Aidan Harris -  Change Wordpress theme depending on visitor IP address Aidan Harris -  Change Wordpress theme depending on visitor IP address

Developing and testing in production is a terrible, terrible idea. However until I set up a virtual machine development environment I have little choice but to do so. Here's how to change the theme depending on the user's IP address:

Create a new plugin (you might want to use the following directory structure):

└── wp-content
    └── plugins
        └── change-theme-by-ip-address
            └── change-theme-by-ip-address.php

Inside your plugin add the following code:

Plugin Name: change-theme-by-ip-address
Description: Changes the Wordpress theme depending on the visitor's IP address
function fxn_change_theme($theme) {
    $IPADDRESS = "";
    // If your website is using CloudFlare you need to use the $_SERVER["HTTP_CF_CONNECTING_IP"] variable
    if(isset($_SERVER["HTTP_CF_CONNECTING_IP"])) {
    } else {
    // Change to your public IP address
    if( "$IPADDRESS" == "" )
        $theme = 'your-theme-dev';
        $theme = 'your-theme';
    return $theme;

add_filter('template', 'fxn_change_theme');
add_filter('option_template', 'fxn_change_theme');
add_filter('option_stylesheet', 'fxn_change_theme');

Enable the plugin and you should notice your theme changes for your IP address while at the same time everybody else has the old theme. This allows you to safely make changes to your theme in production (although it's still worth setting up a virtual machine for development in order to ensure nothing goes wrong and if something does go wrong then no big deal just restore the virtual machine from a snapshot).