Support » Themes and Templates » Theme Editing Frustrations

  • caitlin.drogemuller


    I understand that these questions will seem obvious to a lot of people, but I’m a newcomer to all of this, and I’m getting very, very frustrated with my website.

    As the new Public Relations Officer for a state-wide student organization, I adopted our website into my role. Previously, the organization had a website but drastically under utilized it, never updated it, etc. This past summer, the organization took a leap forward and made the website much more formal, creating an actual domain name ( and purchasing a template (Adapt by Appfinite). However, this organization has terrible administrative memory, and literally no one involved with purchasing the template is easily accessible anymore – leaving me with lots of questions and no answers.

    All I currently want to do is modify the theme slightly, just changing the background and text colors. However, this is proving nearly impossible for me.

    Under Appearance>Editor, I get the following message: “You need to make this file writable before you can save your changes. See the Codex for more information.” Here comes my frustration.

    I’ve read Codex and followed link after link after link for over two hours, and I still don’t understand how to change my permissions. I do not have the downloaded copy of the template, and no one who has responded to me does either (I’ve been trying to make contact with past officers for over a month). I downloaded FileZilla – but it’s not really of use to me if I don’t have the downloaded theme, right?

    Is there any way to get around not having the downloaded theme files? Or to download them again, somehow? Or am I missing something all together?

    Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

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  • WPyogi


    Are you able to access and see the site via your browser? If so, the theme is already installed. What is happening is that the settings on your server are not letting you save any changes – those are the file permissions you need to change. Is this what you have read?

    If you can’t sort that out, see if your hosting company can help you.

    Also, if you need help with that theme, it looks like they have their own forums:

    Community Forums



    Yes, the theme is already installed and completely viewable online – it’s just the permissions to edit the theme that I’m struggling with.

    The Codex link that you provided is the one I’ve been studying all morning – what I’m most confused about is using an FTP program to change these permissions. Can I even use an FTP program without the original files, or if I wasn’t the original purchaser? I don’t even know if an FTP server already exists for this site or not, although I doubt it. I’m currently trying to figure out how to set up Filezilla, but again – struggling.

    Also, this brings up a whole different question – how do I figure out who the site’s host is, so I could potentially consider working with them to fix some of these issues?



    The FTP program gets installed on your local computer — it is a way to connect to the server. It has nothing to do with the theme per se. Filezilla is just one (of many) FTP program — that happens to be free and easy to use (relatively :)). But in order to use FTP you will need access information (i.e. user name and password) from your hosting service.

    You’ll have to find out who is hosting the site from your employer — no one here has any info on that. You might be able to get some additional information by using “Whoiss” on the domain name for your site.

    Although some of this is only doable by you (or someone at your work), for the WordPress end of things, you might also want to consider hiring someone to help you — you can post a job listing here:

    Also, just to be sure you know, all of this access information involves security issues — so be sure to take due care with it (i.e. don’t post online or give to anyone you don’t know and trust).

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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