Test a WordPress Theme Without Changing it for Live Visitors

Once in a while, you may find some WordPress themes that you wish you could test it on your site but you don’t want your visitors to see it on your live website. WordPress does has this ‘Preview’ feature but it is not good enough for actual testing. If you are going with the same thing, then you will love this tutorial. There is a WordPress plugin that will allow you to test the WordPress theme without activating it, it is called Theme Test Drive plugin created by Vladimir Prelovac.

What is 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.

How to use Theme Test Drive plugin? (Note: Video tutorial is embedded of this post)

1. Go to Dashboard, then navigate to Plugins menu and click on ‘Add New’

Add new WordPress plugin

2. Type ‘Theme Test Drive’ and click on ‘Search Plugins‘.

Search WordPress plugins

3. Now you will see search results, you will notice that Theme test drive plugin will be on the top, click on the ‘Install Now’ link to proceed with the Plugin installation

Theme Test Drive Install

4. Click on ‘Activate Plugin’ link to activate the theme

Activate WordPress plugin

5. You will notice the new page ‘Theme Test Drive’ appear under the ‘Appearance’ menu. Click on it

Theme test drive settings

6. Select which theme you want to ‘Test Drive’ without showing it to live visitors. Only Administrator will see this new theme activated on the site.

Select WordPress theme test drive

7. After selecting a new theme from the Dropdown menu, click on ‘Enable Theme drive’.

Enable option in WordPress plugin

Now just check your website link and you will see the new theme activated on the site.

Video Tutorial

UPDATE: The Theme Test Drive plugin is removed from the WordPress plugin repository. As WordPress improvises in every update and included the feature called “Customize” in its latest version. In the Dashboard, Go to Appearance and click on Customize, where you can customize your theme and see the live preview as well. 

If you are still in love with the Theme Test Drive plugin then you can Download it from HERE

Ending Credits

Thank you so much to Vladimir Prelovac (@vprelovac) for creating this such useful plugin, we don’t know what we would do with out this plugin.

– Please leave any comments or questions below!

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