Not the most proficient magento user and having trouble finding my issues. My custom template is working "mostly", but certain specific changes aren't showing up with my upgrade from 1.9.1 -> 1.9.3. Were there updates that normally affect this? For instance, the front page loads but featured products doesn't show.
You might want to go to the backend Admin Panel, System, Permissions, Blocks and make sure that the vanished featured products blocks on your page got listed there. If not there, just put it in.
This is just a first step you might want to do. Usually the problem is solved with this.