When Good Themes Go Bad – Graphene Theme

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I think it would be a pretty safe bet to say that most of us who use the wonderful WordPress platform for our websites are in no way, shape, or form fantastic coders. In my case, I can do some basic trouble shooting, but anything extraordinarily elaborate will stump me.

So what the hell do we do when we go in to our admin area, see that our theme has a new upgrade available, click that old “Update Theme” button, and ….. Crap…. My site’s broken.

Well, that’s just what happened this morning when I attempted to update a site that uses the Graphene theme.  I had version installed and it was jumping up to version 2.0 . When things go from 1.something to 2.something, that often indicates some really significant chages, so I probably should have been a little less surprised and a little more prepared. 🙂

The update actually broke both the front end and the back end, so I couldn’t just log in and deactivate the Graphene Theme. I’m currently working on a Chromebook, so I don’t have access to the FTP client that I would normally use to just remove the theme. For a split second I thought I was temporarily screwed.

But, I forgot about good old cPanel access, which I haven’t used in quite a while. A quick log in there and a short trip to the file manager where I simply changed the name of the Graphene folder and the site reverts to the default theme, so I can regain access to the WP admin area and change to a different theme until the Graphene situation is sorted out.

If I had been a responsible WP user, this is where I would have restored the backup I made before updating the theme. Alas, in this case, I did not do a backup. So I’ll just keep an eye out on the Graphene support areas to see what happens.

I like the theme but I’m not married to it, so I’ll have to decide if I want to take the time and go through the process of troubleshooting to see if it was just a plugin conflict. Otherwise, I’ll simply find another theme and/or tweak the theme that I switched to. One other site I have uses Graphene. Naturally, I did not update that version yet. 😉

Ahhh, the good and bad of this lovely open source platform.

On a slightly ironic note, late last night I had replied to a craigslist ad seeking help building a site in WP. The site that broke this morning was one of the ones I emailed to this person as a sample of some of the tinkering I do. A broken site would make such a lovely impression.

Hopefully, most people that updated their Graphene themes had more luck than I did. It can be so frustrating.

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