How to Detect Missing Critical Files and Obtain a Fresh Copy of WordPress Print

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How to Detect Missing Critical Files and Obtain a Fresh Copy of WordPress

In the ever-evolving landscape of website development and maintenance, encountering issues such as missing critical files in your WordPress installation is not uncommon. Leveraging my vast experience in Linux server administration and full-stack development, I aim to guide you on how to adeptly identify and rectify this issue. Let’s dive in!


Understanding the integrity of your WordPress installation is paramount to ensuring a smoothly running website. Missing critical files can lead to a series of errors disrupting the website's functionality. In this guide, we explore a systematic approach to identifying and restoring missing files to maintain a robust WordPress setup.

Section 1: Identifying Missing Critical Files

Identifying the missing files is the first step towards resolving issues related to a disrupted WordPress setup. Here's how you can go about it:

1.1 Leveraging WordPress Debug Mode

Enabling the WordPress debug mode can help in identifying PHP errors, including missing files. Add the following lines to your wp-config.php file to enable debug mode:

define('WP_DEBUG', true);
define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
@ini_set('display_errors', 0);

Access the debug log in the wp-content directory to view any errors and identify missing files.

1.2 Analyzing Server Logs

Server logs provide a detailed account of server operations, offering a resource to identify any missing files:

  • cPanel: Navigate to cPanel > Metrics > Errors to view the recent error logs.
  • Direct Admin: In DirectAdmin, go to Admin Level > System Info & Files > System Log to access the error logs.

Section 2: Obtaining a Fresh Copy of WordPress

Once you identify the missing files, the next step is obtaining a fresh copy of WordPress. Here's how:

2.1 Downloading the Right WordPress Version

Ensure to download the exact WordPress version running on your site to maintain compatibility. Visit the WordPress release archive to find and download the necessary version.

2.2 Extracting WordPress Files Locally

After downloading, extract the WordPress package locally using any standard unzipping tool. This action will avail all WordPress files, ready for upload to your server.

Section 3: Restoring the Missing Files

With the fresh copy of WordPress, you're set to restore any missing files:

3.1 Locating the Missing Files

Navigate through the extracted files to locate the missing files identified in Section 1.

3.2 Uploading the Missing Files

Upload the identified files to the respective directories on your server using FTP or cPanel File Manager, a task you might be well-versed in considering your background in server administration.

3.3 Setting Correct File Permissions

After uploading the files, set the correct permissions to ensure smooth operations. Typically, files should have permissions set to 644, while directories should be 755.

Section 4: Verifying the Restoration

Post restoration, it is crucial to verify if the issue has been resolved:

4.1 Testing the Website

Visit your website to confirm if it is functioning correctly, and the errors are resolved.

4.2 Taking Regular Backups

Leveraging your extensive experience, advocate the essence of regular backups to maintain a healthy website, preventing potential future data loss.


Drawing from a rich reservoir of experience in server administration and full-stack development, we have detailed a meticulous approach to identifying and restoring missing critical files in WordPress. Following this guide should facilitate a robust and smoothly functioning WordPress setup.

For more intricate details and step-by-step guides, feel free to explore our knowledge base or submit a ticket for personalized assistance.

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