Support » Fixing WordPress » thank you wordpress… not. Your auto upgrade broke my site

  • Resolved cnwilsonbellsouthnet


    Thank you wordpress. Your auto-update broke my site. Now when I try to add a new page, I no longer have the option to select a particular template.

    I had created several custom templates (which took hours and hours to construct) and now the option to use them is gone. Existing pages that used these templates are now using the same old standard page. To make matters worse, the template files that I created are no longer on my server; they have been deleted.

    I’ll be finding something else to use right away. If it wasn’t such a hassle, I’d file a suit.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
  • Same here … The STUPID 4.5 completely destroyed my live site … Now what am I supposed to do? I was running Enfold Theme, no all the structure is there but no content … WHO WILL PAY FOR THIS????


    @cnwilsonbellsouthnet – Did you make those changes to your theme inside a child theme? It sounds like you didn’t from your rather terse description of your problem.

    As much as you’re not going to like hearing this, putting all theme changes into a child theme has been recommended for years, pretty much ever since child themes were developed. That’s been recommended because it solves the exact problem that you’ve found – any modifications are over-written and removed when the theme/plugin/core code is next updated.

    For you, I’d recommend asking your hosting company to restore a backup from a day or two ago before the update was applied. When that’s done, you’ll need to go back and copy all of the modified theme files into a new child theme before you upgrade again. This will let your modifications stay.

    @ahmedmusawir – Your issue is completely 100% different to cnwilsonbellsouthnet’s problem, so a “me too” here doesn’t help anyone and only helps to inflame the situation. I can understand that you’re frustrated, but talking like that sure won’t help to get help from the “stupid stupid people” that are all volunteers here and don’t get paid to give you assistance.

    As your site is a money-maker, I’d have to assume that you’d have a plan for something like this happening? Even if it’s something as simple as a developer or company that you know that can look at things if something breaks is realyl all that you need. Yes, this will cost you money, but you say that your website being “broken” is costing you income, so it’s a pretty standard business trade off.

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator


    Yes, the first beta release of WordPress 4.5 was made publicly available nearly 2 months ago on February 25:

    The full release schedule of WordPress 4.5 was publicly available at

    When ready, WordPress 4.6’s release schedule will be publicly announced at and its first beta release will be publicly announced at

    We do understand the frustration of the situation you’re in now, and we hope you’ll be able to participate in testing next time, so any bugs you encounter can be forwarded along to the WordPress developers (or your plugin/theme developers) before the release is finalized.

    It also broke Cardinal Theme. I use child theme 100% of the time. And trust me, you’ll be hearing from a lot of people …

    Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator

    You’ll need to contact the theme’s developer about that:

    WordPress is built by volunteers and offered for free. There are 3,823 themes and 44,008 plugins in the free directories alone, and there is absolutely no way the volunteers developing WordPress can take the time to ensure that every single plugin and theme remains compatible.

    Instead, we have a lengthy public beta period during which we trust that the developers of themes and plugins (especially those making a living from them) will test and issue fixes as necessary. As mentioned, 4.5’s release schedule is detailed at with the first beta publicly released almost 2 months ago on February 25:

    While every attempt is made to preserve compatibility, we have to leave it up to the theme and plugins developers to ensure compatibility for their customers/users, and I am sorry that in this instance your theme’s developer did not.

    @ahmedmusawir – As I said before, your issue doesn’t seen to be anything to do with your theme. BUT, since this has happened, have you tried any of the standard debugging methods? Changing to a default (Twenty*) theme, disabling all plugins, etc? If those help, then it’s a theme or plugin issue. If they don’t help, then it’s most likely a database problem.

    And, as your theme is a commercial product, it’s up to the authors/vendors to keep up-to-date with the changes in WordPress. Do you expect WordPress to work exactly right with that theme, evne though it’s not actually available to anyone that’s never paid for it so there’s no way for any of the volunteers here to actually check it?

    For me there are two issues…
    One is that wordpress broke my site…
    The second is that someone was able to access my site and delete MY files. To me, this is the more serious concern… this borderlines on illegal activity. If you can delete MY files, then you can also gain access to sensitive data.
    Now you may want to tell me that this is in some user agreement that I clicked on, but in no way was there a meeting of the minds on this subject.

    My immediate plans are to discuss security options with my hosting company and then to re-develop my site using other tools. My site is a non-profit, community service site; it is funded completely out of my own pocket. I simply don’t need to have to deal with crap like this from a bunch of wanna-be hackers.

    @cnwilsonbellsouthnet: My guess as to what happened is that your custom page templates were located inside your /wp-content/themes/twentyfifteen/ or twentysixteen/ folder or the like?

    When you updated the TwentyWhatever theme, those changes you had made to the theme were overwritten with the new version of the theme.

    That isn’t something that WordPress would have updated automatically, it would have been something that you would have either had to manually opt in to via a plugin of some sort, or someone on your site clicked the button to upgrade the theme in question.

    In either case, that’s really not something that WordPress Core can prevent, as it’s an action on the part of the user.

    I’m sorry that you’re having a hard time this week — do you have some sort of backups available to you that you can restore? Either from a plugin, or perhaps your hosting company?

    Jason King



    someone was able to access my site and delete MY files.

    Why do you believe that happened? For example, have you seen a log or some other evidence? Isn’t that the least likely scenario, and it’s more likely this happened accidentally?

    In your first message you said that the WordPress update caused the problem. Now you’re saying it’s hackers. Which one of those scenarios is it, or are you just guessing? Because it could be something else entirely… and I have a suspicion what it might be.

    I work mainly with non-profits using WordPress, so am happy to spend as much time as it takes on this (entirely volunteer run, something I’m sure you appreciate) forum giving you advice and figuring out what’s gone wrong, provided you can calmly detail what’s happened. So let’s start:

    1) What’s the url of your site?

    2) Which theme are you using?

    3) Did you update the theme recently?

    4) Were you using a child theme? If not, and you’d been making edits to the main theme, then yes you could well lose all your custom templates if you upgraded it.

    5) When did you make your last full backup? Please tell me you make backups. Not doing so invites disaster!

    Jason King


    OK, both George above and myself are guessing along the same lines. We both think you’ve accidentally over-written your theme.

    Please answer the questions above, they will help confirm that.

    I upgraded to 4.5 this morning, a few hours later all my sites pages are loading blank. Any ideas? I’ve already had the site down 2 days updating theme/products and I really need to get this fixed. No I didn’t do a backup before the upgrade- stupid I know!

    Jason King


    @alynerothberg please start your own support question, rather than tag onto this one. Your problem is likely to have a different solution.

    There are several different responses and questions here. I will try to address them all.

    1. The wordpress update broke parts of my site.
    One of the issues is that, prior to the update, one could go to the pages/add page section and there was an option to select the approriate template for the new page. (Or change the template for an existing page) That option is now completely gone. I had a few pages using templates that I created from scratch. Now they use the default template.

    2. The wordpress update was done without my authorization or knowledge; it overwrote the 2016 theme package. In doing so, it also deleted several .php files that I had written.

    3. No I did not manually initiate an update, either intentionally or accidentally. I just installed this less than a month ago so why should I already need an update? I have not even finished initial development yet. I had not even been on the system on the day that this occurred. The new files are time-stamped Apr 12, 4:09pm. I’m at work at that time and I can’t get on the system until I get home. And just an fyi to the gentleman who said that wordpress would not have updated the theme automatically…. Well clearly they did. WordPress files and the 2016 theme files all have the same new time stamp on them.

    5. I did not make edits to the original theme. I simply created several custom page templates. (And wordpress deleted them.) Further, even if I restore or recreate them, they will no longer work because of the change wordpress made (#1 above). I find this counterproductive to a product that boasts and encourages modifications to “make it your own.”

    4. I never said that hackers did this. I simply likened wordpress to hackers. Anyone that gains write/delete access to my site without my approval is, in my mind, a hacker. No hard feelings as that would even include my lovely bride.

    5. Truthfully, the damage to my site can be fixed. I’m pretty angry about the amount of time I spent and now it’s in the toilet…. but it can be fixed. Of course, I’m also angry about the amount of time it will take to fix it. BUT… I am most angry about wordpress “hacking” into my site. It’s that same kind of feeling one gets after their home has been burglarized.

    6. The URL… well I’ve had to remove some of the links to the broken pieces until I can get them fixed. Thankfully much of my site is straight up html so that part is still good. What’s left is at

    Theme 2016.. no child theme … no I did not update the theme… but wordpress did. Yes I have my site backed up.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    I am most angry about wordpress “hacking” into my site. It’s that same kind of feeling one gets after their home has been burglarized.

    Who’s your host?

    Here’s why I’m asking: under no circumstances will WordPress update from 4.4.2 to 4.5 unless the following happened.

    1. You clicked on the update link, except you told us you didn’t.
      • A plugin updated it for you, and you’ve indicate that that’s not the case.
      • You or someone updated wp-config.php to put in a specific define to make your WordPress installation do that. That’s not really trivial and whoever did that had to know what they were doing.

    None of that happens by accident. I absolutely believe you when you say you were upgraded but I’d really like to understand how that happened to you.

    As I’ve said, WordPress will not upgrade from 4.4.2 to 4.5 and determining if it was your host will be helpful. You have backups (and that’s good) but if your host did it then this may happen to you again even if you roll back.

    They’ve been back to see me again. I just logged in (for the first time today) and now other themes, one that are installed but not in use, were updated, too.
    5:43am this morning. (While I was sleeping)

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
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