If you have ever run a website, you will be familiar with the following scenario: you make a change to your code only to find your changes have broken your live website – costing you time, money and visitors in the process. Deployment of untested changes to a live website can be disastrous, leaving your website crippled and your audience annoyed.
This is why most webmasters like to operate a test environment, a place where they can freely test their code innovations without affecting the flow of their living, breathing websites. Some people run their test environment locally (on their home machine) while others set up a parallel installation on their server. In either case, it can be quite a hassle keeping the two sites in sync in order to have an up-to-date testing setup.
Webmasters running WordPress no longer need to resort to such drastic measures to test design changes made to their websites because of the Theme Test Drive plugin.
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.
Installation is a piece of cake – simply hit “Install” in the Add New Plugin screen in WordPress admin, activate the installed plugin and you are ready to go.
Once installed, in your WordPress admin menu go to Appearance -> Theme Test Drive, select a theme from the dropdown and hit the “Enable Theme Drive” button.
That’s it, you (as an Administrator) will now experience the new theme when you view your site, while your visitors will remain none the wiser. To disable the test drive of the new theme just hit the “Disable Theme Drive” button.