TOTAL - Latest update messed sitew

Hi there,

On the site I updated the theme and now the whole site is down. Yesterday I could still access the recovery mode and had the time to see that the issue from the theme and not plugins. Now I can’t even go into recovery mode.
Can anybody help as this is urgent? The website needs to be up tomorrow for my client who has important information to publish and I can’t afford to lose my client.
I thank you in anticipation.

Best regards,

Sylvie Bolioli

Here is the communication from Wordpress:


Since WordPress 5.2 there is a built-in feature that detects when a plugin or theme causes a fatal error on your site, and notifies you with this automated email.

In this case, WordPress caught an error with your theme, Total.

First, visit your website ( and check for any visible issues. Next, visit the page where the error was caught ( and check for any visible issues.

Please contact your host for assistance with investigating this issue further.

If your site appears broken and you can’t access your dashboard normally, WordPress now has a special “recovery mode”. This lets you safely login to your dashboard and investigate further.

To keep your site safe, this link will expire in 1 day. Don’t worry about that, though: a new link will be emailed to you if the error occurs again after it expires.

When seeking help with this issue, you may be asked for some of the following information:
WordPress version 5.8.3
Current theme: Total (version 5.3.1)
Current plugin: (version )
PHP version 5.6.40

Error Details

An error of type E_PARSE was caused in line 636 of the file /home/polarisp/ Error message: syntax error, unexpected ‘?’

Try update your php version from 5.6 to 7.3/7.4, or just delete through FTP whole content (do not delete file itself!) of the file mentioned in error details:

The antiquated PHP version definitely sounds like a likely cause, however, depending how long since you last updated the theme there have been some fairly big changes mentioned by the author Total Theme Core Plugin - Total WordPress Theme

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If it’s a plugin causing the issue, then visit this link here:

Follow the instructions to disable the plugin.

Advice for future issues -
Always update via FTP and not simply uploading through the wordpress admin area.

See also @charlie4282 who hits the nail on the head.

It’s worth mentioning that @WPExplorer is part of the very elite few authors not just on envato, but generally in the WP community.

We’ve purchased into the thousands of items including some of theirs, and I can say with confidence that they don’t make mistakes with their themes and plugins.


It is not about Plugins. Wordpress specifically said that it’s to do with the Theme.

@charlie4282 It says the latest theme version is not compatible with my PHP. But when I try to update PHP, I get the following page, which tells me that it is updated.

@Vopteem link you posted doesn’t work for me. I get:
This page isn’t working is currently unable to handle this request.
Going to FTP, what do I delete exactly?


Depending on how/where you are hosting you may or may not be able to adjust this. Your best option is to contact your web host for help

Hi there! We’re not always on the forums, but we are always happy to help with our themes. If you could leave a comment on our theme page or open a support ticket (visit the theme support tab) our team can help :slight_smile:

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