyway. I have sitemeter installed. It works without conflict. You should check it out if you have not ever seen it. It is slick. Has world maps of hits, tons of data. Nice layout. Free version is quite good.


  20. Sure thing, RB. (What stinks is that Akismet kept marking you ask spam after the 4th comment. I kept having to mark your comments as legit. we should’ve probably took to it email. No worries, though.)

    I’ve heard of SiteMeter before, but was drawn to Stats because it doesn’t track my visits.

    Similarly, people seem to like Mint (Stats) and CrazyEgg, too.


  21. I was thinking the same thing about email. Did not know Akismet was getting me though. I did have a code to input once. Thought all was well after that.

    Sitemeter does not count me. There is an ignore, by IP addy, I think.


  22. Ok. I read through all of this as I was suddenly having the same problem after a stable theme for several weeks. I had just last week turned on WordPress Mobile Edition… I turned it off and theme stbility returned. Maybe its something to do with plugins for your website to be seen on a cell phone – but if your theme has 3 columns (as mine does) then this plugin is trying to convert it back to 2 columns for cell phone viewing? So sorry cell phone users… My site doesn’t cater to you….


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