“Stylesheet is missing” in WordPress?

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One question that I get often is why a “Stylesheet is missing” message appears in the WordPress administration page where the themes installed for a site are listed. The idea that the theme is broken in some way or that something is wrong with the CSS file (renaming the file from template-name.css to style.css doesn’t work). Since this error appears as the result of a common misunderstanding, it is worth explaining the reason again:

Website templates are not WordPress themes

This error occurs when one of the free website templates is uploaded to the themes folder of a website that runs WordPress as the content management system. The free templates are HTML and CSS files, and they do not contain any scripting at all. Since the files in the template folder are not split up into .PHP files with the code needed for WordPress to recognize the template as a WordPress theme, the free templates will simply not work with WordPress (or any other content management system) in their original form. Website templates can be modified into themes for WordPress and many other site engines and content management systems, but that will require additional coding.

Read more about building themes from templates

To read more about the difference between a template and a WordPress theme and learn how to create a theme with a HTML/CSS template as the starting point, I recommend this step-by-step tutorial from WebDesignerWall. It is a bit outdated since the current default WordPress theme looks different from the theme in the tutorial, but the basic structure of a WordPress theme is still the same. The official documentation site for WordPress, the Codex, also has a lot of material to study.

This is a topic which I will write more about in the future, possibly in the form of an own tutorial where I use one of my own templates as the starting point. But until then, if you come here looking for WordPress themes, there is a WordPress themes page where you can download theme versions of a few of my templates.

I am currently searching for theme designers who would want to convert the rest of my website templates into WordPress themes for distribution through the official WordPress theme directory. If you are an experienced theme designer looking for projects, and you are familiar with the requirements of WordPress.org, please get in touch!

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This article was written by Andreas Viklund

Web designer, writer and the creative engine behind this website. Author of most of the free website templates, along with some of the WordPress themes.

1 comment:

FacebookguruJanuary 18, 2011 at 10:31Reply

I will definitely wait for your further post on this topic it really helps newbie to understand Word Press more than ever.