How to test a new WordPress theme without affecting your reader’s experience

tweaking your wordpress blog theme

In a previous post, I recommended 5 free WordPress themes for your consideration.

Depending on how complex the setup of the theme, you may need to ‘close’ your blog down for a short while. Use the Under Construction plugin if you need to do that.

However, some themes may be more complicated and may take you days to set it up. During these few days, you do not want to lose your readers by showing them an ‘Under Construction’ blog.

Here’s how you can test out a new WordPress Theme without affecting your blog

1. Use a free account

The trick is to NEVER test it using your main WordPress blog.

Instead, create a free blog at, install the theme there and test it out there instead.

This will ensure that your main blog continues to function while you are planning the refurbishment of your blog. It will also prevent the loss of readers.

Do note that not all themes can be installed in the free WordPress account.

2. Create a subdomain

For the themes that cannot be tested on a free account. 

An alternative is to create a subdomain and install WordPress in your subdomain. You can do this via your hosting account.

Refer to the following support articles on how you can create a subdomain:

  • Bluehost:
  • Hostgater:

Login to your subdomain and test your new theme there.

Written by Yen Yee

Yen Yee

An aspiring digital entrepreneur who continues to learn and find her way around in the online world.


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