Support » How-To and Troubleshooting » WordPress “forgets” selected theme, frequently falls back to default.

WordPress “forgets” selected theme, frequently falls back to default.

  • We recently moved our website, with two different WordPress (2.0.6) based blogs, to a different server. Everything went fine, without any obvious problems.
    Except for one: One of the blogs frequently “forgets” the selected theme and after a few hours simply shows the default theme instead.
    This strikes me as very odd and I cannot find any reason for this behavior.
    The custom theme is based on k2 and worked fine on the old server and seems to work fine on the new server, except that after an hour or two, the default theme is shown instead. The admin-panel then shows the default theme as currently selected theme, too. Everything looks normal and the way it is supposed to be, except that it’s just not the theme we wanted.
    The current solution to this problem is to simply rename the default theme and put the custom theme in the default folder. That works fine, but isn’t really elegant and I hope it doesn’t have to be a permanent solution.

    Does anyone else experience this weird behavior and might know what causes it?
    Every other setting, every other part of both blogs (with different databases and settings) works perfectly normal.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • I was having this problem last night, with WordPress switching back to the default theme, while I was working on a new theme for my website. I had the new theme up, I would make some changes, upload whatever page I had changed, and the theme would just randomly switch back to default.

    I don’t have the new theme up now so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it but I hadn’t had that problem until last night while working on the theme.

    I’m also running on 2.0.6.

    This problem also occurred before the upgrade to 2.0.6, so if this is indeed a bug in WordPress it was already present in 2.0.5. WordPress 2.0.5 however seemed to work fine on the old server.
    I just don’t understand how this could happen and why it happens seemingly randomly and after some hours only. What triggers the switch back to the default theme?
    I just noticed that at least with the current setup (default theme replaced by our modified k2-theme) the Lightbox-Plugin doesn’t work anymore either, but I’m not sure if or how this might be related.
    Everything else seems to work normally.

    I’m having this same exact issue as well. Please give us a fix, it’s quite annoying. 🙁

    Only time I’ve had this happen was when I had wp installed in root with another instance in a subfolder, both using the same database (I do this occasionally for clients while testing). It quit as soon as I deleted the subfolder instance of wp at site launch.

    [And the only version this has EVER occurred with is 2.0.5+.]

    I personally don’t have WP installed anywhere else. I do have it installed on the root (/public_html) folder though. But that shouldn’t affect it should it?

    Nope. Only time it does that (for me, YMMV!) is if the setup is as I detailed. I’ve other installs in root where it’s never been a problem.

    A definitive solution would be: 1) delete the “Default” theme, 2) rename your theme folder as “Default” (only the folder name).

    Deleting the default theme can have unpredictable consequences. Prinipally there is no guarantee that the new theme has all the templates necessary.


    I already wrote above that that’s exactly the ugly workaround we are currently using. I hardly think that it is a very good “solution” to the problem though. I would be really much more interested in a real fix to the problem or at least a reason why this might be happening.

    I’m not sure if that is what causes the behavior in my case. There are two completely separate wordpress installations with different databases, themes, content etc. on the server, both in different folders (one in /wordpress the other in /subfolder/wordpress). Only the older blog in /wordpress shows this odd behavior and only after moving from a shared server to a dedicated one (both with almost the same setup however).


    That’s what might be causing some new problems (with lightbox etc.) since we had to use this workaround and that’s why I’m desperately looking for a fix for the initial problem.

    The minimum theme file required is an index.php
    The Default theme (named as Kubrick) is just a theme. It doesn’t have any hidden functionality that are needed by WordPress.

    Plenty of very experienced WP users are not going to agree wth that. Without the default installed the whole thing can become very unstable.

    Deleting the default theme was a VERY bad solution for me when I tried it last week. What happened was, when it tried to go back to default it couldn’t find it obviously, so it kept serving blank pages.

    WordPress will revert back to the default theme if the theme currently active tries some illegal function.

    In theory, if your theme is acting correctly, you would not need to have the default theme installed on your site.

    I never upload the default theme, and I’ve never had a problem. On all but one of my sites, I use only an index, stylesheet, and comments file. In the nearly three years of using WP, I’ve never had a theme reversion problem, so I think MichaelH is correct–check the content of the theme.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • The topic ‘WordPress “forgets” selected theme, frequently falls back to default.’ is closed to new replies.