Support » Fixing WordPress » Blank Appearance/Menus page

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • How did you create the menu that shows on the front end?

    Thread Starter accucomm

    (@accucomm)

    Hi Joy:

    Thank you for answering so quickly.

    Here’s the long version.

    This site has been off the Internet for about one year. Before that it was hosted by Bluehost, where it got hacked.

    I had a plugin called Updraft installed that would back up my site every seven days to Amazon S3. The site that I have running on DesktopServer came from a backup that was from 90 days before I got hacked, so I don’t think it was contaminated.

    It’s the oldest backup I had and the only way that I have to bring the site back to life.

    We’re talking about a blog with over 300 posts. The last 9 years of my life are in there.

    Not only can I not see the menus on my dashboard, but if I attempt to create new ones I can’t see those either.

    After I installed the site on DesktopServer I replaced everything in my site folder except for the “wp-content” directory and the “wp-config.php” files. So I don’t think it’s a file problem. I have a feeling that it’s something in the database, but there I’m way past my level of expertise.

    Moderator bcworkz

    (@bcworkz)

    Apparently the menu seen is baked into the header template somehow, outside the WP menu scheme. The WP menu system is completely ignored. Figure out which template file the menu is coming from. You can either continue to edit however the menu is generated or replace it with a call to <?php wp_nav_menu(); ?>. This call will output the first menu defined through the menus admin screen.

    Whatever you do, make a backup of the file before making changes so you have a recovery path in case it doesn’t work out.

    Thread Starter accucomm

    (@accucomm)

    You went way over my head with your explanation. I have no idea how to do any of what you suggest.

    Is there a plain English (for mere mortals) equivalent of what you suggest?

    Moderator bcworkz

    (@bcworkz)

    Sorry for the tech jargon. Explaining it differently isn’t going to suddenly give you knowledge you don’t have and maybe have no desire to acquire. Coding is not for everyone. I’m willing to take a look at your theme’s template file if you could paste the file contents into pastebin.com. Determine what theme you are using, then locate its folder by that name in /wp-content/themes/. In that folder should be a header.php file. Open the file in a plain text editor like TextEdit. Do not use a word processor for this.

    Copy the entire file’s content and paste it into the appropriate field for a new “paste” at pastebin.com. Provide the resulting link here.

    Thread Starter accucomm

    (@accucomm)

    Hi:

    I’m not totally ignorant about WordPress. It’s just that my background is not in computer programming. In fact, it’s in business communications. However, I’ve tinkered with WordPress for over 10 years, so I do have some notion of what’s what.

    My theme is called “Parabola”. I looked it up in my “websites” folder and copied the code from the “header.php” file to a program called Text Wrangler (remember, I’m running the site on DesktopServer on a Mac). From there I copied it to pastebin.com (like you asked). The URL is https://pastebin.com/cH3cicxZ.

    I also downloaded a fresh copy of “Parabola” to my desktop and compared the fresh copy of the “header.php” file to the one that obtained from my “Websites” folder. For that I used a software called “Compare/Merge”. They seem to be identical.

    The reason why I think it’s a database problem is because I changed my theme to “twentynineteen” and the problem prevailed. Furthermore, the menus don’t disappear on the front end of my site. They disappear in my dashboard.

    Moderator bcworkz

    (@bcworkz)

    Thank you for posting the file contents. Also for your brief experience summary, that is helpful to me in composing meaningful answers. Your front end menu comes from a theme function called cryout_access_hook(). That may or may not invoke the WP menu system. Finding the pertinent code declaration that tells me so for sure would be difficult through this forum format. We could simply replace this with wp_nav_menu() without concern over what the current code is doing. The problem then would be that the related CSS will likely be incompatible.

    In any case I misunderstood where the menus were disappearing from, so my entire theory of what’s wrong goes out the window. If the menus you define do not persist in the back end, there is much more wrong than just a bespoke menu scheme like I thought. Let’s eliminate potential sources of conflict. Please switch back to twentynineteen again, and also deactivate all plugins. You should be able to save a menu now and it should appear on the front end.

    Restore your plugins, one at a time, checking for menu issues after each activation. When the menus go wonky again, the last activated plugin is causing a conflict.

    If by chance the menus are still a problem with twentynineteen and no plugins, you should perform a manual update. Even if your installation is up to date, obtain a fresh WP download and upload the files to your server as directed anyway.

    Thread Starter accucomm

    (@accucomm)

    Hi:

    Sorry that I took some time to reply but I was working on the latest episode of my podcast that goes live tomorrow.

    I did everything that you suggested. I installed twentynineteen and activated it and turn off all my plugins and the problem prevailed. I then downloaded a fresh copy of WordPress and replaced everything except the wp-content.php file and the content folder. The problem prevailed. Now I’m convinced that the problem is in the database.

    I was thinking. Is there a way to extract all the content from this blog and bring it into a fresh installation? That way I would create everything new (including the database and only import the copy and images.

    Does that make any sense?

    I posted a copy of how everthing looks right now at: https://www.accuratecommunications.com/Wordpress-Tech-Support-Picadillo-Dashboard-Menus.png

    Moderator bcworkz

    (@bcworkz)

    Thanks for doing all of that. Yes, since the DB is all that is left that we haven’t eliminated as a possibility, it must be the cause. I assume you can save regular posts without issue. What’s strange is menu items are simply a special type of post. Saving a menu item involves the exact same process as saving blog posts and pages. The items are related to a menu by a special taxonomy. That aspect uses the same process as assigning a category or tag to a post. It’s hard for me to imagine why one would work but menus do not.

    Anyway, you can export all posts, pages, and attachments without exporting everything else using the standard export tool available in the admin menu. You then can import the exported file using the WordPress Importer plugin, which can be installed from the same tools menu. I recommend you setup a completely new DB and update wp-config.php with the pertinent details. Run /wp-admin/install.php as for a new site to get basic functionality so you can run the import tool.

    If you cannot create a new DB for some reason, then at least change the value assigned to $table_prefix in wp-config.php, then run install.php. This way brand new tables will be created.

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