Changing Theme in wordpress not working.

Posted September 7, 2014 6.4k views

Hey Guys,

I’ve been trying to change to any other theme in Wordpress. I’m fairly new to this sort of thing and have just been following the tutorials to get anything done.

I have installed wordpress the long way (Apache, LAMP etc etc) and have just followed this one to get a secure upload (theme)

However, now when I click to install a theme I get “The uploaded file could not be moved to wp-content/uploads/2014/09.”

I’ve tried a lot of things even things posted in the comments of the linked section.

Can someone please help me out with this one?


  • While I have a different setup with my WP installs (using nginx) I ran into some similar problems regarding ownership of files which is what most upgrade problems are about, since your server doesn’t know that WP has permission to move files around. Solved with a chwon -R command, but can’t say exactly what it is with Apache. Hope this helps a little!

  • I agree with Peter. Sounds like a permissions issue. Just to note though it is chown -Rnot chwon -R.

    That tutorial mentions using wp-user as the user. If that isnt the actual user that should be the owner of the files then you need to substitute the actual owner.

  • Thanks guys,

    Yeah wiped the droplet completely and started again using Nginx. Seemed to function a lot better although i cannot upload pictures to the server but can changed theme. Also runs a lot more smoother using nginx vs apache.

  • where is your ans, making full

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sudo chown -R www-data.www-data wordpress/wp-content/themes/

That would have fixed the issue while using apache. Assuming you’re using a newish version of Ubuntu, which it looks like you are.