Tag Archives: themes

Testing WordPress themes: ‘Stylesheet is missing’ error

public domain artworkWe at Nashville SEO & Web Content manage dozens of blogs for clients, many on rather low budgets — so we are constantly on the lookout for the very best free WordPress themes we can find. I am investing significant time and effort this evening in the testing of dozens of free WordPress themes collected from various sites over the last few months.

One of the most common problems users encounter when testing new WordPress themes is the missing stylesheet. When this happens, the theme is listed at the bottom of the Manage Themes page (under Appearance -- Themes in the WordPress administration backend) in a list of “Broken Themes” with the description, “Stylesheet is missing”.

This issue is explained very well in the knowledgebase of Envato’s support section under “My WordPress Theme isn’t working, what should I do” in the section called “Common ‘Broken Theme’ and ‘Stylesheet Missing’ WordPress Issues”.

Luckily, this issue is almost always due to a very simple circumstance which is easily corrected. In a nutshell, many zips (compressed files & folders) contain an extra directory (folder) layer which often tricks WordPress into believing the style sheet isn’t there, when it really is there. It’s just buried too deeply within the theme folders.

For instance, let us suppose you downloaded a WordPress theme called Brown. The zip file you downloaded is called brown-ver-1. When you unzip the brown-ver-1 folder, you see that it contains a folder called brown. Inside the brown folder are the actual files comprising the WordPress theme. You must get rid of that extra layer before you upload the theme to WordPress for testing. That is, when you open the final package there should not be an extra directory layer before you see the style.css file and all the other files that make up the applicable WordPress theme.

Correct: brown — style.css
Incorrect: brown-ver-1 — brown — style.css

Exactly how one corrects the issue depends on which method is being used to upload new themes to the WordPress installation on the web server.

The two main methods are:

1. Using WordPress upload process
2. Using an FTP client

I strongly prefer to use an FTP client to move files back and forth between my system and the web server. I cannot imagine taking the extra time to use the built-in WordPress uploading process. The two categories of uploads on which much time can be saved with an FTP client are images and themes.

Results of testing: Will finish this later

Successful themes
These themes look great and work well as soon as they are activated; they require little or no implementation time.

  • DailyPost 1.0.5 by wplook

Themes requiring setup

  • Business lite 3.1.19 by CyberChimps WordPress Themes
  • BizWay 1.5 by InkThemes.com

Themes failing preview

  • Yasmin 1.0.0

Resources: Testing WordPress themes: ‘Stylesheet is missing’ error

This post was started on Sunday, September 09, 2012

Free XHTML/CSS templates, free WordPress themes (Aug 2012)

structureHere’s another batch of documented research results — this time, from well over two hours of searching for high-quality, free WordPress themes and CSS/XHTML layouts today. I was rather impressed with some of the surprisingly good themes and layouts.

However, with HTML5 out, those who still prefer XHTML layouts must be more discriminating; most of the latest non-WordPress layouts are HTML5 – and from what I know so far, I still prefer XHTML to HTML5.

I scored more free responsive WordPress themes with real potential today than anything else. (NOTE: Responsive designs are those which do not break down even with major, device-dependent changes to a site’s display width — meaning a single design will work on a variety of devices, from a large monitor to a small-screened smartphone.)

The award for best new resource site found today goes to Fresh Design Web, where many wonderful free WordPress themes were found and downloaded from pages like 36 Best Free WordPress Themes with Responsive Layout.

I noticed many other resource collections with real potential for the WordPress blogger with an eye for freebies; more on those later, perhaps.

(Where does all the time go?)

Resources: Best free XHTML/CSS templates 2012

Favorite individual designers offering freebies

The web designers in this section deserve special recognition for making FREE quality CSS/XHTML layouts available to everyone for many years. Many thanks to all of you; your offerings helped me learn web development in the early 2000s.

Free WordPress theme collections

Free WordPress theme designers

Possibly good free responsive WP themes
Possibly good free responsive WP themes
Possibly good free responsive WP themes

Possible sources for free XHTML/CSS templates

CSS Templates Market
not very promising

This post was started on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Twenty Eleven WordPress theme: Sidebars, finally

For reasons unknown, the otherwise excellent Twenty Eleven WordPress theme does not display the sidebar for individual posts. logo for Future Web Blog blogI spent some time over the weekend considering alternatives. Virtually all visitors to the Supernatural Horror blog arrive via Google search for terms relating to horror movie titles, and thus land on an individual post – usually a horror movie review. Having no sidebar means these visitors will see not a single link to any other post on the entire blog. It means visitors will not be able to see the widgets that have been configured to appear on the sidebar – crucial WordPress widgets such as the tag cloud, post categories, link categories, Popular Posts, Recent Posts, etc.

Why would any blogger or website owner not want important links to appear on the individual post pages of a blog? Well, to be fair, there are some circumstances under which this would be preferable; however, I’m thinking the vast majority of bloggers would want their links to appear on web pages that display a blog’s individual posts.

So what should I do about it?

Should I find a different free WordPress theme? I spent about an hour poking around the search results for free WordPress themes 2011, and there are free themes aplenty – more than ever, I’m sure… but I liked the Twenty Eleven WordPress theme. It’s so neat and clean; it has the options I need and the features I wanted for this blog.

Besides, I’ve already invested time in creating my own custom header graphics (using GIMP, of course) that fit the Twenty Eleven WordPress theme, plus I invested additional time modifying the theme to display a random header image every time a page at Supernatural Horror is loaded.

Then the solution hit me – something I should have realized from the very start: the Twenty Eleven WordPress theme is a fairly popular one, so someone else has surely…

  1. been in my shoes,
  2. modified the Twenty Eleven WordPress theme to include sidebar display,
  3. and then blogged about it, so other WordPress users could benefit from the blogger’s experience.

A quick Googling for such precise information revealed several blog posts on that exact subject.

The first post I read about how to add the sidebar to individual posts on the Twenty Eleven WordPress theme included numerous comments about the given solution not working properly. Skip that one.

The second post – Add Sidebar Support in Posts for the Twenty Eleven Theme, which I found on a blog called Future Web Blog: Discovering the future of jQuery, WordPress and the Web – seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. Better, there was feedback and commentary sufficient to instill confidence in its recommendations:

If you’d like to have this sidebar functionality in your current Twenty Eleven theme immediately you can download a copy of the child theme from the link above. You can upload and install the zip file directly into your WordPress installation. Make sure you have a copy of the Twenty Eleven parent theme installed first, otherwise the modified child theme will not install.

This blogger had taken the time to explain the WordPress tweaks necessary for this sidebar fix – instructions that are virtually idiot-proof.

Then I saw it: there was a WordPress plugin for this!
(I’ll finish this later…)

Resources: Sidebars for the Twenty Eleven WordPress theme

Porting XHTML website templates to WordPress

In the 2000s, we created many clean, professional, effective static websites. In the 2010s, the standard web development modus operandi is to use the formidable WordPress engine to power our Nashville web development projects.

If you have any issues in porting or implementing XHTML templates using the WordPress tutorials and other guides listed here, then we suggest contacting the documentation codex of WordPress.

The information found here refers to 3rd party websites and resources.

Nashville SEO & Web Content is not responsible for the correctness of information provided by 3rd party websites.

Resources: Creating WordPress themes