Fixing a broken Twenty Ten theme after latest update

by | Jul 24, 2021 | Technical Help, WordPress

Within days of this writing, the Twenty Ten theme was updated.

The fact that this theme is still kept up is a very good thing from a security point of view.

The update included what appeared to be more extensive uses of blocks in WordPress. In my opinion, WordPress should allow those users to use WordPress without blocks if they so desire. This is evidenced by the indication of 5+ million active installations of the Classic Editor plugin on the WordPress.org website at the time of this writing. It’s really tough to figure out why the WordPress team insists on forcing the use of blocks upon those who don’t want to use them.

The Twenty Ten update left Twenty Ten users who are using a child theme with a site exhibiting Critical Error Warnings instead of the site’s content. Make no mistake about this: child themes allow one to customize a theme and not lose their customizations as a result of updates. WordPress itself strongly recommends using child themes.

Normally, I would use this basic process to troubleshoot a site with a child theme and attempt to get it working again.

  • Backing up the original site
  • Opening up a test server space to create a new WordPress site in
  • Loading a fresh, most recent WordPress install into it
  • Adding the latest Twenty Ten theme to the test site
  • Loading the Child Theme creator plugin to the test site
  • Creating a new Twenty Ten child theme
  • Adding the broken site’s child theme customizations to the new site’s child theme
  • Updating the Twenty Ten theme in the broken site
  • Copying the newly created child theme over the existing child theme in the broken site
  • Testing to see if it works

After successfully performing this process on a broken site that uses the Twenty Twenty theme, I was able to come up with the fix below. There are numerous times it can take a considerable amount of time to discover the fix can be applied in minutes.

The Fix

This fix appeared to be much simpler than expected and involved only the following:

  • Open up the website using FTP or a File Manager
  • Copy the block-patterns.php file into the root of the child theme folder
  • Test the site for proper operation

As it turned out, I did not even have to change anything in the child theme and the sites I fixed all appeared to render normally.

However, I noticed in one site that two identical errors appeared while logged in the WordPress Dashboard on the Widgets page indicating:

The "rpwe_widget" block was affected by errors and may not function properly.
Check the developer tools for more details.

Since the site appears to be functional, these errors will have to wait for another day to troubleshoot!

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