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How To Efficiently Set Up WordPress Theme Demos

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If you’re a WordPress theme author of multiple themes, then you’ll probably want a more efficient way of handling “live demos” than setting up a brand new WordPress installation on each. I personally use the theme switcher plugin on my live demo site. What this plugin will allow you to do is set up a link to preview a theme installed in your wp-content/themes/ folder, whether it’s the active theme or not. This plugin also has a function which will make a dropdown list of all the themes installed on your blog, providing links to preview each theme.

  • http://www.arthack.org ArtHack

    This plug-in is pretty good, there are no other plug-in is the theme of the show?

  • Leland

    @ArtHack: I think there are a couple other plugins to preview themes. This one, however, leaves a cookie so people can preview all pages of the theme. This one might also be worth taking a look at as well: http://boren.nu/archives/2005/03/08/preview-theme-plugin/

    • http://www.arthack.org ArtHack

      Thanks

    • http://www.arthack.org ArtHack

      However, this can not use plug-in WordPress2.6

  • http://hotwordpresstips.com mayooresan

    Oh man! thank you very much.. This is wot i’m looking for!!!
    Long time back I wrote a WordPress theme and was wondering how to incorporate all the themes in one WP installation……

    Thanks alot :)

  • Leland

    @ArtHack: Are you sure? The theme switcher plugin works fine for me on 2.6.

    @mayooresan: No problem, glad this post was useful to you.

  • http://www.authencentric.com Jonathan

    Thank you! Just getting into the Theme game and needed to know how to do this. Question: does this plugin allow you to direct link a theme as well?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jonathan

  • Leland

    @Jonathan: Yep, it sure does. You can set up links like example.com/?wptheme=Your+Theme+Name+Here

    • http://www.authencentric.com Jonathan

      It caused a fatal error in a 2.6.2 WP install:

      Fatal error: Cannot redeclare ts_set_theme_cookie() (previously declared in /homepages/16/d261329322/htdocs/wp-content/plugins/theme-switcher-reloaded/theme-switcher-reloaded.php:28) in /homepages/16/d261329322/htdocs/wp-content/plugins/theme-switcher.php on line 30

  • http://www.authencentric.com Jonathan

    nevermind, just having a “duh” moment… thanks again!

  • http://www.authencentric.com Jonathan

    Got it loaded but just reloads the current theme. I used the http://www.mydomain.com/?wptheme=classic (which is installed) and it just refreshed the page…

    I must be missing something!

  • Leland

    @Johnathan: I think it’s case sensitive. Try with example.com/?wptheme=Classic

  • http://www.authencentric.com Jonathan

    Nope….. could it be the latest WP update kills the plugin?

  • Leland

    @Johnaton: Don’t think so. I use it myself with WordPress 2.6.2 on the Demo Server.

    I think I know the problem is though. Try example.com/?wptheme=WordPress+Classic

    Since that’s the full name of the theme.

  • http://www.authencentric.com Jonathan

    You rock! Mind if I add your feed to my site?

  • Barry

    Hi,
    Thanks for the great tips here. I have a question regarding the theme switcher plugin. I have page where I have thumbnails of various free themes I am offering. I have the link set up as you suggest above in the format example.com/?wptheme=WordPress+Classic. The demo preview works fine in a new page however it drops a cookie so that the theme of the whole site is changed to the previously viewed demo. How do I stop that from happening? The way you have Themelab set up is exactly what I want. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Barry