Want to use 1 theme for your homepage and another theme for the rest of the website?
Then keep reading…
Parallax WordPress themes make for a gorgeous homepage for your website. In fact, any theme branded as a “1 page” theme means that the homepage is going to rock. Because, that’s what they’re designed for. Take this kick ass theme for example: Ronneby, stunning homepage but average blog.
But when you look at your steryotypical blogging themes however, it’s the opposite. A beautifully designed blog with a lot of deep linking, easy access to various published older content and a solid integration of social media. But the homepage, or about page or any page for that matter?
Not a lot of attention paid to these parts because blogging themes are focused more on the content display of blog posts.
I find homepages essential. Unless you’re building out a content mill like BuzzFeed.com, a homepage is a great way to help guide the visitor and to leave the right impression with your website. Since the blog part however of these themes is often neglected, I started looking for ways to integrate 2 or more themes in ONE WordPress install.
The end result is a cool, inviting, high converting homepage and a minimalistic but sexy blog for managing the content display everywhere else.
How it’s done
Use this multiple themes plugin by David Gewritz. Install it, activate it, then find it under appearance in your wp-admin.
Now calm down, it looks totally complicated when viewed for the first time. But it’s not complicated to use, the presentation is simply lacking aesthetics and simple language.
This plugin has three main superpowers:
- You can change the homepage of your website with the click of a button.
- You can assign a second theme to specific pages or posts.
- You can assign the second theme to any post or page with a keyword in the URL. The idea for this one is that you can change categories and tag pages to a different theme.
1 – Change the homepage
Under the settings tab for the multiple themes plugin, simply have 2 or more themes installed select the one you want for your homepage.
It’s that simple.
So REMEMBER, pick one theme to be your active theme for your entire WordPress website. Then use this plugin to select the alternative theme for your homepage. So while Jarvis is used as my homepage, the Sugarblog is my active theme.
Again, it’s really that simple 🙂
2 – Assign to specific posts or pages
Want to assign the alternative theme to a random page or post for whatever reason? Simply copy and paste your URL in here and click save. DONE.
3 – Assign for specific keywords
Use this feature to assign an alternative theme to a URL containing a keyword. Best for tags or themes. However, you do need be aware that if you have a post with the keyword in it, that post will be changed to the new theme as well.
Example would be if I wanted to use a different theme for the keyword “WordPress”. So I have the category WebsiteBuddha.com/WordPress, but I also have content with the keyword in the URL as well, WebsiteBuddha.com/how-to-install-wordpress. Both of these URL’s would be changed using this method.
Instructions on how to design both themes and best practices
This plugin is feature rich and uses complicated language. But really, it allows you to have one theme for your homepage and another theme for the rest of your website with the click of a button.
Simply install two or more WordPress themes you like on your website.
Set a static page to be your blog and a page to be your homepage (under settings >>>reading).
Activate the theme you want to be for your HOMEPAGE. Now design the homepage.
When you’re done, install a “coming soon” plugin and go activate the second theme you want to use as your active theme. The theme that will dictate the look of the rest of the website.
Now design the rest of your website. Use the multiple themes plugin at this point to select the alternative theme that you used to design your homepage. Your homepage should be designed at this point, so really, it just comes down to clicking a drop down button.
Done? Yes 🙂
Now you have two beautiful themes active on your website. One designed for the homepage, one designed for the blog and other content.
About all those other options
Keep in mind the user experience. It will be too weird if your homepage, about page, contact page are all radically different in design from one another. The best use of this plugin is to simply change the homepage to a theme that is designed with a killer homepage in mind and to use a different theme for the rest of the website.
Visitors expect a homepage to be elegantly designed, so take advantage of the strengths of themes designed for homepages and negate their weaknesses with this plugin.