WordPress: “Theme Test Drive” plug-in

Got to change the WordPress blog theme from time to time to keep it look fresh, else i’ll be bored to the same old look. Installing a new theme will not visually present properly right-away for my blog, because the blog is previously customized by editing the PHP files and CSS stylesheets according to my preferences. Means the more you edited previously, the more time you’ll need to work on new theme’s codes.

There are two methods that i done previously,

i) active new themes directly and work it on there without caring the undone side will be seen by visitors
ii) install another WordPress on sub-domain, copy everything in another folder (which now a totally mess) and work over there, then copy the edited new theme files to the root folder.

Now, the 3rd method, easiest way that recently found is by install a WordPress plaugin “Theme Test Drive“. This is one of the coolest free WordPress plugin i ever used other than Crayon Syntax Highlighter.

To install the Theme Test Drive plug-in, head to links below,

  • Official Site: VLADIMIR PRELOVAC “Theme Test Drive
  • WordPress Plugin Directory: Theme Test Drive
  • install from your WordPress “Dashboard” -> “Plugins” -> “Add New” -> Search “Theme Test Drive” -> “Install Now”
  • After done installed, choose the new theme to edit and click “Enable Theme Drive” as image above. While Theme Test Drive is enable, the “current” theme will be set as default, stay untouch and display to visitors like it used to. Now, you can start messing with new theme’s codes without worry on affecting the “current” display.

    Here are the modification can be made while Theme Test Drive enabled:

  • Menus & Widgets (for preview only)
  • Themes option
  • Themes template .php files (ex: index.php, header.php or single.php)
  • CSS Style Sheets
  • After done modification and satisfied with new look, disable “Theme Test Drive” and activate new themes at “Appearance”-> “Themes”. Do take note there will be 2 more left to touch up right after the new theme activated:

    i) Menus – There will be no header menu or global menu, so you need to set it at “Appearance” -> “Menus”
    ii) Widgets – it will be empty, so you need to add-in desired widgets and arrange it at “Appearance” -> “Widgets”

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