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If you're using WordPress Multisite as a network administrator, chances are you're working with a lot of sites. And if you're working for a business or corporation, you may want to have a consistent look and feel across all of your sites. Therefore, you need to make it so that each time you create a new site, it adopts a default theme. Oddly enough, it's not that easy just to point and click and do this inside of the Network Admin Dashboard. You need to go into the code of the wp-config file inside of your WordPress installation. So the first thing you need to do is navigate over to your Code Editing window, remote FTP into your site, and open up your wp-config.php file.
Let's jump over into my Code Editing window and let's take a look at how to enable this theme. I've got my wp-config.php open and I've navigated down to line 72, where you'll see that it says- define WPLANG. What I'm going to do here is create a space underneath by hitting Return, and then I'm simply going to type out the definition to call a default theme. I'll type out define, open parentheses, single quote 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', close the single quotes, type a comma, then I'll use an opened and a closed single quote.
I'll navigate outside the parentheses and type a semicolon. Now I need to define the name of the theme, and that's easy enough to find. If I go over here to the wp-content section, I can open up the Themes directory. All you have to do is find the folder name of the theme that you're wanting to activate as the default theme and put that in-between those single quotes. So in this case I want to enable the Side-Blog theme. So I need to type out side-blog. I'll come in between those single quotes and type in side-blog.
I can then collapse up my wp-content folder. I can save my wp-config file, and re-upload it. Once I go back into the WordPress dashboard, I'm ready to try it out and make sure that my new default theme is ready to go. So I'm going to come right here to the Create a New Site section of the WordPress dashboard. I'm just going to call this test... This is a Test, and enter an admin email. I'll click Add Site, and the site has been added.
Once I click Visit Dashboard, I can go into the site itself and notice here underneath the Right Now panel, it tells me I'm running the theme of Side Blog instead of the default 2011 theme. That's because inside of my wp- config I overrode that by adding in the definition for side blog. If I go over to Appearance and choose Themes, you'll notice Side Blog is the new active theme at the top. Any time for this site, I can go and activate another theme, but by default it adopts this theme because I told it to.
Now any time I create a site inside of WordPress Multisite, it automatically adopts that default theme that I defined inside of my wp-config file. So if you find yourself needing to create a unified design or unified look throughout all of the sites in your multisite network, that's how easy it is to get in, change the theme, and keep working.
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