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How to Use Multiple Themes for Pages in WordPress

With a little styling tweaks, you can easily create templates for pages, sections, and even a single post in your WordPress theme. But what if you wanted to use a completely different theme for a section or page on your website? In this article, we will show you how to use multiple themes for pages in WordPress.

Preparing Your Site for Using Multiple Themes

Before you begin, you need to create a complete WordPress backup and turn off any caching plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache on your site.

Sometimes caching plugins will show you an older version of the page which may restrict your ability to see changes properly.

Make sure that the themes you want to use are installed in WordPress. You can only activate one theme at a time, but you can install as many themes as you want. See our guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Themes installed on a WordPress site

Video Tutorial

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Using Multiple Themes in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install activate the jonradio Multiple Themes plugin. Upon activation you need to visit Appearance » Multiple Themes plugin to configure the plugin.

Multiple Themes plugin settings

The plugin comes with extensive information about how to use the plugin. Each section on the settings page is explained in full detail. We will try to summarize those settings for you.

There are three ways you can set up multiple themes. The first option allows you to set a different theme for your site’s homepage. Simply choose a theme from the dropdown menu and click on the save all changes button.

Site's Homepage theme

The second option is to provide a full URL, use a URL prefix, or an Asterisk in URL. Any pages matching the URL will use the theme you define here.

Define theme based on URL or Prefix

The third method to apply theme is by using a query keyword. Any URLs containing the keyword you define will use the theme defined in this setting.

Use a theme based on query keyword

Changing Theme Options

Please note that when you apply a theme to a section, page, or query, it does not change your current active theme. In order to configure a theme you will have to temporarily activate it. Lets suppose that you are using Twenty Thirteen theme on your website, and you applied Twenty Fourteen on a particular page on your website.

To configure theme options for Twenty Fourteen, simply go to Appearance » Themes and activate Twenty Fourteen theme. Now you are free to make changes to the theme using Appearance » Customize.

Changing theme options for a non-active theme

Once you are satisfied with the theme setup, save your changes and then come back to Appearance » Themes and reactivate your old Twenty Thirteen theme.

For more advanced theme options, see the Theme Options tab on the plugin’s settings page.

Configuring theme options

That’s all for now. We hope that this article helped you learn how to use multiple themes for pages in WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

36 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hello,

    One theme is active so how to update second theme options as that theme is not activated plus its styling, templates totally different to active theme.

    Can you please help me here.

    Thanks!

    • You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for their current settings and methods for editing the themes.

      Admin

  2. After following this I am facing issues with
    1. Proper functioning of addtional CSS across multiple themes.
    2. Proper functioning of Common Widgets across multiple themes.

    Is there any solution to these problems?

    • You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support and they should be able to assist.

      Admin

  3. Hello,
    I have a wedding planning website built on wordpress. I’m planning to add wedding websites for brides. They will be able to create their own websites.
    Is this something multisite can do?
    Is there another way to achieve this?

    Thank you.

  4. Hello Syed,

    Is there anywhere where I can get answers about the WP themes that don’t provide the information that I need to make the right choice.

    It appears to this newbie that the developers of the themes assume everyone knows the basic ins and outs of themes.

    My frustration for lack of knowledge is:

    1) To find a fast response WP theme that will allow me to make the Home/First page “Static”? and will it allow me to use my own images for the header/background?
    2) Does the theme have extra page templates for what ever?
    3) Does it have a navigation bar to display links to my blog-photo gallery and subdomains?
    4) Do I have to have same theme for a blog, which must be set up for adsense and affiliate boxes?
    5) Does the Photo Gallery need a separate theme?
    6) Do my subdomain sites have to be the same theme?

    A lot of questions, but I genuinely need the answers please.

    I appreciate you can’t possibly look after everyone’s issues but even if you would be kind enough to direct to where I may be able to get the answers, that would be like winning the lottery.

    With fingers crossed I hope you will find time to reply with positive information for this dummy.

    Regards,
    Neil.

    • Hi Neil,

      Unfortunately, you will need to contact theme developers individually to get answers and you are right it could be slow to get the answers you need. Meanwhile, you can check out theme demos and those will answer some of your questions. For example, you can see navigation menus, photo galleries, advertisement boxes, and so on.

      You can use any theme with AdSense.

      Your subdomain sites can have different themes.

      Admin

  5. My goal is to use multiple themes in a single page. I already know how to use multiple themes on different pages of the same site. I want to create a long page, with discrete “jump-to” sections, and use a different theme for each section, so that when one uses the links to navigate to the various sections, they experience the appearance of going to separate pages. In this way, I don’t end up with a messy and confusing pull-down nav bar menu at the top of each page.

  6. Hi,

    I’m looking for a multi wordpress installation with the features as below…

    1. Categories in 1 installation should be common to other installations. For example in some theses, posts are placed based on category names, so I should be able to give category name of other WP installation there… Kindly help as I’m struggling with this since long..
    2. Users should be common in all installations.
    Thanks

  7. Hi , I will use this to create mobile site with second theme and use domain with m.domain.com

    If i redirect www to m will redirect loop, What the solution for this..
    Thanks ,

  8. Hi i have two themes on my wordpress site one is responsive other is not so i want that if someone visit my website through pc it will display non responsive theme and if someone visit my website through mobile it will display responsive theme..Sorry for my bad english thank you

  9. I installed the Multiple Themes plugin. When I try to navigate to the second theme, I get the message “error trying to establish database connection”

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  10. I activated WP’s Page Theme, as suggested by Skyborough, and for my Posts page, selected a different installed theme using the extra ‘page theme’ column. It did not work. My Posts page still has the default theme. I tried selecting the different theme for an individual post instead of the Posts page, but this did not work either.

    I use Cobalt Blue for my static pages but this does not work well for the posts so want to use a simpler theme such as FlatBox for the Posts page.

    I don’t know what else to try, or what I may be doing wrong. Any advice …?

    Thanks

    • Update: Silly me … I switched to the Multiple Themes plugin described in this article, and it works great. Thanks for the tutorial.

  11. Great, But what if the main idea is not to merge 2 or more theme under one theme, what if I see a particular section from other theme and I like it, lets say the footer or possibly the header and I want to take that particular section. How do I go about that without it affecting my main theme make up..

    Thanks for your assistance !!

  12. Great article. WordPress is a great enterprise content management system that can fulfill any type of business requirements according to the requirements. The effortless admin panel help a developer to have complete control on the website activities painlessly. WordPress can effectively implement any task including using multiple themes on landing page or even with a particular section of a page. There are multiple plugins available to do the task, however while implementing them, it is important to take certain precautions like disabling caching plugin. “Multiple Theme” is a good WordPress plugin that comes with number of options to allow a developer to include multiple themes on a web page. I feel, using multiple themes for different locations can be an effective strategy to engage visitors by providing a personalized feel, but using multiple themes can make a website slower which might be an issue to resolve.

  13. I want to have a classified website for campus students and at the same time have a blog and question and answer .

    To do this I desired to use 3 premium themes.
    my question is , will using as much theme slow down my website load speed entirely?

    And is this act SEO friendly?

    Thanks

    • Each time a page is loaded with diff theme, the browser will have to pull elements (images, css etc) relating to that theme. So yes, that will ‘slow’ the site down compare to having just one theme where the browser pull the elements once and cache it.

      However, if your premium themes are not heavy (like a lot of big images etc.), then it should be ok.

      Fast website loading is a plus fro SEO but this doesn’t the end all and be all for SEO. You should look at your heading tags and content and also how it links with one another.

      You will have to weight the balance between SEO friendly, fast loading vs the type of site you want with 3 themes.

  14. Hello! Thank you for such great info!

    I’m searching for info I can’t seem to locate anywhere:

    I inherited a poorly designed website and as a newbie I want to install a new theme and create and build a site using the same domain, but without disturbing the existing site should anyone stumble there.

    I’ve already installed my new theme (not activated).

    Can someone please direct me to where I can find info on:

    1. How to work on an entirely new site using the same domain
    2. Once it’s complete and working well, how do I transport it in place of the original, existing website I want to replace on that same domain.

    Thank you!

  15. I cannot install jonradio.. This what it says:

    Unpacking the package…

    Installing the theme…

    The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet.

    Theme install failed.

    • No, it isn’t like that. Suppose I go to facebook.com, it will redirect me to a login page, right? If I am already logged in, it will take me to the homepage. This is what exactly I want to achieve.

  16. Hello guys, I have this weird requirement: I want my users to see a different page when they access mydomain.com and are not logged in, but if they are logged in they should be redirected to the normal home page. Similar to how facebook works. Can you tell me the easiest way through which I can achieve this?
    Thank you.

    • There is a plugin for what you want: the ultimate coming soon plugin.

      It will work for your purpose.

  17. You can use any page as the static front page of your website. When you no longer wish to use it as the front page simply go to Settings > Reading and change static front page to something else.

  18. I’m so pleased this post has come along right now!
    I’ve decided to design my own site using WP.

    I have 2 premium themes I like & will need to use a membership plugin too.

    To start list building while I work on my site I want to use one of the themes to create a temporary landing page but the other theme to do the rest of the site. Also, once the site is finished I’d like the landing page to be somewhere else on my site (no longer being the page visitors land on when using my site url.

    I’ve been wondering how to do it but also procrastinating due to not being aware if thee are traps I might be setting for myself if I do this.

    Can you tell me which option is the best choice or are they all the same, ie; just different ways to do it?

    Many thanks again for raising this!

  19. Two things:

    a) Response to Dan Knauss – none of that actually happens. You merely have a different theme per Page or Post. No complications at all. Is there another way? Yes, but this works well, and is easy.

    b) “Page Theme” is another PlugIn found in WP Plugin library. When activated, it installs another column in the WP Pages View and it enables one to assign any other (other than the current default theme) to any Page or Post you wish. Quite easy to do.

    When you install another theme that is not intended to be the default them, you do NOT activate it upon installation. You merely install it and then return to normal Admin stuff. In that way you have installed another (or more than one) theme which is there but NOT activated and is NOT the default theme.

    Then you assign whatever theme of all those available to whatever Page/Post you choose.

  20. I’ve seen this plugin or another like it in the past, and I’ve wondered how it could be used well and why anyone would do it. Do you know any examples? Wouldn’t it be better to just create custom page templates within a single theme? Multiple themes with different and extensive functions.php files seem like they’d be resource hogs and liable to introduce redundancies and conflicts in functionand design code unless the themes were specifically built for this type of usage.

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