NB: I originally posted this on SO, but I was recommended to try here - sorry for the duplicate!

I'm really baffled about this. In the last couple of days (since I was using the site last), my Wordpress install has suddenly lost almost all of its formatting (only the top bar seems to work.

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The CSS does seem to be loading, but its missing tons of them:

enter image description here

Here is the same page on another site (same version of WordPress);

enter image description here

I'm at a loss as to what could be causing this all of a sudden. The front end if fine, just to reiterate that.

  • Try the following: 1) Clear your browser cache. 2) Re-install WordPress (keep wp-content and your database, just reinstall the core files) Feb 10, 2016 at 20:36
  • @SterlingHamilton - you BEAUTY! That did the trick! Any ideas why it would have done that? I don't recall doing anything on it recently (and it was working fine last time I was in it) Feb 10, 2016 at 20:41
  • @SterlingHamilton - cool :) Actully, the cache didn't do anything. However, uploading a fresh copy of the latest WP did the job Feb 10, 2016 at 20:45
  • Yeah -- see the answer below. Sometimes the autoupdates or plugins an go bad. WORST case situation here is that you had someone exploit your site and they broke something -- but I'd need to collect more information to see if that happened. Either way -- re-installing would address most of that. Feb 10, 2016 at 20:50
  • @SterlingHamilton Cool thanks - well at least its going again now. If you want to update your answer below, to include the "re-upload wordpress" bit, as that seemed to be the fix (I did a full cache purge, and even tried it in IE, which I've not used for that site before - and they all had the exact same problem) Feb 10, 2016 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


This sounded very much like a caching problem. Specifically Browser Caching.

Sometimes your Server may fail to fully serve an asset. Sometimes your Browser may incorrectly store an asset. This could have been a corrupt JavaScript file, or a corrupt CSS file. Either way, it was causing aesthetic problems on the Administration Screen of WordPress

Knowing that WordPress core, and subsequently Administration Screens should not really be modified ever, there were two options immediately available. Either you were experiencing a bad cache or your WordPress install had "gone bad".

Caching was just more likely.

But it sounds like you needed to re-install WordPress. That's odd.

What probably happened is that you recently updated and the update went bad. This can happen because of not upgrading plugins first, or sometimes it happens because they do a bad release (that does happen).

Looks like the solution was to re-install.

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