How to use multiple shoestrap themes for different parts of a WordPress blog?

Setting up WordPress for this

  1. Download the Shoestrap theme [source]:
    cd <DOCUMENT_ROOT>/wp-content/themes/;
    git clone git://;
  2. Create two or more variants:
    1. mv shoestrap shoestrap-default;
      cp -a shoestrap-default shoestrap-special;
    2. Edit file style.css of both your template copies and edit the "Theme Name:" line, configuring a unique name for both.
    3. In the WordPress template list (, all your template copies should now appear separately with their respective names.
  3. Go to "Appearance -> Shoestrap" and configure it to your needs, incl. a licence key. (It will be used for all installed Shoestrap instances,)
  4. Use the WordPress theme customizer ("Appearance -> Themes -> (choose theme) -> Customize / Live Preview") to customize your theme instances to your needs, and activate the theme instance that you want to be the default. Make sure to choose the correct theme activation options in the additional screen: if you have already a navigation menu, don't let it generate another one.
  5. Install the jonradio Multiple Themes plugin.
  6. Disable the Shoestrap theme activation options screen. This is helpful to save click work, because to configure a non-default theme for jonradio Multiple Themes, you have to activate it shortly, then activate your default screen again ["method 1" in the plugin's FAQ]. To disable this, edit the file lib/activation.php in all your Shoestrap instances and replace line 7 with:
    # wp_redirect(admin_url('themes.php?page=theme_activation_options?page=theme_activation_options')); # Original.

Configuring your multiple themes

In "Appearance -> Themes" you see multiple themes, one for each of the blog's differently styled areas. How to configure them:

  • The activated theme can be configured in the regular WordPress Theme Customizer ("Appearance -> Themes -> (active theme) -> Customize" or the bottom-left blue triangle in the frontend site when you're logged in).
  • To add and configure different (copies of) a theme for different parts of your website, the "Multiple Themes" plugin is used. See "Appearance -> Multiple Themes plugin".
  • To configure the appearance of a theme that is not "activated" as the default but used on some subpart of the site, edit it with the Appearance -> Themes -> (some theme) -> Live Preview" feature, and after saving re-activate your default theme. Detailed explanations here (under "method 1").

If you want to edit even more aspects of the templates, you can do so on CSS level (including the use of LESS variables):

  1. You should install the WPide editor plugin and use it to edit the theme's CSS files, as they reside in subdirectories where they can't be edited with the integrated WordPress editor. Alternatively, if you have SSH access, use a console based editor like vi of course.
  2. First, choose "Enable Developer Mode" in "Appearance -> Shoestrap" and save that settings page.
  3. Then edit this file in the concerned Shoestrap theme: assets/less/app.less.
  4. After all edits are done, disable developer mode again.








3 responses to “How to use multiple shoestrap themes for different parts of a WordPress blog?”

  1. Nice!
    I’m glad to see articles like this one…
    And I’m glad my theme is being put to good use. 😉


  2. Oh, of course there’s good use for a great theme 🙂 Lots of thanks for creating this, Ari. I like it a lot!

  3. Hey there!
    I just wanted to let you know that shoestrap is currently being re-written from the ground up.
    We’re building it based on Roots + Bootstrap 3.
    I would appreciate any beta-testers out there that want to test things out, report any bugs they find on github and let me know what you think about it! You can get it from here:


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