I am new web development and probably missing something basic. The site uses the OceanWP theme as the parent theme with customizations inside of a child theme. When I update the OceanWP theme and Woocommerce plugin, the site breaks and throws a server error 500. If I first activate the parent theme and then upgrade it, the site loads fine but of course without the customization. If I activate the child, the 500 error returns. Why didn't the child theme also update when the parent theme did? I thought it was supposed to pick up updates automatically. How do I troubleshoot and figure out what I need to fix so I can use the child theme and all my custom code again?

Thank you so much

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    Your child theme must've depended on functionality from the parent theme that was changed in an update. It's impossible to be more specific than that. You'll need to contact the theme author for advice. Ideally themes should not release automatic updates that would break child themes, but there's nothing preventing it. Apr 29, 2019 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


What I'd do is to back up the child theme and then install the basic child theme they suggest, which you can find here, that new child should work then you can start implementing the customizations that you have on the old child theme into the new one and see when the errors pop again, or probably they don't.

Why didn't the child theme also update when the parent theme did?

Child themes shouldn't get an update, that is the trick, you update the parent theme and the child theme keeps all the customizations.

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