This article is for advanced users that understand the file structure of WordPress core files on the host. It provides you with information on how to troubleshoot  issues with your themes and plugins.

Most CMS's like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla can detect if a theme or plugin is missing. Occasionally a broken theme or plugin will disable the site so badly that it is impossible to login to fix the problem from the dashboard. If this is the problem then there are 2 ways to repair the site.

  • Rename the folder that contains the plugin or theme.
  • Edit the database.

The easiest way is to rename the offending folder. 

If it is a problem with a theme, navigate to the correct directory. For WordPress it is /wp-content/themes/ simply rename the problem directory and re test the installation.


If the problem is with a plugin, navigate to the correct directory for the plugin and rename the problem folder. For WordPress it is /wp-content/plugins/

When renaming a directory does not solve the problem open phpMyAdmin and select the correct database, if you're not sure check the config file. Using WordPress as our example, the file would be named wp-config.php file.

Once phpMyAdmin is open with the correct database find the correct table:

  •  In this case it would be wp_options, choose browse, then edit the 'template' and the 'stylesheet' tables, specifically lines 45 and 46. 
  • Change the name to "twentyten" which is the default theme and click go. This will allow you to log into the back end and continue building your site.

INFO: Make sure after you have fixed the problems you delete un-needed files.

If neither of these solutions fixed the issue then turn your search towards the scripts forums.

TIP: Please see more articles regarding WordPress here.