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 transparently 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.

Since version 2.0 Theme Test Drive features instant theme preview using a website thumbnail service.

You can also preview any theme by adding "?theme=xxx" to your blog URL. For example (theme name is case-sensitive!)

For all questions about the plugin please visit my WordPress forums.


Installation & Usage

  1. Upload the 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 site will always see the default theme.

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


v2.6: Added user access level


  • Instant theme preview using a live thumbnail preview
  • Added "?theme=xxx" to your URL's to preview the desired theme. Example

Nov 29th, 2007 v1.0
* Initial release

Visit my other interesting WordPress Plugins or my WordPress theme Amazing Grace.

If you are looking forĀ  WordPress consulting services feel free to contact me


  1. Feb 25th, 2015 (4 days ago) 5:18 PM

    Hi. I am working on a site for someone at the moment. They have a custom theme currently. I want to keep their site, and that theme live, while I work in the background on the site with a new theme I want to install. I have installed your plugin. Now, can I upload a new theme and work on it, while the current theme and site remain live?

    Thank you,

    Michael Barry

  2. Jan 31st, 2015 (5 weeks ago) 1:54 AM

    Does this not work with WP-Cache? Would love to incorporate this into our WP site.

  3. lbx
    Jan 20th, 2015 8:58 AM

    Hello , I need theme demo site features, like the ability to increase wordpress-theme-demo-bar the same features ? You can charge ! Thank you

  4. Nov 23rd, 2014 4:50 PM

    Very nice plugin was looking for it. Will install and test my theme.

  5. Oct 10th, 2014 5:55 PM

    Hi - I've been using your themetest plug-in quite successfully but now I need to start the process of switching it over to the live site. First, I have to set a static front page (in Headway) and I want to make sure I'm not changing the live site at the same time. Perhaps a stupid question, but I have to be certain!

    (I would have searched for this in the comment threads, but there's no search function.)

    Thanks very much,


  6. Oct 10th, 2014 9:31 AM

    It says "The Test Drive is enabled" for the theme I want to use in my site re-design. However, when I click on Appearance > Customize to actually start working on the new theme for my redesign/relaunch, it's blank. How can I work on customizing the theme I'm test driving without that page?

  7. Oct 9th, 2014 11:37 PM

    Hi I downloaded the plugin so I can change the old website made by the previous person. When I activated the plugin and changed the menu, the menu was included in the old site. Is there a way, I can work on the new website without it showing on the old site?
    I am new to this and I appreciate any help


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