Make a pro theme available to a basic member

I would like to make a pro (level 2) theme active for a basic (level 1) user. The theme is set for pro on the pro themes page. I thought if I went to "sites" in the network admin I could click "edit" on the desired site and then activate the theme on the "themes" tab. When I go into the desired site's dashboard it will not allow me to activate the theme.

Am I misunderstanding the function of this? I know there is a way to activate higher level plugins for specific sites. Is there no option like this for themes?


  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    thanks for posting.

    i'm trying to replicate this on my site, but seems i can enable any theme in both pro levels via using sites > themes

    then when i visit the site, it lets me change theme no problem.

    could you take some screenshots of your settings?

    when you say it won't let you activate, does the activate link just not work or do you get any error or anything?


  • WebDoc
    • The Incredible Code Injector


    Thanks for the response. I have activated the level 2 theme BlogsMU for a site that is level one but I go to the dashboard to set the theme to BlogsMU and it tells the user to upgrade to pro. I want the BlogsMU theme.

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    i am gone over my settings & it seems i hadn't enabled the premium themes option in pro-sites, which is why I was able to activate the themes.

    it does seem this is not possible to over-ride. I haven't been able to find a way.

    the list of themes that is available when you visit network > sites, just allows you to set if that theme is actually available for that particular site or not from what I can tell, it does not over-ride the level setting, or it doesn't in my case & yours.

    let me ping @Timothy Bowers as he has a lot more experience of this area than I do & could possibly explain it better, or point in the right direction to solve it.


  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    until we get confirmation, i do have a workaround you could try.

    if you disable the premium themes option in pro-sites.

    you can then enable that theme for that particular site, then go to the sites dashboard, activate the theme.

    once done, you can then go back to network dashboard & re-enable the premium themes option. the theme should then stay activated on their site, though if it ever gets de-activated, you will have to use this procedure again.

    hope that helps.

  • WebDoc
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Thanks Vaughan,

    Will deactivation the premium themes have any adverse affects to other sites? Will I have to reconfigure which themes are available for each level again? I don't want to do that again since I have almost 250 themes...

    All the best,

  • Vaughan
    • Support/SLS MockingJay


    though i do not have many sites on my sandbox site.

    i created a couple of premium (level 2 sites) & a couple of pro (level 1) sites.

    i then enabled the themes for those sites.

    activated premium themes on the premium sites.

    i then activated available themes for pro sites.

    after that, i then went to settings & disabled the premium themes option.

    went to the pro site (level 1) and activated 1 of the themes that was only available for premium users.

    then returned to pro sites settings and re-enabled the premium themes option.

    all settings were in-tact. all themes that were previously enabled were still enabled & available.

    so from my initial testing, the settings will be preserved.

    however, before making such a detrimental change that could affect hundreds of sites, I would make a complete backup of your database using phpmyadmin.

    if anything at all does unfortunately go wrong. then you can quickly do a restore of the backup.

    during this time, i would close the network for maintenance, then do the backup, make the changes, test, if everything ok. re-open. if not ok, do a backup restore & then re-open.

    the reason i say to close it for maintenance, is that even though there maybe only a couple of minutes.

    if any of the network sites have been using checkouts or any financial transactions & so on that may inevitably be done after you create that backup but before you re-open, then the backup will not contain any info on those transactions. so the best way to prevent that scenario is to stop anyone from doing any transactions by closing the site for a few minutes.

    the above is just a precautionary measure, my testing worked fine & preserved all the settings, so i wouldn't expect any problems. but better safe than sorry.

  • Timothy Bowers
    • Chief Pigeon

    If you want to activate a theme on one site that isn't on the required level you go to:

    Admin --> Network --> Sites

    Then edit the specific site. Click on the Themes tab, enable the theme for that site.

    It's now available for that website.

    This is a WordPress feature for Multisite installations and is the same with or without Pro Sites. It lets you activate specific themes for any specific sites without the need to make it globally available.


  • WebDoc
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Thank you Timothy,

    I understand how to do what you are describing and I have done this for the theme I want on the specific site. I am able to see the theme but it is still requiring a pro level (level 2) because that is what I have the premium theme set to. I was hoping for a way to override pro site levels like I can for the premium plugins.

    Best regards,

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