I was troubleshooting a user’s blog yesterday and today, trying to find out why the theme preview showed a white page with unstyled text. It’s simply how the blog looks without a CSS stylesheet attached, but I wanted to pinpoint the problem. He was using 2.7.1 and I had a test installation on 2.7 that I wanted to upgrade to see if that was an issue. It wasn’t, but I ended up fragging my test WordPress install and had to reinstall it manually.

After uploading the files, setting up the database and running through the setup, I went to preview Flexibility 2 and got the dreaded white page in the preview window. Now I had two blogs that were not working correctly so I spent the better part of a day jumping between them and uninstalling/reinstalling both manually and with Fantastico.  I ended up fixing my install, but not the other one.  I’m checking to see what host he’s with, because I will recommend that nobody host with that company. The entire WordPress install was unwritable, you couldn’t use the theme editor without changing file permissions and even a permalinks change required manual editing of the .htaccess file.  What a joke.

Anyway, here’s the point of my post.  On my test blog, I took a look at the error log for the server and saw an error that read like this: [Wed Feb 18 17:21:24 2009] [error] [client 24.223.106.130] SoftException in Application.cpp:544: Directory “/home/maximuma/public_html/wp-content” is writeable by group

Obviously the server didn’t like the permissions that were set for the folder so I changed the permissions on the file to 755 and went back and previewed the theme again.  It worked like a charm. So if you preview the theme and you don’t get the stylesheet to link, take a look at your error log for your server and see if you have a permission issue on a file or folder.

2/20/09 Addendum: Also double check your folder structure of your theme.  I’ve had several people say they couldn’t get the theme to display (just the white, unstyled page) and their WordPress folder hierarchy looked something like this:  www/home/wp-content/themes/flexibility2/flexibility2/

This structure has one too many flexibility2 folders in it.  Make sure you only have one flexibility2 folder in the wp-content folder.  The zip file has one flexibility2 folder in it, so don’t add another one.  Just unzip and upload the flexibility2 folder via FTP.

Filed under: Theme Issues

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