Use Underscores for WordPress Theme Folders

Posted by Edward Caissie on May 29, 2009 in WordPress |

Here I am just about ready to upload Desk Mess Mirrored to the WordPress Theme repository except for one little issue that was not acceptable to my standards … the theme preview in the Dashboard was showing up as a great, big, white block of nothingness.  This was being quite bothersome because as far as I could tell my formatting was at least to the standards laid out by WordPress; it matched several other themes I have used from other authors; it even matched my very first attempt at a WordPress theme, all of which were displaying correctly in the preview window.

Now, I also realized this is probably one of those classic new theme developer problems and I was a little reluctant to ask my “go to forum” WordPress gurus what I was doing wrong for the simple reason: it must be really obvious!.

Google! … when all else fails, Google is your friend. Five different search phrases later I found a reference to the problem.

When naming your theme folder, or re-naming for that matter, do not use hyphens ( – )  or spaces as separators; use underscores ( _ ). I opened up my FTP program, logged into my server and changed the folder name from desk-mess-mirrored to desk_mess_mirrored. Phew! That was easy. I opened up a new browser tab; surfed to this blog’s home page to write this post thinking that others may find this little tidbit of information useful; and, what do I see … nothing?! Yes, nothing!

Note to self: do not change active theme folder name. Change to a different theme first; change the former theme’s folder name; then, change back to the theme and your WordPress Dashboard theme preview will work.

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