Right option for me?

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  • #6059

    sporkman
    Participant

    I’ve not yet had a chance to dig through the code, but I’m a bit on the fence about using a plugin like this that so radically alters WP behavior. My gut feeling is that it might be problematic.

    That said, it’s the only answer I see. We have a custom theme, and while multisite could work, it would be a real PITA. We want a small “microsite” to live under a particular URL hierarchy (eg: http://example.com/microsite/) and have a different theme for anything there. We also have WooCommerce, but only as a catalog (don’t actually sell online, just lead/quote generation) and we don’t want to try to sync products between two multisite sites. Our hosting provider expressed some reservations and also suggested the multisite option.

    Can the author maybe walk me through the high level workings of this plugin and how it achieves the theme override? Are there any sort of general no-nos that other plugins/themes might tickle? Anything specific to avoid?

    Sorry to be a bit vague – I just read the author’s post on ZDNet about adopting 10 plugins. I am a sysadmin and a bit of a developer, but I do tend to get lost in WP’s OO stuff. 🙂

    #6075

    David Gewirtz
    Developer

    I’ll be honest. I have no real idea how all of Multiple Themes works. I’m not the author, just the caretaker. I make security fixes and updates to remain WordPress compatible, but I haven’t gone into the core code myself. I will tell you that your thinking is correct: this is altering space and time to properly.

    Probably the easiest thing to do is just spin up another WordPress instance and link to it. I’ve found that trying to do architecturally hinky stuff tends to wind up being a maintenance hassle later. When Multiple Themes first came out, there weren’t mega-themes like Divi that let you radically alter the look of different areas with just some point-and-click work, but that’s what’s out there now.

    Bottom line: Multiple Themes should be a Hail Mary play, not your first go-to approach. Also, speaking as someone who first moved a lot of sites to Multisite and then away, I’d stay away from Multisite. What I found was a lot of plugins just weren’t reliable on multisite (including some of mine), and it just proved to be too much of a hassle. Instead, I moved to ManageWP and manage all the sites that way (at least for updates).

    Good luck,
    –David

    #6088

    sporkman
    Participant

    Thanks for your honesty. But does anyone really understand any WP code that spans more than a hundred lines or so? 🙂

    I was poking through this: https://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/jonradio-multiple-themes/trunk/includes/select-theme.php

    All I can say is better you than me. Very hard to follow. What I think I see though is that for the simple case where switching is done on the URL, the code is simpler. I do not think (not sure though) that all that messy cookie-related stuff comes into play until you start using the more complex queries. I’m not seeing any cookies set for this in my testing, so that’s good.

    Right now I don’t really see too many other options unless these guys want to duplicate around a thousand WooCommerce items to the new microsite. On the upside, I think that even if this plugin loses maintainership, stripping out all the extra features we don’t need would leave a somewhat manageable chunk of code. Oh, and the whole site is also due to be redone in the next year, so if this can work for that long, it may be the answer.

    #6093

    David Gewirtz
    Developer

    Could you just do (“just do!”) a MySQL export of those items to put into the microsite. I have no idea how robust Multiple Themes is, but I’m guessing 1000 is beyond its mean time between freakouts.

    #6096

    sporkman
    Participant

    Hmmm… I think the store changes too often for a one-off export.

    However I adjusted my thinking on this a bit – while the designer on this microsite is considering using a premade theme, it is “greenfield” work. I’m tempted to have him just design the one or two templates needed, send them off somewhere like PSD2HTML to have some pages built and then do something like this to override the stylesheet on the specific pages in the microsite:

    http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/237395/different-style-sheet-for-just-one-page-template

    I’m just now looking at methods to override stylesheets and scripts on a per-page basis, but it seems to be not a total hack to do that.

    Regardless, I really appreciate your input,

    #6099

    David Gewirtz
    Developer

    Good luck!

    –David

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