As I’ve noted elsewhere on this site, I like the Arras theme but I am still new enough to WordPress that I continue to look around. As Captain Jack Sparrow might say, “I’m in the market, as it were.” I tried a number of interesting themes yesterday – the most promising were Dimes, Dominate, and Cover WP – but I noticed that I was having problems with Arras.
Removing Theme Fixes Server Error
If I reset the theme to Arras, and changed a setting, and returned to the theme options page, the settings would not be properly saved. In the end, I received the dreaded
500 Internal Server error
After a bit of searching and trying steps involving:
- renaming the .htaccess file and creating a new blank one without any WordPress-related content (no impact);
- removing the Arras theme from the /wp-content/themes folder (alternative to deleting it entirely) which forces WordPress to the “default” theme or a white blank page if you do not have the default theme installed. If you get this far, you can probably reach the Dashboard.
The last one worked for me. I renamed the Arras folder, accessed my Dashboard, and then selected an alternate theme. When I downloaded and reinstalled Arras, it worked fine. However, it deleted the renamed Arras folder, so I lost all of my customizations. They were backed up but since it was just the user.css and some other minor tweaks (which I’d documented in posts), I just recreated my work. If you do this, I would copy the Arras folder entirely out of your WordPress folders.
I don’t think this has anything to do with the theme so much as that (a) I was testing out a couple of themes and (b) I had been adding some plugins and removing others. Something went sideways during this process, so a reinstall of a theme is a minor point.
Another new version of WordPress Popular Posts had been released, so I reinstalled that and re-added my tweak to that plugin. I realize it may not be necessary but I need to revisit the plugin’s custom HTML settings to see if that is where I should be handling it. I also fiddled with the CSS:
- in the header, to make the top menu bar deeper and to move the search bar up into it (margin-top: -40px;). I also played around with the look of the links and a hover effect;
- in the sidebar, to spread out the content in the widgets, adding a dividing line at the bottom, colorizing the anchor links, and so on;
- I enlarged the featured items slideshow and lengthened the content exposed in the excerpts for the other posts. Previously I had tweaked the read more buttons but I’m not sure I’ll bother this time around;
- to embed Google Web Fonts.
I’ve now created a WordPress page on my site (it’s private to avoid it being searched, but you can grab it directly) that contains the user.css edits I make so that, in addition to my business continuity backup, I can quickly refer to and recover if I do something stupid again in the future!