I just updated from WP3.1 to WP3.2 and it immediately crashed my site.  A hard crash, no admin panel, nor error message. Fortunately I did this at the Automattic office, so I had the core guys there to help me.

Now here is a tip, if your site ever locks up after installing a plugin or an upgrade, FTP into your site and change this directory

/wp-content/plugins  to  /wp-content/plugins_foo

If that does not work, then change this directory;

/wp-content/themes/{the name of your current theme}/ -> /{theme}_foo

This should put your site back to the default design which will at least get you up and running again till you can figure out what went wrong.

Now in my case, I’m using the arras theme.  It crashed because a widget that the theme overrides, tag-cloud, is now deprecated. There may be many other themes that are doing the same thing.  You can tell by looking at the error logs.

Here is what you need to change on line 404 of the file widgets.php (you can find this file in /themes/arras/library):

Change this line -> $this->WP_Widget_Tag_Cloud();

To this line -> parent::__construct();

The new class call should read as the following…

class Arras_Widget_Tag_Cloud extends WP_Widget_Tag_Cloud {
function Arras_Widget_Tag_Cloud() {

There is a list of widget that have been deprecated.  If your wordpress is hard crashing, its possible that your theme could be using one of these widgets.  Simply find where this is called in your theme and replace the call as I showed above.  Hopefully this will fix it.

Good luck!

$_wp_deprecated_widgets_callbacks = array(

12 comments on “How to fix crashed WordPress after update 3.2 with the Arras theme

  • Wow! I can’t thank you enough for this! You just saved my bacon in a huge way, I just mindlessly clicked the usual ‘update wordpress’ for my work’s website and BANG, error!

    After deleting a failed revert to x version – intending to fall on the backup which then appeared lost I finally found it and applied your super easy fix.

    Now I don’t have to explain to the company that I lost their entire website and ruined their blog. THANK YOU!

  • ok. Not sure why you are sharing this. This looks like your 404 file. If you are getting this to come up, then the fix I talked about in my post is not going to help. This post is more about bring a fully dead site back to life.

  • Ok but did you get arras to work on the new update? If not how do I get rid of the new update and convert back to the old? Thanks for your time

    • No, once I edited this file I was fine. I updated the post to explain where the file is.

      "Here is what you need to change on line 404 of the file widgets.php (you can find this file in /themes/arras/library):"

    • Yes I got it work as I described in the second part of the post. You just need to change a few file names. Follow the instructions and you should be fine.—

  • Thanks for your help!

    I tried your solution and thought it was the answer only to get another error in the wp-inlcudes>widget.php file. So what I did to fix my problem since I failed to make a childtheme (I know – BIG NO NO) is I downloaded the new version of Arras theme and uploaded the new arras>library>widget.php file via FTP. It has seemed to work…for now!

    Just felt the need to post in case it helps someone else with the same problem.

    • So I guess we can guess the latest version takes care of this bug. I have not updated since 3.2, I may have to update and see how it performs.—

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