Support » Themes and Templates » WordPress 3.0: Multiple Themes

  • Hi,

    I’m new to WordPress and trying to figure out the best way to accomplish the following scenario: conceptually I want to have one theme applied to my main site then different themes for sub-sections of my site. Specifically I want one theme for the main “corporate” section of our site, then have different sub-sections for events that we host – each event needs a separate theme, and will often look significantly different from the main site. A specific event consists of multiple pages, and all pages for a given event will follow the same theme. For example:

    Main site
      – home [main theme]
      – events [main theme]
       – event 1 [event 1 theme]
        – home for event 1 [event 1 theme]
        – info page [event 1 theme]
        – another info page [event 1 theme]
       – event 2 [event 2 theme]
        – home for event 2 [event 2 theme]
        – etc… [event 2 theme]
      – about [main theme]
    – contact us [main theme]

    I have done a bit of research into this and I’ve found Page Templates as well as the new multi-user features of WordPress 3.0. I think these can be used to achieve what I’m trying to do, but I’m not sure which is the best way to go.

    From my research, Page Templates look like they could do the job, however they seem a little convoluted and not as widely used as Themes. When I want a new theme for a subsection of my site (using the term “theme” conceptually here) it’s easy to find existing WordPress Themes and modify them for my needs, however, libraries of Page Templates for different looks and feels do not exist, therefore more custom work required.

    On the flip side, a multiple user installation of WordPress can easily accommodate different WordPress Themes and they are obviously plentiful. However, after installing a test setup I found out that search didn’t work across the subsites and the main site – which doesn’t work for my scenario, I need search to work across my entire site and well as subsections/subsites (conceptual).

    I’m looking for some advice on how best to achieve my scenario from some folks who really understand WordPress. Other options that I haven’t considered are also very welcome.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


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  • How different are these main theme and event themes going to be? If they are totally different, they your going to want to figure out how Multisite works. If on the other hand, they are basically the same colors and have some of the same design, then your going to want to create new template files or edit template file in your theme.

    Templates are found within every themes. Common page templates include: index.php, single.php, 404.php and give you different elements for your home page, author pages, post pages, and so on. Your most likely going to want to create new category templates for each of your events. The codex has a page that lists template related articles. A search on Google for: wordpress page templates, may help you too.

    Creating page templates is going to require knowing PHP, HTML, and CSS. Using Multisite is more for advanced users, but can be done by following the Create A Network page in the Codex.

    More information on what your looking for would help. Please ask if your need more assistance or need something clarified.

    Thanks for your reply.

    The main site will be pretty different from the event subsites. The main site will be a pretty classic corporate information site including numerous pages about the company, blog etc… The event subsites will be a series of about 5-8 pages about the event (the home page, info, details, tickets etc…).

    Although the main site will contain a blog, I’m essentially using WordPress as a simple CMS.

    Each event site will differ from the main site in the following ways:
    – layout: the main site will be a standard header + 2 column layout in the body + footer layout, each event subsite has it’s own layout, which will differ from the main site
    – header: the main site will have a consistent header across all pages, the header for each event subsite will be different to the main site
    – fonts and colors: will be different for the main site and each event subsite
    – footer: I haven;t decided on this yet, but the contents of the footer might actually be the same or pretty similar between the main site and the event subsites (however, the fonts, colors will differ and will match the respective event subsite).

    The look and feel of each event subsite will be very different from the main site in fact, unless visitors inspect the URL, they could easily think they’re on a different web site all together.

    Note that within an event subsite, all pages (5-8 of them) will follow the same “theme” for that event subsite.

    Your recommendation seems to be to use Multisite. Is there a way I can have integrated search from the parent site across the subsites?


Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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