Support » Fixing WordPress » Need to have single themes folder for many blogs

  • I have searched and searched, both WordPress forum as well as googling this… the only results are people asking the same question but nobody has yet answered.

    I am going to have a few blogs on various subdomains and I typically find myself customizing the theme files for various reasons. I modify the templates locally so I will have what I want prepared for upload to any given blog. But this is so wasteful as I then have to upload the theme several times, and aside from that of course there are many copies of the same files just to have them on each blog!

    I want to have ONE folder containing the theme templates where WP looks when it lets me peruse my available themes.

    I figured I’d have to change a parameter somewhere for exmaple called “themes_folder=” or something like that, where I could use a URL to direct it where to look. Is this possible? It is very frustrating to have to modify the template and upload it several times to different locations all the same files. I not only spend more time doing this chore, but use up more space on my host.

    Any solution?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Now now, themes don’t take up much space! 🙂

    I don’t have the answer either… How much access do you have on your server? I wonder if symlinks would work?

    The disk space isn’t even the more crucial problem. It is that I find myself wanting to modify a theme’s structure or some of the built-in content… the more blogs I run (which will increase over time), the more locations I would have to update with that theme. Add to that the fact that I may want to swap around themes now and then, so I would have each theme having to go in each location… of course, I wouldn’t have a science-oriented theme NEED to go in the folder for a blog about food, but in general, the themes would all have to be kept up to date. It becomes a nuisance.

    I really hope this is resolvable.

    You didn’t mention this part from my previous post:

    How much access do you have on your server? I wonder if symlinks would work?

    I am the administrator of my site and I have complete access to the domain, all folders, files, and privileges.

    Please describe a method you’d recommend and I can test it as I’m now creating a blog site.


    Is there NO internal reference which tells the system where to look for themes? Is the ./wp-content/themes path hard-coded into the system? One would think that was a variable that was modifiable.




    I am the administrator of my site and I have complete access to the domain, all folders, files, and privileges.

    thats still not clear 🙂 really.. are you root? Doing your own hosting, colocating a box, doing something like that.. are you thats what he is asking..

    I am not sure what you mean, am I root? The domain is mine, and I have all access to everything in the domain’s folder. In addition, I can modify file and folder privileges, create and remove domain objects, etc.

    It would help if you asked me “can you do xxx,” for example. This way I would be able to get a definitive answer for you.




    your site is hosted somewhere (evidenced by your last answer) ..

    Can you create a symlink? It typically takes root access.




    not to confuse matters, but being able to create a symlink doesnt make you root. As long as own the files, you can do that, on some setups. I can, for instance, on aso, and I am by no means, root.

    Again, not to confuse matters, just dont want someone thinking their root when theyre not. 😛

    That’s why I like to use “weasel” words like “typically“. 🙂

    Ok I understand what a symlink is, I remember setting them up in a UNIX shell I used to operate. It is sort of a windows “shortcut” without intending to insult it by relating the two. For example on my FTP server where clients connect, I have some “links” which, if they click on, will take them to another location, but those can be accessed via the command “CD xxx” just like a directory.

    Therefore, if you mean that I should create my themes folder wherever I want it, then create a “symlink” with the name “themes” within the wp-content folder, and the blog engine will simply tunnel through that symlink, then I will get to work on that.

    Is this the course of action you mean?

    More or less, yep. I’ve never tried it, which is why I was wondering if it would work in my earlier response.

    Seems like it would save a lot of time once the links were setup though. One master set of files to edit and all the blogs would get those changes in real-time.

    Ok then I’m about to go looking to see if and how I can set it up. Will post results.

    Thanks so much.

    My site management system actually has an option to turn on or off symbolic links for any given domain!

    However, now I’m really bashing my head trying to figure out how to make a symbolic link.

    Here’s the setup

    (I found documentation on changing the folder of all the engine material, and this works fine… just changed the reference in index.php)

    I have MOVED the themes folder from wp-content/themes to

    Now, I assume my symlink must be within the actual wp-content folder, and be called “themes”
    Is this a correct assumption?
    Now, what exactly would this contain?
    I have tried many ways to reference the actual location but I’m a dummy so I’ve just been trying things like
    ../../ and also from the complete root of my site. None of these things has worked and I suspect I’m doing it totally wrong.

    Please tell me what the file should contain, using the references I gave you.

    Just to let you know in case this matters, the real real path to my site is something like

    Thanks for the help, please put me on the right path!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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