The question of whether or not you can have two themes in your WordPress blog generates some additional questions. In this article, we will attempt to grapple with all sides of the issue and recommend the best way to have multiple themes in a single WordPress site.
- Can you have two themes in one WordPress site?
- Can different WordPress pages have a different layout?
Unlike a lot of popular website builders out there, WordPress can be an empty canvas that allows you to design virtually kind of website you can imagine. With that freedom, however, you are nevertheless guided by some aesthetic (as well as industry) standards. In general, all pages and posts on your site should conform to a singular design aesthetic. But for one reason or another, you may need to provide a different layout on different pages. Read on to find out what options you have for accomplishing this.
Can you have two themes in one WordPress site?
Yes, you can have two WordPress themes in one site, but it is not recommended. The WordPress system is designed to accommodate multiple installed themes but only one active theme at any given time.
That being said, there is a plugin called Multiple Themes that can help you accomplish having multiple themes active at any given time:
In a standard WordPress installation, there is a difference between having themes installed versus having them active. You can have as many themes installed as you wanted. You install a theme downloading it into your themes directory, or having WordPress grab the code from the WordPress theme repository. Once a theme is installed on your site, you have the option of making it active.
Making a theme active sends those changes site-wide, updating all pages to the new theme automatically.
The plugin listed above can circumvent the basic functionality and allow you to assign a theme to different pages.
A non-plugin approach
You can always install another WordPress site on a subdirectory or in a subdomain. This avoids the complication of having more than one theme active in a single WordPress site (which is, in general, not recommended).
There are also WordPress multisite options available. WordPress multisite was designed to accomodate multiple WordPress sites in one shared installation. This effectively means multiple sites share one administrative back end and one database. This may not be the approach you were looking for, but it can be a good option for some site administrators.
Can different WordPress pages have a different layout?
But as to whether or not different WordPress pages and posts can have different layouts within one theme, yes, it is recommended to create different looks and styles — as needed — within one singular master theme. And WordPress supports these features.
Post and page styles
The supported method for giving pages a different look comes in at the code level. When you are coding a theme, or having a custom theme made for you, you can create multiple page templates that display different kinds of pages different ways. You can even have a page template custom made for a single page.
Likewise, you can have these page templates and style selected and assigned on the back end of a page or post, or you can have them assigned by category or some other condition.
This is the recommended, supported way to have multiple looks and styles for your WordPress site.
For more information about installing and using WordPress be sure to check out the WordPress education channel here in the support center. And for a fast, optimized WordPress experience be sure to take a look at out WordPress hosting packages.