Changing a WordPress theme can be a pain… not anymore

I am in the process of a making the switch to a completely new WordPress theme. It feels like changing the tires on a car while the car is moving. Any blogger who has made a complete theme change or who is constantly tweaking their theme knows the feeling. You only get a final visual of the update when you publish it live. Yikes! Your readers are exposed to even the smallest hiccup as the result of your tinkering.

I have created an entirely new, temporary blog to address this issue during my theme overhaul project. I installed the new theme and I am now in the process of tweaking and testing. Even after I launch, I am sure that I will make minor modifications at least twice a week.

There Is an Easier Way to Change your Theme

Two recently released WordPress plugins allow you to safely test drive a new theme as the administrator role. Meanwhile, your visitors are still viewing your blog under the old theme. Either of these plugins should be a part of every blogger’s set of plugins.

  1. Theme Test Drive by Vladimir Prelovac (Special thanks to BlogPerfume where I read about Theme Test Drive.)
  2. User Level Themes by Double Black Design

Both plugins work with WordPress 2.3.2. Both are version 1.0. So I expect some updates will be coming, though I personally did not run into any difficulties with either. The only troubleshooting that you may need to do is to delete your cache or simply turn off WP-Cache entirely.

Wow. Just think how much time I can spend tweaking and testing themes now!

2 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Arianna says:

    Does it work with WordPress 2.5? I tried, but as administrator I see the same theme diplayed for users.

  2. Yan says:

    I happen to use Theme Tester and haven’t had any opportunity to use the 2 plugins you have suggested.

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