For developers and webmasters who own a WordPress website will know what am talking about. When you want to change a theme to your WordPress site – 1. For a new website, you can directly make the changes on a live website. Live website means directly online, rather than making changes to your own dummy wordpress testing environment hosted in home server. What is the advantage and disadvantage ? Lets talk about the advantage later, but making changes (like themes, adding special functionalities, etc) directly on the live site will affect your users. Because, if you make changes directly on the live site, you wouldn’t know where the code breaks or bugs prevail. Sometimes, chances of messing up the whole website are more. So always, it is safer to make modifications on your dummy home server by setting up a dummy wordpress site and making changes to it. Finally, you can copy paste the changes to the live site.
Another drawback here is, When you want to change the theme for your WordPress site which has large database and thousands of people viewing at the same time. In this scenario – when you make custom wordpress theme, you test it on your dummy server. but in dummy server your database is small and you don’t know how it would affect when implemented on the live site which has large database and more users, etc. You can import the database to your dummy server, but when you wanted to test your custom theme on the live site, here is a quick way – Without affecting the current theme and your readers, you can test out your custom wordpress theme on the live site.
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. This gives you a chance to make modifications to your custom theme such as adding special functionalities. Only when you see how the theme blends well with the content, you will know where to add customizations etc.
So how does it work ? Once you’ve installed the plugin on your website, enter the theme URL. The Theme test drive can be selected under the appearance tab. Now enter the URL to the theme zip file and click to install the theme. You need to directly enter the ZIP file URL. If you preview a theme from a website, before downloading the theme, select the download URL (zip file) and enter it to test it.
Additionally you may add “?theme=xxx” to your blog url, where xxx is the theme name you want to test. To find the name of the theme, go under themes and see under the theme description. Or open your FTP, you find the theme name (themes folder/theme name). So once you’ve installed the theme, you can look for example : ttp://www.myblog.com/?theme=themename
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