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Home » WordPress

Dealing with Blank Lines in WordPress functions.php

Submitted by on October 17, 2012 – 1:06 am 5 Comments

This is an annoying little problem plaguing many WordPress themes: blank lines in the themes’ functions.php cause various random issues. The most common manifestation of this condition is the failure to save the “image” custom field. Below are a few commands to apply a quick fix. Unfortunately, these steps would need to be repeated every time you upgrade your theme, until the developers catch on. To simplify this task, I arranged the commands into a little script that will create a backup of your original functions.php and make the necessary changes.

The manual process is as follows: create a backups directory in your theme’s folder; backup the original functions.php; verify the backup; check functions.php for presence of blank lines; create a new functions.php without blank lines; copy the new file over the old one. [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# mkdir backups [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# cp -p functions.php ./backups/functions.php_`date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H%M%S'` [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# ls ./backups
./  ../  functions.php_2012-10-16_203706 [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# grep -v . functions.php | wc -l
36 [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# cp -p functions.php functions.php_new [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# grep . functions.php > functions.php_new [~/themes/arthemia-premium]# mv functions.php_new functions.php

A scripted solution would look something like this:

# Change the path below to reflect the actual location of your active WP theme
if [ ! -d "${theme_folder}" ] ; then echo "Folder ${theme_folder} not found. Exiting... ; exit 1 ; fi
mkdir "${theme_folder}/backups"
/bin/cp -pf functions.php "${theme_folder}/backups/functions.php_`date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H%M%S'`"
ls -als "${theme_folder}/backups"
/bin/cp -pf "${theme_folder}/functions.php" "${theme_folder}/functions.php_new"
grep . "${theme_folder}/functions.php" > "${theme_folder}/functions.php_new"
/bin/mv -f "${theme_folder}/functions.php_new" "${theme_folder}/functions.php"
echo "All done"


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  • Blake says:

    Most of the premium themes out there cost more than $50. I only have a small budget. If anyone can show me where to get cheap premium WordPress theme, it would be appreciated.

  • Duke says:

    I have found sites provide reviews of WordPress themes but very few of them offer SEO review of WordPress themes. Any of you know a site which offers tons of WordPress theme review in the SEO aspect?

  • PoohBearPenguin says:

    I’m designing my own WordPress theme from scratch and I can’t seem to figure out how to edit the next and previous page links to allow users to go to my older blog post. Anyone can provide a step-by-step tutorial for me? Thanks! :)

  • simply complicated says:

    I want to keep my regular subpages on my site (example: mysite.php portfolio.php,) but I want to use wordpress as well for the theme and use my own subpages instead of the wordpress pages. How do I use my wordpress theme on my regular subpages?

  • Shay H says:

    I found a WordPress theme that I absolutely love, and I wanted to use it on my LiveJournal. Is there a way to do this? I having a passing acquaintance with the custom designer settings on LJ, but I’m not sure if there is a way to ‘convert’ the theme I want to make it work.

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