Will any theme work in a multi-site installation?

I am looking for confirmation that, theoretically, any theme will work in a multi-site installation. That is, if a theme works in a standalone WP instance, it will work in multisite.

If not, why not and are there any resources available to guide someone in editing the theme so that you can ensure that it will work?

  • idevguy
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    generally speaking yes they will work... UNLESS they don't.. one instance in particular I have run into before is with themes that use the timthumb script to create dynamic images... I have read there are ways to fix it but I hate timthumb so I just update the themes that use that pig of a script to use WordPress post thumbnails instead and save myself and headache (timthumb doesn't work right when using W3 total cache either.

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Hi,

    In theory, any theme should work on multisite. But not all of them do. Here are the results of our extensive testing:

    StudioPress/Genesis - works, but does not include a way for users to upload a logo. We have developed a plugin for that with help of a Genesis development expert, and we would be willing to share it if we can have a little time to make it presentable. Also note that these themes include the ability for users to add JavaScript code in the header and footer, which you may want to remove depending on your settings.

    WooThemes - works, but you might want to strip various places where users can enter code. (Actually, this applies to themes in general so I won't say it every time.) :wink:

    Themify - works, but there is an issue if your wp-config.php is a directory above your WordPress installation. In this case, theme settings cannot be saved.

    Pro Theme Design - works.

    Elegant Themes - works with one or two exceptions (can't recall which at the moment).

    iThemes Builder - seems to work.

    Press75 - does NOT work, as the current framework does not allow anyone but the Super Admin to save theme settings. One exception is Transmit, which does work because it uses the new framework (which all themes may be updated to). Another exception is the new Genesis version of On Demand.

    Headway - supposed to be completely multisite-compatible as of 2.0. Haven't tested yet.

    Hope this helps!

    Mark

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Hi,

    Let me clarify...all Press75 themes will indeed work on a WordPress network installation. However, only the Super Admin can change theme settings. So, if you have users without Super Admin privileges (e.g., sub-site owners) and you want them to be able to manage their own themes, it can't happen.

    Here's an exchange from the Press75 forums on this subject:

    Jason: Only super admins can save the settings on a network install.

    sharle: I thought that, when a theme is installed on a network install, each user can utilize that theme and save their own settings...

    Jason: My themes do not work that way at this time, but I will be providing a update for that soon.

    There isn't an official ETA for this.

    Mark

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    We've asked for a clarification in the Elegant Themes forums. Someone did ask about offering hosting to design clients, and Nick replied:

    What you plan to do is fine. What the terms are meant to prevent is web hosts simply redistributing the theme files to all of their customers.

    However, we've asked if it's acceptable usage to make the themes generally available in a multisite hosting environment where users are not actually provided with the theme files themselves.

    Mark

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Hi,

    I just heard back in the forum. One of their staffers said that it would be fine (the scenario I mentioned) with a developer's license.

    I also think that their license would technically allow it without a developer's license, as the developer's license seems to be about actually distributing the themes (as mentioned above by @foodfriendfinder). But the developer's license is still quite affordable compared to some other themes on the market.

    Mark

  • HamRadioDude
    • HummingBird

    Hi Aaron
    you posted

    Watch out for:
    Timthumb
    Unfiltered theme settings fields (security risk)
    
    As far as the options page issues, it's a super simple update. Change the permissions check from 'edit_themes' to 'edit_theme_options'.

    What exactly should we be watching with Timthumb and how do we fix it?

    also 'edit_themes' to 'edit_theme_options' was that so add on blog could use the options of the themes
    - I thoght they (elegentthemes) fixed that since the wp3 release? I could be wrong?

  • igallery
    • Flash Drive

    OK WPCDN, I have another question regarding the security risks with input areas of the themes that accept code. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounded like you were working to make sure each theme was secure by filtering or removing every field that allowed code.

    If that's true, why not just use mod security at the server level to protect your multi-site network from malicious code?

    Edit: I just re-read what you wrote and I see now you said that you removed the fields that allow customers to enter javascript into the header or footer. I guess that makes my question about mod security moot since that wouldn't affect the server, right? But it does bring up other questions like, what are you protecting against by disallowing js in the header and footer? And how do your customers use Analytics code?

    Thanks!

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    what are you protecting against by disallowing js in the header and footer?

    Sorry for the delayed reply...missed this somehow. The main goal is to limit use of malicious JavaScript that can be used for cookie stealing and other bad things. Sure, mod_security MIGHT catch those things, but then again it might not.

    And how do your customers use Analytics code?

    Using the Google Analytics plugin here. That plugin generates the JavaScript code instead of letting users enter it.

    Same with the Ad Sharing plugin, which has a setting that will only allow AdSense JavaScript. Any other JS will be filtered.

  • 2Ps
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @ Elite, many thanks for your generosity.

    My I ask what are the steps you take to make WooThemes work and do you disable things like framework updates; 'buy more themes'

    and which fields allow scripts?

    Is there some place in the themes code you edit out?

    many thanks

    Ralf

  • bhays
    • Flash Drive

    If wpcdn is still following this, I'm interested in how to make WooThemes work as well...

    [quote]
    My I ask what are the steps you take to make WooThemes work and do you disable things like framework updates; 'buy more themes'

    and which fields allow scripts?

    Is there some place in the themes code you edit out?
    [/quote]

    Thank you,
    Brian

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings,

    The original poster of this thread is no longer active.

    However, this thread is very valuable due to the contents thereof and the tips within.

    I do want to add to this though and then close the ticket.

    Many themes cause great grief because of the way they were designed by the theme developer. These themes include Genesis, Thesis, Salutations (one of the worst) and many theme forest themes.

    The developers of these themes do not give a dam about your plugins or integrations, they just seem to care only about sales of the theme, that it looks good, and once you bought it you own it.

    Once again, many do not care about MultiSite compatibility nor plugin hooks and flexibility. This is your problem.

    Many members try to make the problems of these themes our problem and though it can be pretty challenging to support other peoples work, we still do our best but there is a limit.

    You have no idea how many members using Salutations have cursed our plugins and do not want to accept it is indeed a salutations issue and not ours.

    How many have gone to the Salutations forums and call them every name under the book for this themes design?

    I just went to their web site and it appears they have dropped the theme, it no longer appears for purchase. Now isn't that special?

    It appears they have dropped it themselves on there own site but still offering it on theme forest - enough said.

    We thank you all for your input and information that you have supplied to this ticket, and for those of you with outstanding issues please feel free to create your own ticket and feel free to copy and paste any relevant information from this ticket into your new ticket.

    Thank you all for being WPMU Dev Members!

    Cheers, Joe

  • scott74
    • The Crimson Coder

    @idevguy

    generally speaking yes they will work... UNLESS they don't.. one instance in particular I have run into before is with themes that use the timthumb script to create dynamic images... I have read there are ways to fix it but I hate timthumb so I just update the themes that use that pig of a script to use WordPress post thumbnails instead and save myself and headache (timthumb doesn't work right when using W3 total cache either.

    @Idevguy How do you replace timbthumb to use psot thumbnails? I am having trouble with a theme and images !

    Can you post where to take out and replace and where.. Thanks Scott

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings Scott,

    Thank you for your follow up on this very old ticket that was closed and the folks you are trying to get an answer from are also inactive.

    For the possibility of getting this custom coding issue handled and since the original poster of the fix you seek is no longer active, I would recommend starting you own ticket with headline applicable to the issue.

    Cheers, Joe

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