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 • 223,127 visits 199 comments
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Blogger Template says:

great plugin. is it can use for blogspot template demo???

Josh K says:

Zen, do you plan to add the extracss variable as a drop down menu, such as the theme selection drop down? That would make this plugin absolutely over the top insane =]

Take care, – Josh

kailoon says:

Cool plugin, using it now.

Is it possible to load the stylesheets when a theme is selected? Just like the woothemes demo bar.

Nice plugin, once again :)

Foia Dan says:

This plugin rules, but has a conflict with cub3r, cub3r is not showing…

Website design chennai says:

This website blog all are usefull informative sharing..Particularly wordpress themes are great!!!!

kailoon says:

I notice 1 thing, if I choose to hide the theme bar, it will not function properly.

Any idea?

Ocala FL Homes says:

I am interested in using this plug-in across multiple similar blogs. Do you have any functionality that allows a user to activate a selected theme across these blogs from a central interface blog?

Ocala FL Homes says:

Still interested in a plug-in that I could activate across multiple blogs potential in a network. Is this doable

Wrath says:

hello guys,
is there a way to preview the external themes?


i’m not able to do here.

Helthon says:


Era lo que estaba esperando para ofercer themes gratuitos desde mi blog.


Franklin Manuel says:

Is it possible to use the WordPress theme bar to load an external URL source

Jonathan says:

I am unable to edit the settings of individual themes from inside wordpress, unless I activate the theme. Any help would be great!

hans says:

same problem.

Lou says:

Just wanted to drop by and say thanks for an awesome plugin (Theme Demo Bar)! I will certainly be checking out more of your plugins.


Zachary says:

Great Plugin.

I’m trying to figure out how the hierarchy works for determining the ‘default’ placement of nav menus and if a hierarchy even exists (eg: maybe there is only one default?)

What I mean is this: I have themes with multiple menu areas registered and configured… but when I switch themes that have different menu areas… obviously the configuration (within the Appearance/Menus subpane) no longer is set for the menu area within each theme. I can understand this as WP wouldn’t normally switch theme so fast – but I also know that there is always one menu that works by default (perhaps just the first one called in the theme?) and I can’t find any good documentation about this default menu placement in the codex.

Has anyone else solved this? Any suggestions?

Jauhari says:

Is it Work for WordPress 3?

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,


Oh, I got it! For everyone out there, make sure the theme you are previewing has the wp_head(); function in header.php just before the closing tag.

Thanks Zen!!!

Amanda says:

I get an error: “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” when I try to edit the various theme options (eg in ../edit-theme-options.php?theme=elegance)

Top WordPress Themes says:

Is there a way to turn http://wpdemo.topthemeslayouts.com/?themedemo=hyacinth into http://wpdemo.topthemeslayouts.com/demo/hyacinth ?

zen says:

I just tested on my local site, by adding this rewrite rule:

RewriteRule ^demo/(.*)$ /?themedemo=$1

The themedemo is working. However, everything else is broken, the image is not showing, 404 error is encountered, and more. Therefore I believe it need more works and it is very troublesome making it work perfectly. I wouldn’t recommend doing so.

Gwyneth Llewelyn says:

You might need to plug into WP’s internal rewrite structure, which is a pain to deal with :( I gave up on my own attempts after reading tons of tutorials. Yes, it’s possible to get it working, but it’s very, very hard to do it correctly (specially if a lot of other plugins are busily adding their own URL rewrite code and you don’t which to tamper with it).

.htaccess is just the “external” and easiest way to accomplish things (probably with a more complex regexp though), but ideally, this kind of behaviour should happen through the WP API, which will make sure that no conflicts arise with other plugins (and WP’s core URL rewriting). Alas, it’s very hard to do that properly; in some sites/forums, it’s the most asked question, and one that is almost always incompletely answered…

Chris Quinn says:

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. Also, on the WordPress codex site it didn’t show compatibility up to 3.05. I’m glad I came to your page because I didn’t know this information.

Mike says:

Is there any plan to update this for 3.1? The new Admin toolbar overlays right on top of this when logged in as an admin. Not a big deal for most cases, but would be nice to be able to use it regardless if you’re logged in or not.

Seags says:


Been using your plugin for a while now and it functions exactly the way we want. However I went into edit the theme options and I get “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”. I have seen that a few people have commented about it with no fix.

I am running WP 3.1.1 and 1.6 of your plugin. Any ideas?

maitreya says:

hi there.. I just have problem with your plugin in WP 3.1.2..when I try Editing Theme Options in your plugin it give me output message “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” I’ve spoke with some people and it definitely in your plugin and not in wordpress.. please update plugin. thank you!

Sigi Trapp says:

I want to edit theme options but I always get the message “Du hast nicht ausreichend Rechte, um auf diese Seite zuzugreifen.”
What’s wrong?

Jeff says:

Awesome plugin. Saved me a lot of work!
Is there a way to remove the token image that is added to the media area on the page editor? I don’t want non-admins to have access to put this on their pages.

Alley says:

I know your site says it’s only compatible up to 3.05 and I’m running 3.1.2 so that might be my issue (although it says on the WP plugins site that it runs on 3.1.3 just FYI) but when I try to edit theme options I get a fatal error.

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare wpthemedemobar_widget() (previously declared in /home/qpdx/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-theme-demo-bar/widget.php:3) in /home/qpdx/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-theme-demo-bar/widget.php on line 38

(From this page: http://qpdx.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=wordpress-theme-demo-bar/wp_theme_demo_bar.php)

Gwyneth Llewelyn says:

Whew. I’ve been looking for a way to deal with switching themes on a site with a very complex URL slug structure (it’s a multilingual site with support for mobile users and has a text-only mode…). None seemed to be getting the links correctly on categories, menus, etc. and would always switch back to the “wrong” (main) theme.

After painful hours and days wasted searching all over the Internet for a way to properly do URL rewrites, I finally stumbled across your plugin. After testing so many different ones, yours finally provided a working solution: forget about WP’s own URL structure, use JavaScript to dynamically change all URLs! Very clever idea!

Anyway, in my case, I don’t want the theme demo bar to show at all, although I require the Javascript. Since there is no option for “no bar” (if it’s turned off, the Javascript doing the URL rewrites will not be launched), instead of hacking your own code to add another option, I just used a bit of extra CSS:

#wpthemedemobar {
display: none;
.wpthemedemobar_wrapper {
display: none;
.wptdb_left {
display: none;
.wptdb_current {
display: none;

Very simple and does the trick.

Thank you very much for your awesome work! You were truly a lifesaver!

hans says:

When i click “Edit theme Option”, I got this massage “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”.

I think, maybe crash with another plugin so I installed the new wordpress 3.1.3, with no plug-in. But the problem still there…

can you help me with this?
thanks for your attention

maitreya says:

hi there. thank you for your plugin, it works but there is one big problem.. I need to use Editing Theme Options and this doesnt work with worpdress 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 and with 3.1.3 which I am using now… when you press edit theme options in your plugin it gave you msg: You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page. There is nothing wrong with wordpress because your plugin used to work in older versions.. soon as 3.1.1 came out this function on your plugin just doesnt work. Can you fix this problem BIG PLEASE! and even BIGGER THANKS :)

Deepak says:

Thanks I have used this plugin.

hans says:

one word to this plugin: WOW!!!
but i get this when i go to Edit Theme Options.
“You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page”.

Can you help me?


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