I downloaded the darkshades theme.
I extracted the compressed file.
I copied the darkshades folder, the darkshades_blog folder and the._darkshades_blog file into the themes folder.
I edited ..\mysite\_config.php as follows:
Added ?flush=1 to the end of the URL
I still have the default theme. Did I miss something?
I have actually flushed the cache both via SS and by deleting the cache of the browser and have used different browsers on different machines while I did other work on the site with the SSViewer statement in the config file.
There's another call to SSViewer::set_theme() lower in the default _config.php file which sets it to the blackcandy theme - did you remove this or comment it out? If you didn't it will be overriding your custom theme.
// Sites running on the following servers will be
// run in development mode. See
// for a description of what dev mode does.
For some reason, the installer put the themes directory in the root folder of the installation. For themes to work, the themes folder apparently needs to be under the mysite directory. Once I moved it, the themes started working.
I used the GoDaddy.com one-click install and it installs 2.2.3 in tutorial mode. I did exactly as you said and the themes did not work until I copied the Themes folder under the mysite folder (I had moved the data from the tutorial folder and changed the appropriate line in _config.php to use mysite). Not sure why but for now I've switched back to default. I'm going to concentrate on getting my content inserted. Maybe by the time I'm done GD will have 2.3 available or I'll have figured out how to install it without using their installer.
I installed last version yesterday and had the same problem.
I tried your solution but it cause many themes don't work properly, when my attention was caught by the _config.php file permissions (644): my ftp client (filezilla) wasn't able to write new configuration and even change the file permissions so i had to delete it and re-upload with the new configuration line:
If you're using a ftp client take a look at the file permissions and turn back to the original directory schema.