How To Test New WordPress Themes and Validate They’re Error-Free

Now that you’ve polished your css and straightened your templates it’s time to test your new WordPress theme. Will it work like you want it to? How do you expect each ‘page’ to look? Did you want to have the full post or posts on each page or just the post excerpt on certain pages?

That’s a lot of questions you’ve already answered up to this point. Somewhere along the way you could have made a mistake. Testing your new theme will help you find any unexpected behaviors.

  • Copy your theme directory so you know you have a backup.
  • Give your theme a meaningful name in the header of the stylesheet.
  • Name your new theme folder with the name you gave in the style.css file and upload it to your WordPress theme folder, probably located at your
  • Validate that your xhtml is error-free by viewing the source code, copying the source and pasting into the validate by direct input tab of the XHTML Validator from W3C.
  • Validate that you have an error-free stylesheet by copying or uploading style.css to the W3C CSS Validation Service.
  • Go into your blog admin panel and choose Presentation on the main menu.
  • Look for your new theme under the available themes and double-check the name of the theme and its description before you activate it by clicking on it. If the theme is listed under Broken Themes that means that WordPress can’t find one or more files that are needed. Try uploading again and make sure the style.css is in there.
  • Upload any plug-ins that your theme needs to the wp-content/plugins folder. Activate your plugins from the Plugins menu. Update any plugins that are out-of-date.
  • View your site and click everywhere to see that the blog is acting like it should.
  • Post on your blog about your new theme!

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