How To Test WordPress Themes Without Activating it

Testing a WordPress theme without activating it not only save the time but also the avoid the risk of disrupting users. The most common practice for testing a theme is by creating a clone site or a demo to test a new WordPress theme, however it is not the easiest and the hassle free technique for WordPress beginners. In this post I’m going to talk about how to test WordPress theme without having any impact on the live site.

Theme Test Drive is a WordPress plugin with which an administrator can safely test a new theme, while the users see the default theme. This is a new plugin, it’s been around for more than 3 yrs, sadly not all of us know it.

change wordpress theme without making it live

Before getting into this topic, I would like to talk about finding the best WordPress theme for your blog. The first question that comes in our mind is – Where to find the best WordPress theme? The answer is simple. Premium theme marketplaces like Themeforest, MojoThemes, ThemeFuse, Themify and WooThemes offers thousands of premium WordPress themes at an affordable price. Search by category and pick the one that best suits for your blog niche.

How to test WordPress themes without activating it

Step 1: Download the Test Theme Drive plugin and install in on your blog.

Step 2: After activating, go to Appearance > Theme Test Drive.

Step 3: Add the theme zip url and click Install Theme or select the drop down box under usage to test with the existing themes installed.

test a WordPress theme without affecting users

Step 4: In order to test WordPress theme in the theme directory, select any theme from the drop down box and click “Enable Theme Drive”. Optionally you can set the access level to 10 for the admin only access to test drive.

To see it in action – Type your blog name – “www.yourblog.com/?theme=twentyten”.

Hope it’s an easy technique to test WordPress themes without activating it.

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August 27, 2013. This entry was posted in WordPress and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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4 Responses so far!

  1. How much different is this plugin from the Live preview option??

    • Technically there’s no difference, however the older versions of WordPress have a weird popup box for displaying live preview and this plugin work with most of the older WordPress versions.

      Then using firebug to find a fix won’t be possible with the default WordPress live preview. I assume a lot of bloggers use Firebug to find and fix the issue before activating a new theme.

  2. Hi mate !
    Theme Test Drive is an awesome plugin , i have used it to choose my current theme after testing many themes through it . I’ll recommend this plugin to every WordPress user .

    -Pramod

  3. Its really amazing Tutorial. I was searching for it. Now going to try this. Thanks for share. Hope it works.

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