WordPress Theme Test Drive: Preview & Customize New Theme Before Activating

I've been writing so much about Online Marketing especially email marketing tips for small business owners these days, I almost forgot I write about Blogging & WordPress hacks as well.

I'm a WordPress fan... My websites is part of the 26% of total websites powered by WordPress (Huge number). I love WordPress a lot due to the fact that Premium themes and plugins are available to even make it sweeter and flexible.

Basically it gives the folks who can't write code ability to create fantastic websites without doing much coding, programming. We could as well say people with minimal tech knowledge.

change wordpress themes using Theme test drive

In this article, You will learn how to switch to a new theme, How to change WordPress themes easily without a single sign shown to your website visitors using a plugin called Theme Test Drive.

But First, Why Would Anyone Want to Change His/Her WordPress Theme?

I don't know about you but I do it to keep up with the flow, It's Online Marketing and it changes constantly with new features added everyday here and there.

Unless I'm super satisfied with my Blog look, I'll always change it to keep up with the competition and you should too.

"Testing" One of the most important Elements of Online Marketing!

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Asides these, One of the most important elements of online marketing and owning an online business is "Testing" Test, Test and Test all over again to see what's working. It just doesn't stop with testing landing pages and opt-in forms.

Where Can i Get Great Premium Themes?

If you're looking for a high quality premium WordPress theme, Then the Envato Themeforest market might be a great place to start from. Most new theme providers list their new items there for sale.

Check it out >>

It's about over-all conversions and if it's not happening with your WordPress website, You should re-arrange things, change themes and copies to see if it works.

A number of other people also love to change their WordPress themes as well, An example is the of WPsquare who shared 5 reasons why he frequently changes his WordPress theme. Asides that, here's another angle to look at this from.

A while back Derek from social triggers published an article where he debunked the "Content is King" myth. The article was an eye opener to many people attracting over 600 shares on Facebook alone and over 240 comments.

Yeah it was but not me.. Why? I already knew this! I know how stupid it is to have a poorly designed website. In fact someone shared his opinion on the article.

comment from social triggers

If poorly designed opt-in forms can cost you qualified leads, Think of what a poorly designed website can do to you and your business.

So it all rolls back to testing, In fact right now! I'd suggest you find a new theme and make a switch right away... If it doesn't work well or outperform the previous then you can always roll back.

Before you do that, Here's a few things to have in mind before changing a WordPress theme.

Where Can i Get Great Premium Themes?

Another great source of high quality WordPress themes is MyThemeShop, Creators of WP Subscribe Pro and a couple of the best themes in the industry right now. They're good.

Learn More >>

Later on we'll discuss where you can find great themes. Now? We'll assume you have a new one.. Lets get down to this article to see how this works.

Changing Your WordPress Theme Without Leaving a Trace!

Since I started Babs Reviews Blog which is less than a year now, I have changed themes over 7 times already switching from the best premium WordPress themes available on the internet and all these while here's what I do when changing it.

Activate a plugin like Azul Responsive coming soon Plugin which makes every part of my website inaccessible to everyone who visits my blog. Instead it shows a sleek coming soon or maintenance page.

If you've ever seen one down here? I was just switching designs, nothing much was going on.

azul coming soon plugin

Anyways with the help of the Theme Test Drive Plugin you don't have to do that anymore.

Your visitor can still access every part of your website without having the slightest clue that you're doing some redesigning undergroud.

It's a FREE Plugin so there's no extra spending at all.

Getting Started!

Without wasting much time, you have to Install your new WordPress theme.. No! Don't activate it yet then go to your WordPress add new plugin and search for "Theme Test Drive" or just download straight from the plugins repository.

theme test drive plugin

Install and activate that.

Now all you need to do is simply Hover the Appearance link on your dashboard, Click on the Theme test drive link to go to the dashboard which looks like below.

theme test drive dashboard

Right now, My blog runs on a Theme called "Herald" from Meks. Back then, When I was customizing it... I had activated it for Test drive so all it does is Activate the theme for administrators only. I'm the only administrator on my blog then the previous theme I was using for the visitors.

Until I was fully done with the design.

After that all you need do is, Deactivate theme from Test drive... You may deactivate the WordPress plugin too if you like then go to your Appearance >> Themes then  activate your newly customized theme so everyone can see now have a feel of it.

See? As easy as that.

Where Can i Get Great Premium Themes?

Thrive Themes. These guys are seriously Trending right now. Creators of the Thrive leads list building plugin & The ultimate visual editor for WordPress, building conversion focused and optimized WordPress themes to help grow your business.

Check Out some of the Fantastic Themes >>

Wrapping it Up!

See how easy this was? Find a new WordPress theme >> Install, don't activate >> Install and activate Theme Test Drive >> Activate Test Drive on new WordPress theme only >> Customize to satisfaction >> Disable Theme test drive >> Activate new theme globally under Appearance Theme menu.

According to the article on Social Triggers 94% of the people who visited a website and distrusted it immediately say it's because of the design, That might be why you're not getting enough traffic or ROI on your advertising spends.

Make a change today, or try one. There's no harm in it. If you're bothered about where to find great themes I have attached fine places to do that in some areas of this article.

All these guys I have personally tested and they are good. Give it a trial today.

Have you changed WordPress themes before? How did you do it... Please leave your feedback below using the comment form and if you did enjoy the article please share 🙂


Howdy! I'm Me: Babs. I'm a Nigerian. I've created money making websites that Google loves and driven thousands of responsive visitors to my websites and client's. When it comes to building successful online businesses? Babs knows 92% of it. Learn more about Babs and the Blog →

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