If you create WordPress themes, free ones for the repository, premium ones for theme marketplaces or exclusive ones for your clients, you’ll probably want to showcase your work on your personal website. To help you out with this task, here’s a free plugin called WordPress Theme Demo Bar. This plugin allows you to use a single WordPress installation to present more than one WordPress theme.
It works by adding a new toolbar at the top (or bottom, if you want) of a website with a theme selector menu. Your visitors can then easily switch through and preview each of your work. Such setups are common on theme marketplaces and theme shops which is so much easier than setting up a different environment for each and every theme you create.
How to Use WordPress Theme Demo Bar
The plugin works right out of the box. After installing and activating it, you can preview any installed theme by visiting a URL such as
http://yoursite.com/?themedemo=your-theme-folder-name. This will load the specified theme with a Theme Demo Bar, a theme switcher drop down list and close button at the top (see in image). As the themes are previewed using a simple GET parameter, you can share direct link to preview a new theme of yours on social networking sites, emails, or anywhere else you want.
You can also load additional CSS files in the theme folder by adding its name to the URL, like so:
http://yoursite.com/?themedemo=the-theme-folder-name&extracss=blue,twocolumn. This will load
twocolumn.css. Separate each file name with a comma, without
To configure additional settings, go to Dashboard > Settings > WP Theme Demo Bar settings page. On this page you can completely customize the toolbar to your liking.
- Customize look and feel with custom CSS.
- Hide unwanted toolbar objects.
- Hide/show specific themes only.
- View theme preview stats.
- Display custom page to buy/download selected theme.
It doesn’t give you the flexibility of having different contents for different themes, which is something you’ll probably be looking for when showcasing, but still is a great way to provide theme demos to people.
All-in-all, the plugin provides you a quick and hassle free way to demonstrate themes, that too without any coding.