WordPress Theme Demo Bar Plugin • All-in-one Solution for Theme Demo, Preview and Showcase

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Posted in Featured , Wordpress Plugins on 20 April 2009 199 comments

Latest Version is 1.6.3


WordPress Theme Demo Bar is a plugin for wordpress (compatible up to WP 3.0.5) that allows any wordpress theme to be previewed without activating it. A demo bar would be shown on top of page, allow users to preview another theme. The demo bar is customisable at admin panel. More than 1 extra CSS files can be loaded too.

This plugin is suitable for theme designers to show all demos of their themes in a single wordpress installation.


- Compatible with WordPress 3.0.5
- Tested on WP 2.7.1, WP 2.8, up to 3.0.5
- If you are using older versions of WordPress, if possible, please reply here with your version (and error, if any).

List of features, FAQs, Changelog and Usage

Please refer to the WordPress Theme Demo Bar Plugin Page at WordPress Extend

Using Shortcodes and Template Tag Functions


WordPress Theme Demo Bar 1.6.3 - 22,147 downloads


Preview MonoShade Theme

Like this plugin? Donate via Paypal

I spent a lot of time making themes and plugins. If you like this plugin and would like to support my works, you can donate via PayPal using the button below.

Thank you.


Posted by Zen on 20 April 2009 • 206,860 visits 199 comments
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baron says:

Works great, thank you

criss says:

great plugin! will try it!

zen says:

You’re are welcomed.

Thank you guys, for using my first plugin ! :D

csspick says:

great plugin!

NillaNemapapy says:

Hello, I can’t understand how to add your blog in my rss reader

zen says:

@NillaNemapapy, this is my rss url : http://feeds2.feedburner.com/zenverse/.

Alternatively, you can use the form at the sidebar to subscribe to updates by email.

Thank you.

SmotiamiNoP says:

cool sitename man)))

Marty Thornley says:

Hey – Great Plugin!
I couldn’t find any theme switchers that operated as nicely as yours except for one thing… It worked on the main page but as soon as I clicked on anything, the nice themebar went away.

I realized that all that was need was your ‘?themedemo=’ added after any URL, whcih should be easy enough to do using javascript.

So I fooled around for awhile and finally figured it out…

Not sure if this javascript will copy into your comment, but here it is:
var pageLinks=document.getElementById(“page”).getElementsByTagName(“a”);
for(var i=0;i<pageLinks.length;i++)
pageLinks[i].href += “?themedemo=’.$zv_wptdb_themedemo.’”;
If that didn’t work, email me and I will send it to you.

Marty Thornley says:

I see that the pasting worked…

btw, I added that right after this section…

// enable the demo bar only if javascript is activated
document.write(\’body { padding-top:31px; }\’);

Probably doesn’t matter where you put it, except that your passing in and out of php and javascript made the quotes change from single to double depending on where you place it.

zen says:

First of all, thank you Marty Thornley.

I used your script as a quickstart for the idea. Your script has some minor bugs that should be take into consideration.

For example:
- Only internal links should be edited
- URL like index.php?p=22 was edited to index.php?p=22?themedemo=xxx rather than index.php?p=22&themedemo=xxx
- the themedemo variable should be added before the “#” in URL. Eg: index.php?themedemo=xxx#respond

So I did some edits and fixed the problems.

It is version 1.1 now.

Thank you and I’ve added your name in the change log above. :D

Lexi says:

Hi Dear,

I have install the plugin and not working properly … i want to insert into my template file.


The given code on the above page is not working properly.

it only shows the Select Option but dont show any button or any CSS.

Please help me out in this regard.


KonstantinMiller says:

How soon will you update your blog? I’m interested in reading some more information on this issue.

Quick Colorado says:

Enjoying your plugin. Like that the css can be edited to customize the bar display. I stuck it into a couple sites. Here is one: http://hqcode.com/?theme=FC_Fall
.-= Quick Colorado´s last blog ..Crappy Photo? Cheat Like Hell! =-.

zen says:

@Quick Colorado, I wil add that feature soon :)

Arie Putranto says:

Hi … I have installed your plugin and it works like a charm. Great thank for you! I do need this to show my clients that I’m serious to working on their projects ..

check it out here :
.-= Arie Putranto´s last blog ..How To Find a Web Designer =-.

Alice Ralph says:

I LOVE this plug-in, thanks so much!!
I do have one question though… how can I make it so that the bar is a permanant feature? I know I could hack it to remove the X close button, but can I make it so that rather than going to the preview URL the bar automatically appears from the first time the visitor appears on my site (ie. from http://www.mysite.com onwards)?

The reason is that I am trying to build a built in theme switcher along the lines of http://anidea.com and this would be an ideal work-around.

If you can help me at all, thanks in advance!

zen says:

@Alice Ralph, regarding the permanant feature, it can be done using just a few lines of codes but I believe the outcome would not be the one you looking for. You still need some edits.

Edits are needed to:
1. Remember user selected theme
2. Remove ?themedemo= variable
3. Avoid conflict with ?themedemo= variable
4. more??

Anyway, I see you already have a theme switcher at the bottom of page?


Sabine says:

Hello,at first thanks so much for this great plugin.I really love it,but I got one problem and don´t know how to solve it.
If I click my showcase I get sometimes this error:

Warning: in_array() [function.in-array]: Wrong datatype for second argument in /home/design/public_html/demo/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-theme-demo-bar/wp_theme_demo_bar.php on line 109

Warning: in_array() [function.in-array]: Wrong datatype for second argument in /home/design/public_html/demo/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-theme-demo-bar/wp_theme_demo_bar.php on line 114


Could you help me please how to fix this problem?
Thanks in advance!
.-= Sabine´s last blog ..Updates =-.

zen says:

@Sabine, Sorry it was a small mistake.

I fixed that in version 1.2.1. You can Auto Upgrade it now.

Thank you for informing.

Sabine says:

WOW,it´s working now!
Thanks so much for your fast help!
Have a nice day,
.-= Sabine´s last blog ..Updates =-.

zen says:

@Sabine, no problem :)

Anyway, version 1.3 will be available soon. *with lotsa new features*


alsd says:

Great plugin! I found a conflict that is preventing me from using your plugin. I use jquery tabs for my themes and the tabs are placed on the sidebar. When previewing themes that have no tabs, everything works, but with themes that have tabs on the sidebar, it tries to load the page (the theme) in the first tab.

After numerous tests, and the consistent error I see from Developer tool that reads:
Error: document.getWlementsByTagName(“body”)[0] is undefined.

First, WordPress team member suggested I make good use of jquery scripts which are already bundled with WordPress so to reduce relundant files. With the suggestion I called the jQuery scripts from function.php file like so:


I get the above error and my theme that has tabs on the sidebar tries to loads twice when I tried to preview.

But if I call the jQuery scripts from other server or place them in a directory directly from one of the theme folder, then I can preview the my themes.

Can this be fixed from your end? I want to have my themes showcase in WordPress themes directory, but it seems that my themes cannot get approved without fixing all suggestions made by Wordrepss them member.


alsd says:

me again! :)

OK! I did another test on another server, it appears not just the above wp_enqueue_script that is causing the issue, but perhaps one of the jQuery file (jquery-ui-core or jquery-ui-tabs).

I made the three jquery scripts to my theme folder, called them with absolute links and was getting the same error.

But if I used my good old jquery script (ui.tabs.pack.js) from below author which the script was not made into new jQuery UI (jQuery UI Tabs 1.7.1 ) and requires no ‘ui.core.js’, than eveything works as expected.

* Tabs 3 – New Wave Tabs
* * Copyright (c) 2007 Klaus Hartl (stilbuero.de) * Dual licensed under the MIT (MIT-LICENSE.txt) * and GPL (GPL-LICENSE.txt) licenses.

zen says:

@alsd, So..is your problem fixed or do you still have the problem?


alsd says:

Hi Zen, it’s a workaround. Ideally I prefer to use the wp_enqueue_script to call the jquery files.

This is the working version that uses ui.tabs.pack.js and is linked from outside of WordPress directory ( I don’t think this matter)

And here is non-working version that uses p_enqueue_script to call jQuery scripts bundled with WordPress:

If you open it from Firefox you maybe seeing a blank page that the page couldn’t load, and if you click on the Developer tool error icon, you can see the “Error: document.getWlementsByTagName(”body”)[0] is undefined.”.

With Safari or Opera, you can see that the page loads again in the first tab at the sidebar.

Both sites are running v2.8.4

zen says:

@alsd, I see. I got it.

But I am releasing version 1.3 in this few days/next week.

I will look into this matter after that, because I want to focus on the new release first. Is that okay?

At the mean time, I think you should avoid using the wp_enqueue_script method first.

Anyway, is that theme “wellness” a paid or free one? If it is free, I might need it for testing work.


alsd says:


Thanks a lot. NO problem not using wp_enqueue_script for now. I have not decided to release the theme as commercial or free as it’s part of the 3-in-1 package, but I likely will release the WP theme under GPL in a month or so. Anyhow, I am happy to send over the theme for you to run the test. Will make a donation too.

zen says:

@alsd, you can send the theme files to my email anytime (get it at the contact page).

I’ve received a donation today, is that you? Thank you!

alsd says:

Zen, yes. Just sent over my theme in zip format. Donation was from me, it’s a great plugin that I’d been looking since last week. I make websites for living, so whenever people like you make my work easier I love to show an appreciation.

zen says:

@alsd, Thank you! Really appreciate it. :)

alsd says:


Hi Zen,
Is this fixed in v1.3.1?

I am still seeing the same problem :(

zen says:

@alsd, unfortunately nope, sorry. The problem is quite difficult to solve =(

zen says:

@alsd, suddenly I don’t see the problem anymore. I am using wp theme demo bar version 1.4 (will be released today or tomorrow).

See it at here. Is it just me or?

Bill says:

Great site…keep up the good work.

james says:

In your blog i can always find something useful

Bill says:

Excellent site, keep up the good work

JHouse says:

This plugin is awesome. I got it to work pretty much immediately. The only issue I’m having with it now is when I run it with a the Great Real Estate plugin. When viewing the page with the property briefs it’s fine ( http://realestatecms.groundedgroup.com/properties-for-sale/?themedemo=D4_v1 ), but when I click that listing to go the the property detail along with all the property photos, it gets stuck in a loop…it keeps calling the whole page. See what I mean by going here:

As you’ll see, it calls the page again down below.

I don’t know if it’s who’s plugin is ultimately causing this, maybe a combo of the two. In any case, they’re both awesome.

Any ideas to what’s causing this?

Much thanks!

zen says:

@JHouse, Hi, I saw the problem. I have updated the plugin.

In version 1.3.1, you can now turn off the javascript tooltip. I did that change because I saw an javascript error with the tooltip script on your page (with looping error).

So now,

Auto upgrade to version 1.3.1 > turn off javascript tooltip > see if it works.


JHouse says:

Thanks for the quick help and plugin upgrade. I did what you suggested and thus turned off the javascript tooltip, but no dice…Still does the same thing…endless loop. I have plenty of time to test though, so if you want to email me directly with plugin updates to try, I’m game. Otherwise I’ll be checking back here often for update info.

Thanks again for your immediately help.

zen says:

@JHouse, I don’t see any javascript error anymore but still no help. Frankly I don’t think the problem is on my side. Hmm

JHouse says:

Orrrr, if you want to test it out on my site, I’ll email you the log/pass/path. However you want to proceed…

zen says:

@JHouse, you can definitely trust me on that but I am quite busy currently.

JHouse says:

Yeah, I think it could be with the other plugin. Thanks for your time and efforts. Have a good one!

Pamela says:

Wow! This has saved us so much time – couldn’t ask for a better theme switcher! You’ve got some serious quality stuff on this site – Thank you so much!
.-= Pamela´s last blog ..Free WordPress Theme Translucence =-.

zen says:

@Pamela, thanks for using my plugin. More features coming.

JHouse says:

Hey Zen,

I posted the issue I was having on the Great Real Estate plug-in forum and he seems to think that maybe it’s an issue with the latest JQuery Tabs. Here’s what he said: Sounds like your theme previewer may not be compatible with the latest jQuery tabs module.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

zen says:

@JHouse, no idea how to fix it currently. Maybe i will download the plugin and try locally.

JHouse says:

That would be awesome. I know you’re busy though, but if you have the time, that’d be cool.


zen says:

@JHouse, what version you are using?

I tested the plugin in version 2.7.1, the plugin causes javascript error even when I am not previewing a theme.

In version 2.8, no error occurs at all even when I am previewing a theme.

JHouse says:

Hmmm, I’m using 2.8.4 and still get the problem. I tried running it without NextGen Gallery activated and it worked, so maybe the issue is with them? Hmmm, did you have NextGen activated when you ran the plugin?

Thanks again for tackling this issue. Have a good one Zen.

zen says:

@JHouse, I don’t have NextGEN gallery.

Regarding the real estate plugin, I made a page for listing. Now all I see was the text I entered, how do I make myself into your situation (where the looping occurs)?

BTW, your site had this error now :

Call to undefined function: nggshowgallery

JHouse says:

Wow, I’m impressed with your diligence to figure this out. Thank you so much.

Okay, in order to reproduce the same problem, make sure you have checked this box area “Check to generate the default tabbed interface on each Listing Page (uncheck if you are using a custom template for your listings).” You will find this in the Real Estate area, under Settings. Also, you may need to run NextGen Gallery in order to reproduce the issue. And like I said, the problem could be with their plug-in.

Regarding the error you saw on my site, that’s because I have NextGen deactivated, and from the looks of it, the great real estate plug-in is trying to use it. From what I gather from the plug-in’s author though, it can run with other galleries too.

I’m gonna re-activate the NextGen plug-in so you can see the problem. Go here to test: http://realestatecms.groundedgroup.com/properties-for-sale/nice-red-house/?themedemo=D4_v1

Oh wait, I just re-activated NextGen plug-in, and while doing so noticed that you had an update for your plug-in, so I updated that and bam, everything works very well now. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! This just made my night. You’re the man!!!

Thanks again Zen. Your plug-in is awesome (and I tested several others, but they all fell short…not yours).


Thanks again Zen.
.-= JHouse´s last blog ..RISMedia Real Estate News and Marketing =-.

zen says:

@JHouse, aww. Did you mean version 1.4? I finished that few days ago. Glad it fixed the problem (although I don’t know how the problem was fixed, really) XD

Version 1.5 coming tomorrow. Don’t worry, if version 1.5 fails, you can revert to version 1.4 at the plugin page at wordpress extend. It should be okay though.


JHouse says:

Oh dang, sorry for the previous ultra long post. Just get to the end of it so you can see the good news.

Tici says:

Nice staff, Zen. I really appreciate your work. As I’m not a coder, programmer… you name it, I don’t know how to debug the plugin because the demobar on a fresh wordpress install (3.0.1) is not working. With earlier version is working like a charm. Any thoughts, please? Is anyone here who knows how to make the demobar appear when someone preview a wordpress theme?

Thanks in advance,


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