Fixing the WordPress Stylesheet Missing Error Message

One of the most common questions I receive is related to an error message stating the stylesheet is missing when installing a WordPress theme.

The most likely culprit? You’re not uploading the correct files.

Be sure you are only uploading the theme folder if using FTP or the theme .zip file if using the Appearance > Themes menu.

The theme folder will always contain index.php and style.css at a bare minimum but typically consists of many files and sub-folders such as functions.php, page.php, single.php and so on.

Open the style.css file and you should see something similar to the code below. It gives the required information about your theme to WordPress.

/*
Theme Name: Your Theme Name
Theme URI: http://example.com/themes/themename
Author: Jane Doe
Author URI: http://example.com/
Description: Theme Description...
Version: 3.1
License: GNU General Public License
License URI: license.txt
Tags: dark, light
*/

If none of files mentioned above can be found, you may be trying to upload a Tumblr, Joomla or HTML/CSS theme instead of one built to run on WordPress.

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