Theme Test Drive


Theme Test Drive WordPress plugin allows you to safely test drive any theme on your blog as administrator, while visitors still use the default one.

It happens completely transparent and they will not even notice you run a different theme for yourself.

Best part is you can even set the testing theme options (if it has them) in the Admin panel while you are testing the theme.

You can also preview any theme by adding “?theme=xxx” to your blog URL. For example

Plugin by Vladimir Prelovac. Managing more than one WordPress sites? Check out ManageWP.


Some of the functions of Theme Test Drive plugin came from other plugins. So I can at least thank these people:



This file is part of Theme Test Drive.

Theme Test Drive is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Theme Test Drive is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with Theme Test Drive. If not, see


  • Admin panel for installing and previewing themes


  1. Upload the whole plugin folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ folder.

  2. Go to the Plugins page and activate the plugin.

  3. Use the Options page to set the theme you want to test drive.

The selected theme will be visible only to blog administrator.

Other visitors of the blog will always see the default theme.

Note: if you use WP-Cache plugin, you might need to disable it (or setup to exclude pages)


How do I correctly use this plugin?

Go to Admin Panel, Design, Theme Test Drive. Select the theme you want to preview and click enable.

Additionally you may click on any of the instant preview links, or wait for a preview thumbnail to generate.

Can I suggest an feature for the plugin?

Of course, visit Theme Test Drive Home Page

I love your work, are you available for hire?

Yes I am, visit my WordPress Services page to find out more.


Breaks my active theme

Although I badly need a plugin such as this, once I tried it, all of my settings and widgets from my active theme were reverted and I had to put my site into maintenance mode while I spent 20 minutes configuring everything again!

Useful plugin

Seems to work OK with 4.6.1 but it would be good if the developer could conform and update “officially” as it were. I’m finding this plugin invaluable for sites with pupblic-facing themes that are incompatible with the CiviCRM plugin. Civi is a complex plugin and can easily break when faced with themes or other plugins that aren’t well written in terms of enqueuing scripts only when essential. Much of the complexity in Civi is on admin pages, and this plugin solves the problem by auto-switching the theme to something clean for admin users.

works fine

nice and simple solution to test a theme. be careful with widgets and custom settings for other plugins. thanks

Great for thgeme developers

Great tool for theme developers to test theme dev on live site, without impacting the live site. Great for test drives, compatiblity checking, and also side by side eval of themes you’re building when you have one version at an alpha stage and want to test beta changes, then switch back for next dev stage.

Note for newbies and the clueless — this plugin does *not* allow you to build out an entire site, set all options, menus, widgets, and then switch site live with the test version.

This is intended to TEST a theme you’re not going to switch on from the TEST phase. WP does not support keeping widgets intact when changing themes, natively since the functions file changes which specifies which widgets are being instantiated (duh).

So, it works wonderfully for its intended purposes.

it does NOT make coffee, however, damn it ! 🙂



Theme Test Drive はオープンソースソフトウェアです。以下の人々がこのプラグインに貢献しています。


“Theme Test Drive” をあなたの言語に翻訳しましょう。

開発に興味がありますか ?

コードを閲覧するか、SVN リポジトリをチェックするか、開発ログRSS で購読してみてください。



  • Fixed security issue


  • WordPress 4.1 refresh and compatibility


  • Removed the versionc hecking code
  • WP 3.5.1 compatible


  • Update for compatibility to WordPress 3.4.1 by replacing deprecated calls (thanks Lance Willett!)
  • Use new WP_Theme API for loading themes and getting theme information
  • Fix PHP warnings


  • WordPress 3.2 compatibility


  • Reverted the admin capabilities so the user can see the options panel for theme being previewed


  • Added a patch for theme and stylesheet filters that sometimes caused problems with user capabilities


  • WordPress 2.8 compatibilty


  • Fixed the problem with access level update


  • WP 2.7 cleanup and security update


  • Easy theme installation: Install your themes using a built in installer
  • Ability to use folder name as well as “?theme=xxx” paramter for instant preview (thanks Michael Stewart!)