WordPress - Broken Plugin or Theme | Bluehost Support
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WordPress - Broken Plugin or Theme


Broken themes and plugins can cause a website not to load properly. Before attempting any change, please back up your data and databases.

For more information on backing up databases, please see How to Back up a MySQL Database. If you want to know more about restoring databases using the ‘Backup’ icon in cPanel, please see MySQL Database Restore. To back up and restore your data, we recommend using FTP. For more information, please see Intro to FTP.

Most popular applications (such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla) can detect if a theme or plugin is missing. Occasionally, a broken theme or plugin will disable the site so badly that it is impossible to log in to fix the problem from the dashboard. If this is the problem, then there are two ways to repair the site:

Rename the folder that contains the Plugin or Theme.

Renaming the folder (Theme)

The easiest way is to rename the offending folder. If it is a problem with a theme, navigate to the correct directory. For WordPress, it is /wp-content/themes/ rename the problem directory and retests the installation.


Here is an example walkthrough of renaming the affected directory.


Renaming the folder (Plugin)

If the problem is with a plugin, navigate to the correct directory for the plugin, and rename the problem folder. For WordPress, it is /wp-content/plugins/


Here is an example walkthrough of renaming the affected directory.


Pro Tip: To Isolate the issue, you can do this on each plugin one at a time to see what’s causing the problem.

Enable/Disable WordPress Plugins/Themes using Database

Before you proceed, make sure to locate your Database Name.

How to locate the Database Name

  1. Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the Advanced tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Under the Files section, click File Manager.
  4. Locate and click the Settings button found on the top right-hand corner.
  5. Preferences windows will appear. Ensure that the Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) box and WebRoot (public_html or www) are selected in default.
  6. Then on your File Manager, locate and choose public_html.
  7. Find the wp-config.php file and click it.
  8. Right-Click, then select edit, then click the edit button on the pop-up window.
  9. Please take note of the database name. For example:

How To Disable the Theme

  1. Once phpMyAdmin is open with the correct database, find the right table. In most cases, this will be wp_options
  2. Choose to browse, then edit the 'template' and the 'stylesheet' tables.
  3. Change the name to "twentytwenty" (the current default WordPress theme), and click go.
  4. Once updated, you'll be able to access the back end while making changes to your website.

How To Disable The Plugins

  1. In phpMyAdmin, click the affected database name from the side navigation menu to the left.
  2. Click wp_options, then click > to go to the next page. Here, you can access the active_plugins option.
  3. Once you locate the active_plugins, click edit.
  4. Under the active_plugins page, you will see lines of code, like the example below:

Take Note: To enable the plugins, please follow the instructions starting Step 1-3, then paste the code you saved from your PC. Click Go to save changes.

If neither of these solutions fixed the issue, then turn your search towards the scripts forums.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While you are on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.