On my localhost wordpress install I am using a Parent Theme called "Tesseract", and a Child Theme called "Tesseract-child". Now, I want to deploy my code on a remote WP install and, for some unknown reasons, I am running into problems.

On the remote install, the Parent Theme, "Tesseract", installs fine and is listed among the installed themes as it should be. However, when installing the .zip file of my Child Theme, "Tesseract-child", I get this series of messages:

Unpacking the package…

Installing the theme…

This theme requires a parent theme. Checking if it is installed…

The parent theme could not be found. You will need to install the parent theme, Tesseract, before you can use this child theme.

Theme installed successfully.

For some reason the WordPress theme installer is not finding the installed Parent theme, Tesseract. Both my local and remote installs are running WP 4.7.

My child theme's header is good enough to get my local install working so I don't think the style.css header is the problem

Now I understand that the header file of the child theme's style.css file is very important and that it must indicate that the Template: the exact name of the folder containing the Parent theme, in this case, Tesseract. And, indeed. it seems that this part of my header is correct because my local install recognizes the Parent theme, Tesseract, and links the themes as it should.

This is the header of the child theme's style.css file:


Theme Name: Tesseract Child 

Theme URI: http://example.com/wpinstallfolder/

Author: Me

Author URI: http://example.com/wpinstallfolder/contact/

Description: My Tesseract Child theme 

Version: 1.0

Template: Tesseract

Text Domain: tesseract-child


I tweaked php versions, that didn't fix it

I read online that php versions can cause issues. My server was running 5.4, and my local was running 5.6. I tried changing my server's version to 5.6 so both would match but that didn't work.

I am at a loss.

My only guess is that there could be some weird bug in wordpress that doesn't handle being in public_html folders? I have no idea? I cannot figure this out. I would like to test out another child theme but I don't know of one that know 1) works and 2) is definitely safe to try out.

Can any of you help me understand why this remote install of WP won't link the child to the indicated Parent Theme?


  • You need "Template: to show the folder of the parent. Is it really Tesseract? Why not lowercase?
    – prosti
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:09
  • Yes, it really is exactly the same. My themes folder there is a folder for the Parent theme and it is called "TESSERACT", the text of the template line in my Child Theme's style.css is exactly "Tesseract" and indeed the text in the error message matches the exact name of the properly installed Parent theme, it is bizarre. Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:11
  • Do you work on Windows?
    – prosti
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:12
  • yes, but i don't know what kind of my machine the server is. Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:13
  • 1
    Still, I would suggest you use theme folders in lowercase letters.
    – prosti
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


From the chat.

Changing the template names to lowercase + lower case folders did it.

So @CoderScissorhands haven't had the style.css file in the parent theme, and this also was the reason not to work.

  • Thank you so much Prosti. It should be noted that while the parent was missing the style.css file, it didn't seem to be the only problem. I replaced the missing style.css but WP still could not link the child theme to the parent theme. it was only after 1) adding the style.css back to the parent AND THEN ALSO 2) changing the folders and header names to lowercase that things worked. Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 23:13
  • Glad you make it.
    – prosti
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 23:14

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