Have you ever done something only to realize too late that you really messed up and you knew better? Well, this morning I wanted to change the theme on this blog. Simple task most days, but for some reason today it just didn’t go the way it usually does. Not sure why but every time I tried to change the theme I ended up getting Internal Server Error or Fatal errors!!

I know we are not supposed to do negative self talk but I did it this morning!  NUTS! Why didn’t I use the tool I use all the time to clone the site before I started messing with it? I KNOW BETTER!  It’s so easy to clone sites with this and it’s fast. It copies everything! Thankfully it is not one of my client’s sites.

When I stopped kicking myself and called my hosting company, what a relief that they were able to set it back to the default theme. So if this ever happens to you please call your hosting company before taking your own life. lol

Anyway, I finally decided to just customize the default theme and stop messing with it after it happened 2 more times! And yes I copied the site after the first time. The only thing you do lose when you change themes even when they work is your widgets in the sidebars. So I recommend copying that code into a text file prior to messing with it so you can just paste it back into the new widget area once you have the new theme installed.

Other than losing quite a bit of time today, no harm was done.

  1. Munir Nathoo says:

    Hi Sally,

    Wow, that’s normally a very scary situation! I lost my whole site a couple of months ago and it was painful coz it was a new site and was just beginning to take shape. Anyways I managed to get all my content back but my host had to install the theme and my settings for me coz I didn’t know how to do it. The most important lesson learned is always backup your site, even if you’re just installing a new plugin!


  2. sallycevasco says:

    Hi Mo,

    Yes, it was very scary for a bit but fortunately all turned out well. Now I have a clone of it just in case and I’ll be sure to make copies of it regularly during changes too!
    And yes, very important lesson, but why do I repeat it? lol I know these things and did it anyway!!!
    All the best to you and thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Sergio Felix says:

    Ouch Sally, I guess we all learn the hard way sometimes lol

    I’m glad you got it sorted out with your company and as far as losing your custom widgets from your sidebar, the normal behaviour I get on my blog is that they appear in the lower area of the Widgets section under “Inactive Widgets”.

    I can just drag them from there and it’s all done in just a few seconds BUT it’s wise to do just what you recommended.

    I always copy everything into a notepad file just in case. 😉

    I already have a cloning wp tool but if I didn’t have one, I would definitely look at WP Twin, these tools are a must-have to anyone dealing with wordpress sites.

    Great article Sally, have a great day!


  4. sallycevasco says:

    Yes Carrie, me too. However, when we tried to add another plugin it hosed itself again :-(

    Not sure what is going on there. We have many sites and never have experienced this before.

    Anyway, at least I have a copy of it and can copy it again any time and we restored it again.

    All the best!

  5. sallycevasco says:

    Yes Sergio, I copied the code to a text file but then decided to change them up anyway.

    Yes, the cloning tools are a MUST! I use it constantly!


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