Support » Networking WordPress » Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _verifyactivate_widget()

  • Hello, I currently have a domain-based multisite version of wordpress installed with a primary blog (my first WP blog) and a secondary blog (my second WP blog). I want to give each blog a different theme.

    I created the theme for the SECONDARY blog first using the “Bigsquare” WP theme and it works well. Now I want to go back to the primary blog and create a theme based on the “Hybrid Skeleton” theme but I’m having the following problem:

    Whenever I try to activate the “Skeleton” theme I get a message like:

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _verifyactivate_widget() (previously declared in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/skeleton/functions.php:52) in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/hybrid/functions.php on line 427

    I’m sure this must have been asked before, but I can’t find the answer: can someone tell me what this message refers to? I imagine it has something to do with widgets, but I’ve tried de-sctivating and re-activating them all and I haven’t yet been able to identify what the problem is, or how to get round it.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Also, I can’t access the dashboard for the site that I tried to activate “skeleton” with, or my Network Admin dashboard.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    If you delete the theme folder, you should be able to get back in.

    Thanks for your help Ipstenu,

    I actually replaced the whole “public_html” folder with a previous version. I can now access the dashboard but only in a really weird way. Basically I keep getting this error message:

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _verifyactivate_widget() (previously declared in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/big-square-1.2/bigsquare/functions.php:16) in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/big-square-1.2/bigsquare/libs/functions/functions.php on line 134

    This error seems to occur whenever I try to load a page of the dashboard for my blog that uses the “bigsquare” theme (or any page of the actual blog). I get round it by going to the file specified in the error message and replacing it with an old version of “functions.php” and refreshing the page that gave me the error message.

    This allows me to access the required page, but I have to do this every time I try to load a new page on the dashboard or the actual blog.

    All my plugins are de-activated for both blogs, and for the multisite network in general.

    I could try deleting the “big square” theme folder, re-installing it from scratch and then customizing it again, but
    a) is that necessary (because I spent ages customizing it)?
    b) will I just end up in the same position again regarding additional themes?

    Is there a problem with using different parent themes in general, or should I be able to figure this one out? Like I say, everything was working fine before I tried to activate a second theme and I thought that replacing the whole “public_html” folder would at least put things back the way they were, but now something must be changing the “functions.php” file.


    I found an instance of a similar issue here, but there is no solution given:

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    You need to get rid of that theme.


    Delete THAT folder. The theme is broken, and causing this.

    OK, thanks again for clarifying that.

    Once it has been removed, is it worth trying to re-install it from scratch, or is it always going to mess up?

    I’ll start trying to re-instal it anyway.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Depends on things 🙂

    Did you make modifications to the theme directly?

    Have you tried turning off all plugins?

    Yes, I changed one or two things in the header and footer using the “edit” button on the wordpress dashboard. I also used dreamweaver to edit a few things. I cant remember exactly what I changed but it was nothing major, just little pokes here and there (yeah right) to make the theme look a little bit different.

    But what I dont understand is that the problem persisted after I deleted the entire “public_html” folder and replaced it with a previous version from when it worked fine. So presumably there was something outside this folder that was messing things up.

    I’m going to try re-installing the “big square” theme and see what happens

    You could download your theme, reinstall, and then reintroduce the theme file by file until you identify which one contains the problem. functions.php is the most likely culprit.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Yeah, I’d get a clean copy of the theme from source.

    And make a child theme if you want to edit it!

    Hello, I tried re-installing the theme from scratch but the problem persisted. I also tried replacing the entire “public_html” folder with a version that worked previously and it still persisted.

    I’ve now tried switching themes to a theme called “trending”, which worked fine until I tried to create and activate a child theme, then I got a very similar error message:

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _verifyactivate_widget() (previously declared in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/trending_cgportfolio/functions.php:44) in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/trending/functions.php on line 272

    I dont have any activated plugins, can you recommend anything else?

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Deleted the massive codeblock.

    1) PLEASE use CODE tags, not blockquote.

    2) If your code is 10 lines or more, please post it to and link to it here. You make our spam filter unhappy 🙂

    When you make your child theme, you’re not copying down the functions.php into the child theme folder, are you?

    oh, sorry, i didn’t know about the code rules.


    No, thats not what I’m doing. I’m using an out-of-the-box child theme from here:

    The functions.php in the child theme folder looks fine right up to the point when I activate it on either of my blogs using the dashboard.
    At that point, a whole lot of code is coppied into it from somewhere – but I don’t know where.

    After that happens, I can replace it with a new version of functions.php, but again the same thing happens to it as soon as I access a new page on my dashboard or refresh the front-end blog page.

    There doesn’t seem to be a problem with parent themes, only child themes.

    I’d say that my wordpress has been hacked, only this seems a bit melodramatic.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Sidebar – Justin offers support for his themes on (it’s $25/year).

    Re-read that error eh?

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare _verifyactivate_widget() (previously declared in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/trending_cgportfolio/functions.php:44) in /home/artistf/public_html/wp-content/themes/trending/functions.php on line 272

    Trending is the parent theme, if THAT works, then it’s trending_cgportfolio.

    Did you download a FRESH copy of that theme from it’s source?

    Did YOU make that child theme or get it somewhere else?

    Did you make ANY changes to the child OR parent themes directly?

    Ok, just to backtrack, I tried it with trending_cgportfolio (where I only changed the name) AND also I tried it with a version of the fresh downloaded child theme sample that I linked to, with exactly the same results. As I recall, even the specified lines (eg, 272) were the same.

    I already signed up to Justin’s $25 support service, I’m waiting for him to get back to me about it.

    In the mean time, I’m backing everything up and basically preparing to totally re-write the blogs. This sounds like overkill but I havent been able to get to the bottom of this

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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