With abundant choice of freely available themes for WordPress every blogger gets tempted to test a new look every once in while. I know I get the urge often enough so I decided to discuss the subject of how you can safely test new look and see if the theme you liked will fit your blog vision.

Well, we are in luck!

Apparently this urge infects enough bloggers that someone has came up with great idea – create a plugin that will allow you to test new theme and see how it impacts your blog overall appeal without anyone but you knowing about it!

  • Theme Test Drive plugin was released on December 5th and looks like a winner in terms of functionality that allows you to do just what you desire – test new theme safely.

Perhaps the best part of this plugin is that new theme is only visible to you as admin while your visitors still see the old layout. One thing to keep in mind is to Not Change your widgets while testing new theme and if you have Super-Cache plugin, disable it.

And now since I have just discussed how you can safely test new theme I wanted to give you something to test 🙂 With popularity of Magazine style themes ever increasing (thanks to Revolution theme by Brian Gardner) I have found a theme developer that creates a free alternative that similar in functionality to Brian’s work.

Structure theme by Justing Tadlock can satisfy your desire to get a more hip look and functionality.

What I also like is that this theme comes in 2 versions: one your typical Magazine layout and second that is adopted for a more standard blog look.

He also provides with some great instructions on what you need to to make this theme work for your blog. It does rely on optional excerpts for your posts to display the list of posts so if you you have quite a few posts on your blog without them – you might not be able to use it without modifying the code in the theme.

Either way I think that theme will work quite nicely for testing the new plugin I have shared with you above. Enjoy…