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Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step)

Authored by: Mohammed Wasim Akram
Last Updated on: March 21, 2022

Have you ever thought, what would happen if suddenly the header section of your WordPress website just gets disappeared, what will you do? The same thing happened to one of my clients a few days back.

He just woke up in the morning then head over to his lappy to check his website and he was SHOCKED! As the header section of his website was completely missing and he was not able to figure out the reason.

You can see the exact problem in the below image.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy

When he encounters this problem his mind stopped working and he immediately reached out to me with the hope of fixing this error as soon as possible.

It was obvious to get panic as his entire business totally depends on this website, thus, he was so desperate to fix this issue. So I had to find the reason of this problem at first in order to fix it.

Therefore I started finding the reason behind the issue and luckily I able to found the root cause of the problem and its solution as well which saved my clients' website and reputation.

If you are also curious to know the fix then go through this post as I am going to share with you everything I did step by step in this tutorial.

Step #1: Find The Header PHP File

I am not going to waste time explaining what I did to find the issue, instead, I would jump straight to the point.

The very first thing I did was I checked out that if there was a header.php file existed on the server or not.

To check this you just need to go to the Appearance section in the admin sidebar of the wordpress dashboard, then you will find an option called Editor to the extreme below under the Appearance section.

As you can see in the below image, now just click on that.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy

Once you click on the editor option a new window will open up where you can find all the theme files and a code editor to edit those files.

I strictly recommend you not to touch any of those files or the editor window as a single mistake can break your site immediately.

Just follow what I am suggesting to you.

Use the keyboard of your PC and press the "Ctrl+F" buttons at the same time, then a pop-up search window will appear after that head over to the search window and type header then press the enter button.

As soon as you do this you should see a file named header.php, but if you could not find any result appeared for that query just like the screenshot below.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy

If the same thing is happening with you as well then it simply means that the header.php file is missing from the theme files.

Just to make you understand I want you to search for the footer file using that same search window and you will find a footer.php file appeared as a search result for that query as you can see in the below image.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy

The same way a header.php file should also be there like the footer.php, so I hope you got my point, now so do not touch anything on that window and go back to the wordpress dashboard.

Step #2: Arrange & Upload The Header.php file on the server

To get the header.php file you would require the zip file of the theme that you are currently using for your website.

If you are using a free theme then just go to the theme page and download the theme into your local computer or if it's a premium theme then download that from your customer account on the official website.

As soon as you download the theme to your computer, now extract or unzip that, once you unzip the theme files then you will find the header.php file inside one of the unzipped folders.

So now that you have managed to arrange the header.php file from the same original theme, it's time to upload that to the server.

There are multiple ways to upload the header.php file on the website server which I have mentioned below.

  1. You can use the web hosting cPanel
  2. You can use the FTP service using software like FileZilla
  3. Also, you can use a File Manager plugin to upload the file to the server.

Now it's totally up to you which method you want to use to accomplish this task, whatever method you follow still the process would be almost similar to complete this task.

In this case, I had no access to the cPanel neither I had the FTP login details, therefore I have to use a File Manager plugin to accomplish this task though it's very risky as if something goes wrong then eventually you would require access to the cPanel or FTP account.

Once you login to your server using any of the methods you like,
the steps should be like this;

The Steps Should Be Look Like This:

> Login to cPanel or FTP
> Open Wp-content
> Got to the Themes
> Open Your Theme Folder
> Drag or select the header.php file
>Upload and Overwrite.

I have added a screenshot of the window where you can see the uploaded header.php file under the Mixed Theme folder which is under the Themes folder and that is under the wp-content folder.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy

Step #3: Verify if The Website Header is Now Visible or Not

So now the header.php file has been uploaded to the server and it's time to go back to the editor once again to check if it is appearing over there or not.

I did the same and this time and I found the header.php file as the search result for the same query I used earlier, which you can see in the below screenshot as well.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy

Now the header.php file has been successfully uploaded on the server and it's also showing in the WordPress theme editor window.

Just head over and open an incognito/private window in your web browser, then enter your website URL.

Boom! you have successfully restored the website header section on your WordPress website as I did with my client's website which you can find in the below screenshot.

Restore Missing WordPress Theme Header (Step-by-Step) | Toolonomy


Once I implemented all the above-mentioned steps to fix the problem and restore the missing header, the website got back to its normal state as nothing has happened with it in the first place.

In this way, I managed to save the business reputation and the website of my client so now he is relaxed and very happy.

I've shared everything I did to fix this problem just to help and teach the people who are also facing the same problem as my client did.

So if you found this tutorial helpful then please don't forget to share it with your friends, also you can share your feedback or concern in the comment section if you have any.

Thanks a lot for spending your precious time reading this post on my website

A Google & HubSpot Certified Digital Marketing Specialist, Self-Taught WordPress Expert, Useful BizDev (Business Development) Tools & Deals Explorer, and the Founder of SyncWin & Toolonomy.

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