So I'm having a MAJOR issue with a programming firm that I hired... First their programmer told me (lied to me) that Static Block can't be in a vertical series... Ie. Static Block A, Static Block B, etc. I called him out on it. Then he says he fixes it but it's completely messed up... I noticed and performed a backup and then proceeded to update to 126.96.36.199 from 188.8.131.52. Well, now they are claiming that it's was my fault and that the update causes all of the issues with the theme!? They claimed they only programmed directly on the server and don't have any backups. You can imagine how pissed that I am because it's four months late and they are demanding final payment with a default looking site!? I told them there is NO WAY that a security x.x.x.+1 update would cause a complete theme failure and reset to default, that the guy at Magento are a little smarter then that. I tried recovering but it's the same messed up looking home page... I blame the fact their programmer is not as smart as he says he is, they are blaming the UPDATE... Who is right??? Would going from 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11 cause that much issue with a template? Would any of you create a template that completely over writes the default theme knowing any serious upgrade (ie. 1.9.x-1.9.y) would cause issues? Would any of you create a custom theme and not perform the programming locally or at the minimum have a local backup? I'm a single small business and my cash resources are limited, and this is about to completely close me down...
Any input would be insightful.
If you (or somebody else) do edit theme files in the theme folders of magento, any update would overwrite them - yes (completely - yes). That's the way magento works and you should always be careful with updates. Before any update or change (extension) DO MAKE A BACKUP. But you say you have a backup so you can restore the theme changes from this backup.
Doing programming on a server without any backups seems to me more then bad style. I would say it's a major fault of the contractor not to make local copies of his work (how would he proof that he did anything ?). I don't know which type of agreement you have, but I wouldn't pay for this kind of work.
Anyway I would strongly recommend to copy a magento theme into a different folder (different name) and edit these files. You can change the theme in the backend and prevent your changes from being overwritten by updates. You would have to check the files you changed against newer versions to find out whether they have to be adjusted. If you want to know details please let me know.
Uh-oh. There's only one thing that causes this: instead of building a new theme they changed one of the core themes, such as base/default. These files are considered core files and should never be changed. This is not just matter of good hygiene -- changing those files render whole system unupgradeable. Any developer even remotely worth their salt knows it.
While you're probably screwed for good, all I can do is to recommend wearing this t-shirt next time when you meet these guys: https://fabrily.com/hey-did-you-just-edit-the-core
I think that shirt should be a requirement to all who attend imagine conference. I am getting one for sure.
But to answer more specific question...18.104.22.168 besides the obvious blunder above does have some major issues to resolve. We have never had so much trouble updating a patch as we did for 1.9.3. We experienced logging issues on some sites or almost always not being able to see orders in backend - SALES->ORDERS (they just won't open) until we do further adjustments. So those two are always on top of our list.