One common issue among WordPress users is the style.css stylesheet error. It is a problem that arises when a WordPress theme fails to load or activate. Now, there are some reasons behind this error, which we will tackle in this article. However, this doesn’t mean that your theme is corrupt or broken. In fact, chances are the issue is not with the theme itself, but with how you uploaded it or how the platform reads it. Thus, there are ways to rectify this error. If you, too, are wondering about the “Package Could Not Be Installed. The Theme Is Missing The Style.css Stylesheet” error and want to troubleshoot it, keep reading.
What is the style.css Stylesheet Error?
First, we have to understand what a style.css file is and what a stylesheet is. Only then can we begin to understand the error itself, how and why it manifests, and what can be done to rectify it. A typical WordPress directory includes many documents and folders such as PHP, CSS, HTML, etc. Here, CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and refers to a web design language that is used in conjunction with other languages such as PHP or HTML. But CSS is primarily responsible for stylizing your web page. By introducing elements like color, format, and fonts.
Hence, the style.css file is basically coded in CSS, which is responsible for your web design. But this style.css file works in tandem with other directories. Thus, when you encounter the style.css stylesheet missing error (which in itself is a pretty unique message, as it rarely happens when an error message is this direct), you know that there is some problem with your style.css file. This problem can be anything from a corrupt file to a wrong location or faulty upload. But since users know the issue lies with the style.css stylesheet, it can be easily rectified.
What are the reasons behind this error?
The missing stylesheet error occurs when a WordPress theme fails to load. But why does it fail? Because, according to WordPress, the style.css file is missing from the upload. So to figure out the error, we have to find out why the file is missing. A typical WordPress theme will have a style.css file, as it is an essential part of the system. So when it goes missing, there might be several factors involved, such as:
- The developer has not included the file in the first place. Although it is unlikely, it can happen nonetheless.
- The file has been misplaced during unzipping or stored in a different location.
- The file was deleted or corrupted.
- It is also possible that while you are uploading a file thinking it is a theme, it is actually a plugin.
- Sometimes, you might need to unzip the file. Normally, WordPress accepts zipped files, but the actual zipped file might be placed under an additional layer, causing the issue.
How to fix the style.css Stylesheet Error?
Given below are different scenarios that might be responsible for style.css errors, along with possible solutions.
Case 1. When you are missing the style.css file because the developer didn’t include it
This case is obvious, although unlikely to happen. But if it does, then you can do the following:
Method 1. Contact the developer
In the event of an error on the developer’s end, you can directly contact the developer and broach the subject. Any reputable developer will recognize this fact and provide you with a fresh download.
Method 2. Look for a new theme
You can also choose a different theme, which is more productive. If you suspect the source of the faulty download, then this is the proper solution.
Case 2. If you unintentionally misplaced or removed the style.css file
Human error is an aspect that is not new to users. If you think you have misplaced the theme file or deleted it unintentionally, then follow the method below:
Method 1. Re-download the theme
If you have misplaced the file, then there is no solution other than re-downloading the theme.
Case 3. WordPress fails to recognize the style.css file
Now, we are in serious territory, as such cases are not easy to resolve. If WordPress fails to recognize a style.css sheet, then there might be several reasons, such as:
- The theme was not uploaded properly.
- The files need to be unzipped.
- The theme wasn’t for WordPress.
- The file was corrupted.
- The location of the file is incorrect.
Method 1. Try to re-upload the file correctly
If the file was uploaded incorrectly, you need to re-upload it. Thus, you should start the uploading process from scratch and ensure that all the files are correct and in the right place.
Method 2. Store the file in the correct location
WordPress only recognizes files that are located in the theme’s root directory. Hence, unzipping the files should allow you to find the style.css file directly. However, if it is located in a different location, then the theme will fail to load. Thus, you need to ensure the file is in the correct location before uploading it.
Method 3. Try to unzip the folders
WordPress accepts zipped files. Then why do you have to unzip your folders before uploading? Because some theme marketplaces provide files in multiple zipped layers. This zipped file within a zipped file can prevent your theme from loading. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that only valid files are in the zipped folder.
Method 4. Ensure that the file is for themes and not plugins
Another issue with WordPress is that users often confuse themes and plugins. When you download a theme or plugin, you will notice that it only contains the name and version of the file, never disclosing whether it is a theme or a plugin. Thus, you might confuse themes and plugins with similar names and wrongfully upload a plugin file instead.
Method 5. Use WordPress-compatible themes
Although WordPress is one of the most popular website builders, it is not alone in the market. There are other similar platforms, and they, too, offer themes. If you mistakenly downloaded a theme for a different platform, it won’t be compatible with WordPress. Hence, it will not load. Many theme marketplaces are popular for stocking WordPress themes, but at the same time, they cater to similar platforms, raising the chances for such mishaps.
Case 4. You have uploaded the files incorrectly
The last scenario deals with the upload process itself. If all the files are correctly placed and functional, and you are still getting an error, chances are you are not uploading the files correctly. Thus, follow the methods below to learn how to upload style.css files.
Method 1. Use WordPress Dashboard to upload
In the first method, we will utilize the WordPress Dashboard to upload the theme file. The steps are:
- First, log in to your WordPress website and go to your Dashboard.
- Now click on Appearance and select Themes.
- Here, click on Install Themes.
- Now select the Upload button and locate the themename.zip folder you downloaded from a marketplace.
- Select the file, and once it is uploaded, click on the Install Now button.
- And you are done.
Method 2. Use FTP for uploading said files
You can also use FTP to upload your theme to WordPress. Here’s how:
- First, decompress the theme_name.zip folder you downloaded on your system.
- Now connect your device to the network.
- After that, upload the extracted or unzipped folder to /wp-content/themes/ on the server.
- And that’s it.