First time user. Just installed on InMotion Hosting VPS. Front displays OK, bu the admin area is a mess (see attached) and I can't go anywhere.
In addition to the permissions thing, the best you can do is to check source code & see what URLs are being loaded in the head. A theme misconfiguration could lead to loading files which don't exist
Check if magento has access to the media/ folder. This problem happens when Apache has no permissions to write into the media folder.
You should also check the owner rights of the media folder:
chown -R <apache_user> media chmod -R o+w media
Also try the manual to see which permissions needed: Magento 1 File Permissions