So I noticed that periodically my theme just goes sideways on my wordpress blog, and totally breaks. However if I clear all cache using W3 Total Cache, everything is fine and the site looks normal again. I've noticed this with a previous theme that I had loaded up for about a year and now with the new theme I just installed last week.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
More than likely what is happening is that you are running out of resources. Increase the memory and php-execution parameters. If you search the community for "Increase WP Memory" you will find several good threads that detail how this is done. Here is one to start with.
What hosting platform are you on? That will determine your specific steps to allocate resources. Keep in mind sometimes its not the theme, its the plugins that are consuming resources.
Hope this helps,
Thank you for that info, I did not even consider that it was a resource issue potentially. I'm fairly confident it's not a theme issue since it's happened on more than 1 theme, but the only other thing I could come up with initially was that the cache plugin was somehow holding onto a bad page.
I will check my memory settings but I think it's already set to 256mb. If so, then I may need to increase my hosting plan with GoDaddy, correct?
Not yet! Make sure your php resources are allocated with what your theme/plugins are requiring.
What hosting are you on cPanel or ManagedWP? Before upgrading hosting, I always try to make sure that I have MY side of the equation properly addressed so that I don't carry the same problem with me to a new installation.
While not specific to your installation, this search at the GoDaddy Garage will get you a whole host of resources to tune your site.