I found out I was editing themes wrong, and that I should be using child themes, so I duplicated the theme I was using, and told it to inherit off of its parent. That's about the only thing I did, I was planning on going through and finding the code I didn't touch and removing those files, but I didn't get that far.
After trying to enable my new child theme, every single page, including admin pages gave 500 errors. there is nothing in my log file. I've tried renaming the folder containing the parent theme to the child theme, in hopes that WordPress will load that, and not generate the errors anymore, but it didn't work. I've tried changing the content of style.css in the child theme to be the same as the parent theme, but that didn't work. I don't know what to do.
Snippet from the child theme's style.css
/* Theme Name: pitch-child Author: me Version: 1.0 License: GPL 3.0 License URI: http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html Description: Pitch is a simple, minimal business and portfolio theme. It uses custom post types to make it easy to add your content. Pitch also features a big bold slider to put your work front and center. Tags: gray, two-columns, fixed-width, custom-background, custom-menu, featured-images, theme-options, threaded-comments, translation-ready */
Ubuntu 12.10, Apache, Mysql,Wordpress
also, nothing showing up in the console on the page that shows the 500 error. usually there is some sore of message about the 500 error there.
the host hasn't completely stopped working. I was able to access an image. I think it has something to do with a dependent library all pages are using, that can't get accessed.