Lately there has been a huge rise in Thesis skins, with developers popping up all over the place (me included) to offer free and premium Thesis skins for you to use on your site. Installing these generally involve overwriting the /custom folder and uploading an options file. Sounds simple enough, right? It is.
What if you’d like to switch to a different skin? You do the same thing: overwrite the /custom file and upload an options file. Now say you want to go back to the first one. You see where I’m going with this, no? It can get tedious at best and confusing at worst.
The Theme Switcher
This is because Thesis is just treated as a single theme in the WordPress theme switcher. Everything’s great in the theme switcher: nice layout, screenshots, descriptions, and one click to change your theme. Wouldn’t it be great if Thesis had something like this?
Thankfully, Mark Hodder over at Thesis Themes has thought of just that. He’s created a Thesis skin switcher that lets you change Thesis skins as if you were changing a WordPress theme. The differences in functionality and appearance from one skin to the next is comparable to the difference in themes, so it makes sense to be able to change them the same.
I first found out about the switcher when I created my latest premium skin, Thesis Magazine. Since I was selling it through Thesis Themes (you can pick it up here), Mark requested that I make it compatible with his theme switcher. I read up on it and made my skin compatible in under 5 minutes. Here’s essentially what you do:
1. Rename two files
2. Place them in a directory
3. Add some css
4. Add a function
And that’s it. It all takes barely any time at all and the benefit to the end user is incredible. (You can find the instructions here
A call to all developers
Right now it seems that only Thesis Themes is using the skin manager. They’ve released it free to the wild to use, and on behalf of everybody who uses Thesis as if it were the only WordPress theme around I politely request that you try it out.