I'm just a front end designer working on a website for a client. Yesterday, the client attempted to update the theme. However, it crashed during installation (most likely due to a host server fault) and resulted in the white screen syndrome.

Unfortunately the client didn't have a recent back up. The hosting provider managed to restore a version from a few days ago. They say they've moved the broken version to separate server because the latest content is still there.

Now here's the crux: The restored website has doesn't have all the work I did on Tuesday. I would like to avoid having to do all that work again.

So my question is: Can the content (Parent/Child theme) that's been put aside be extracted and added to the current version of the site? And if so, what would be the strategy? What kind of expert would the client need to enlist? What complications would there be?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated as my schedule is tight and I would really like to avoid having to do all that work again.

Many thanks in advance.

  • What do you mean by content? Page and post content, or theme files? Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 11:57
  • Hi Jacob, thanks for the comment. I assume page and post content (if that includes the design elements rows, modules, css)? Please forgive my ignorance - am still learning.
    – Simon33
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:02
  • If the old content is still accessible, you need a WordPress expert to look a this old content and he will find what can be recover.
    – mmm
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:04
  • @simon33 There are quite a few "if"s here. we don't know the theme you're using or how it's setup. Depending on what "changes" you did (css, php, content from backend) you may be able to recover. The short answer is "yes" you can recover parts of a theme. provide some examples of what you "changed" though. ie edited css, or header.php?
    – rudtek
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:29
  • Rudtek, thank you for taking the time to respond. However, it's no longer an issue. All the best.
    – Simon33
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


It is hard to guess what kind of a "crash" happened and why did it require the drastic roll back of the site.

As far as themes go — they are normally just folders of code (if not going into complicated ones with page builders and such).

  • If that code survived somewhere in your case — it can be easily moved to a different (version) of the site.
  • If it was erased — the time and costs for attempting to restore it would likely exceed what is reasonable.

As opposed to theme, the content lives entirely in database, not filesystem. Again — it's either survived in some form or it didn’t, depending on what went down.

In a nutshell — enumerate the work you did, inquire if it's still preserved in some form.

PS Usual lessons — use version control and such. :)

  • Thank you, Rarst. Yes, lesson learnt all round. It was the client that spoke to the host. So I'm not sure on the exact details. I can get them if necessary. And yes, apparently the code did survive. It's just been moved elsewhere.
    – Simon33
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:09
  • Just re-read your comment and picked up on a relevant point. It was a theme with a native page builder.
    – Simon33
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:13
  • If your work consisted of working with page builder that might be a lot more involved to restore out of non-functioning site. The biggest problem would probably be that it would require a very competent knowledge of how and what specific page builders stores, which is much more involved than merely using one.
    – Rarst
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:15
  • I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, Rarst. So we would need someone with expert knowledge of the particular page builder?
    – Simon33
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:23
  • Yep, that sounds right from your description of the situation.
    – Rarst
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:25

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