Troubleshooting Common Genesis-WordPress Errors

Site maintenance is very essential as this will affect the “time on site” of visitors as well as their “bounce rate”. Remember that your goal here is to engage visitors, so you want them to stay longer on your site and not bounce right away. The longer “time on site” and the lower “bounce rate”, the better.

One of the major “bounce rate-contributor” is site error. When someone visits your site and found a blank white page, a series of incoherent code and warnings, or the usual 403, 404, or 500 error messages, they will obviously leave your site immediately.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you fix some common WordPress errors:

Issue: Genesis Not Found

Warning: require_once(%path-to-wordpress%/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/init.php)[function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in %oath-to-wordpress%/wp-content/themes/%child-theme%/functions.php on line 3

This error occurs when you activate the child theme without installing the Genesis framework first. This also happens when you accidentally delete the Genesis theme when doing a manual upgrade.

Solution: Access your files via FTP. Go to your sites’ theme directory (the error code will tell you where the exact directory is).

Get the latest copy of Genesis (if you haven’t got one yet) and upload it to the themes directory.

Issue: WordPress version is outdated

When a function you want to use generates an error this may be because of an outdated WordPress version.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function add_theme_support() on /%path-to-wordpress%/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/init.php on line 18.

Solution: Upgrade your WordPress manually.

Download the latest version of WordPress here and unzip it.

Access the remote directory of your site via FTP. You will see that your home directory contains several files including these 3 folders: wp-includes, wp-content, and wp-admin.  You will need to create a backup for the wp-config.php file as this contains important information that you don’t want to lose. Next, rename wp-admin and wp-includes to wp-admin_OLD and wp-includes_OLD, respectively.wordpress

Find the new WordPress you have just downloaded and upload everything in it except forthe wp-content directory. You will then get a message asking you if you want to overwrite the files. Click Yes. After you have successfully transferred the files, you will be prompted whether you want to upgrade your site database. Just click on OK to finish the upgrade.

Issue: Child theme edit

You may encounter errors when editing and customizing your site’s theme. One of the most common child theme edit error may look like this:

Warning: Cannot modify header information – header already sent by (output started at /%path-to-wordpress%/wp-content/themes/%child-theme%/functions.php:119) in /%path-to-wordpress%wp-login.php on line 327

Solution: Most of the time this error is caused by a code before the opening <?php tag or after the closing ?> tag in the file. Technically, the closing ?> tag is no longer necessary. The child theme is actually removing this closing tag to minimize the occurrence of this type of errors.

Locate the file in your FTP server. Right click it, and select “View/Edit”. You can open it with any text editor of your choice. Check the file and make sure that it does not end with ?> or there’s nothing before the <?php (even an empty space).

Running a website does not end with its launching. Site launching is actually just the beginning. If you want to see your website grow then you have to maintain it – that is, put relevant and quality content, update posts regularly, and make sure that it is error-free.

Image from Flickr

Article By: Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at wasimismail.com, specialising in online business.


3 Responses to “Troubleshooting Common Genesis-WordPress Errors”

  1. Dear Wasim,

    I followed your advice for accessing my Genesis files via FTP. This helped get Genesis to install on my WordPress site.

    However, now, I cannot get my Child theme to install. It says:

    Unpacking the package…
    Installing the theme…
    Destination folder already exists. /home/aneibauer/adrian-neibauer.com/wp-content/themes/news/
    Theme install failed.

    So, if the folder already exists, why can’t I activate the Child theme?

    I feel that I am sooo close! Any ideas?

  2. Hi Adrain
    Try connecting via FTP and check if the file is not there. The destination should not be there.
    Hope this helps.

  3. Hi Wasim,

    Thank you! This article helped out a lot since I had ended functions.php with ?>

    – Nick

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