I'm creating a theme based on Underscores. I use its 'bundle' method to generate a new zip of the theme for deploying to a dev server.

This has worked fine on other projects, but on this one each time I upload it (via Appearance / Themes in the target installation) it gets treated as a new theme, and a folder is created rather than the existing one being updated. Each new folder a number appended to its name - eg.


Even if I delete all the previously created folders, including the origina 'mytheme', the next upload will begin again, appending whatever the next number is due to be.

I can't figure out why this is happening, it's a new one for me?! I think permissions on the site folders are all ok - it's Ubuntu and www-data owns the whole directory structure, and uploading images, plugins etc seems to work ok.

  • Is the zip filename just "mytheme" or contains a top-level folder named "mytheme"? If the zip contains a folder make sure that folder name is correct. Otherwise make sure you're using the correct name for the zip. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 16:48
  • yes, zip is mytheme.zip and includes theme files (style.css, functions.php) and no container folder Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


Returning to this very belatedly, in case it's of any help to anyone else. It was incorrect file/folder permissions that caused this - I guess when WordPress can't overwrite the existing theme folder, it creates a new one instead.

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