July 19, 2015

How To Fix WordPress Functions.php Error: Cannot Log In And Site Disappear


This is what happened to me the other day when I accidentally messed up the functions.php template of WordPress, while customizing your website.

One bad thing about WordPress is that it is very sensitive, particularly the functions.php.

Just an extra space or a missing tag and all hell breaks loose.

wordpress functions.phph error cannot log out

Firstly I had problem saving the template. When I clicked on the "Update File" button, it cannot work.

Then when you I checked my site, I found nothing. Just a blank screen!

So I just closed the browser and the next thing I found out I could not log in.

The wp-login page is now missing!

In other words, I could not access my site!

Yes, it can be very intimidating, especially when you are a technical-challenged person, like me.

Then when I sought help from the Internet, I found out this functions.php error is common among WordPress users.

Don't fret.

Follow these steps and you should be out of this big time technical glitch in no time.

1. Log in to your host server account. (Bluehost, Hostgator, etc). I am using BlueHost as a guide in this tutorial.

2. Click at the "File Manager".

3. A box called "File Manager Directory Selection" pops up. If you have more than one site, then select the one that is having the problem. Click on the "Go" button. (Make sure the option in the box "Document Root for: is selected)

4. Then double click on "wp-content".

5. Double click click on "themes".

6. Right click on the theme which you are using for that problem site.

7. A small menu box pops up.

8. Type in the new name below the the text "here:" For example if your theme is PR News, you can rename it as "PR News_new".   

9. Then click the "Rename File" button.

10. It is done.

Now you can access your site and also able to see your wp-login page. It means you can log in to your site.

You will also discover that now your site is no more using the problem theme, but instead using the default theme.

You need to install back a new theme (not the same theme which you are using) of your choice to your site.

But if you want to use back the same theme, keep reading...

Install Back Same Theme

But for those of you who still want to use back the SAME theme, you will discover that now you cannot install it back when you click on the "Activate" button.

In order to do that, you need to do this:

1. Double click on this newly named file (as explained above). 

2. It takes you to another page. Scroll down until you see the "functions.php" file.

3. Right click on it. A menu box pops up.

4. Click on "Edit". Another box called "Text Editor" will pop up. Click on the "Edit" button.

5. Now you should see a white page with code. This is the functions.php code.

6. Delete away this page of code and replace it with a fresh functions.php code.

7. Then click on the "Save Changes" button on the top right corner. Then click "Close".

8. Now go back your wp-login page.

9. Go to "Appearance", and click on "Themes".

10. Look for the same theme and click "Activate".

Note: Probably you may need to re-customize the site. Some of the widgets may have lost.


Written by: Kher Cheng Guan