I have received many SOS from panicky bloggers when they accidentally modified, deleted, added or changed their html/php codes. Some find their sidebar missing. Some find their background gone. Some find their right side bar running to the left. And so on and so forth.
I am no expert but so far, my suggestion works. What newbies to WordPress or html need to know is to find the back door to retreat. That is:
2) If you had not done so, you can always copy the fresh one from where you downloaded the theme/template. Just copy the exact same file over.
3) Normally, you only touch the main file (label as mainindex.php, index.php or maintemplate.php), the single.php, header.php or footer.php. STAY AWAY FROM .css unless you are confident. It is like the main artery of your blog. Don’t touch it. Now with widget ready WordPress templates, it is even easier.
4) Remember what files you were meddling with, the position where you are adding the code and you will be safe.
5) In order that you don’t get confuse, use the return/enter key and make a huge white space where you are adding codes. This way, you can easily trace where you did the pasting. These empty spaces will not show on your online webpage because spaces and new lines all need their codes.
6) Don’t sweat. WordPress is so marvellous. You may cause your site to totally disappeared. But it is not all gone because all the files are stored in little folders and your data is safe. Once you retrace your steps, you will find your blog again. You don’t ‘kill’ a blog just because the template cause your blog to disappear.
7) Do I need to repeat that you have to constantly check the effect after each changes you made? Do it so that when you screwed up, you know what cause it.
8) The most evil thing that most newbies did is to accidentally delete one div tag. It can be the closing (identified with the / ) or opening division tag and your background or sidebar will ‘poof!’.
9) If you stare at your files long enough, they will start to make sense to you. Basically, you can see a ‘story line’ on the files. It is actually parts like header, body/content, sidebar etc. Don’t let those little squiggly tags intimidate you. Stare at it with your eyes. Hehehe.
10) The ‘language’ is very easy to understand. < all these and > all these are just commands.
br mean line break (start on a new line)
div means division
li means list
b means bold
and so on…See? It is just simple abc. Hehehe.
So, don’t sweat it. If you make a mistake, just go back and try again. In no time, you will be very confident with changing templates, adding codes and so on.