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How to Create a WordPress Theme Viewer

Posted on February 21, 2008
Filed Under WordPress | 8 Comments     


For WordPress veteran this might not be new, which is, let visitor preview multiple themes in one WordPress installation. It puzzled me quite a while before I figured out how to do it. The very reason for the need of this feature is that I want to allow regular users to view different themes on a WordPress powered website. I wasn't able to until I ran into this page. Yea right! A theme switcher. I installed this plugin and tested. It provides the exact function that I need. Fantastic.

Now here comes the interesting stuff. The official documentation documented the plugin is as follow, which outputs a list of links that can switch to a specific theme:

<li>Themes:
      <?php wp_theme_switcher(); ?>;
</li>

If you view HTML source of those links, you'll find something similar to this:

index.php?wptheme=THEME_NAME

This is very useful because now I can build a WordPress theme viewer by this plugin alone. Let's say you have a number of WordPress themes installed and you want to show a demonstration of each to your visitors with a text link Test Run. You can easily accomplish this by appending the name of the theme to the wptheme parameter:

<a href="/?wptheme=THEME_NAME">Test Run</a>
or
<a href="/index.php?wptheme=THEME_NAME">Test Run</a>

The question now is how to find out the name of the theme. Easy enough, just log into Admin area and go to Presentation tab, where you can see a detail list of themes including their names. Even easier, under each theme folder, you can find a file called style.css, in which you can find theme name of the theme there.

You've just created a WordPress theme viewer.

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8 Comments so far
  1. Fernando April 15, 2008 10:06 pm
    Hi, thank you so much for this post. This really help me a lot. I wanna know how create a Test Run for lont time. I put the information in my site, and a link to your post. Thank you again. :)
  2. Mrs. Micah September 2, 2008 6:16 am
    And don't forget to add a link BACK to the original theme. I used a theme switcher plugin and then annoyingly forgot to link back to the main theme. Fortunately, I fixed it.

    (As for the question asked by the spam commenters, it's a legitimate one and the answer is to install Wordpress on your computer itself.)
  3. Sean "caleta de fuste" Redfearn November 2, 2008 4:58 am
    Thanks for the info its really helpful.
  4. Eric Carter November 2, 2008 12:46 pm
    Thanks Def helped out a lot.
  5. webhosting-dir November 6, 2008 5:38 pm
    thanks, giving it a try and will let you know how it worked out
  6. fredydeath November 10, 2008 11:22 pm
    Thanks for this - great idea.
  7. Daypexdyday November 17, 2008 7:23 pm
    i want to share my free wordpress theme here.

    Preview:
    http://www.elegantthemes.com/preview/eVid/

    Download:
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/6uv0n2
  8. AgusBagus January 30, 2009 5:57 pm
    Hello, thanks for your good tips. I am looking for similar plugin but able to auto preview/test run all themes that we installed. Any idea about this?
    Sample: http://wordpressthemesbase.com/
    What plugin are they using?
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