How To Find Live Examples Of Sites Using A WordPress Theme

WP Shout LogoWPShout.com has a great article that explains how to easily find websites that are using the theme you’re thinking about buying or using. One of the first things I try to do before downloading or purchasing a theme is to find actual websites that are using the design. While some theme companies have a showcase area highlighting these sites, most of them do not. Using the technique shared by WPShout, I was able to discover this neat looking child theme of TwentyThirteen.

Twenty Thirteen Child Theme

According to WPShout, it’s as simple as a Google search. Simply type in “wp-content/themes/[theme-name]” ,quotation marks and all, and look for a search result that looks like a PHP scripting error. WPShout explains that Google sometimes indexes these errors which is why the name of the theme shows up in search results. I’ll let you read the article to figure out the secondary way of viewing live sites with themes you’re interested in but I thought this was an ingenious way of finding them. It will still take a little work on the user’s part to find the sites using the theme they are looking for, but this is a good stepping stone towards finding them. If nothing else, it enables you to see some PHP fatal error messages.

6 Comments


  1. Of course I had to try it and found several sites which have the same theme as I use in their themes directory, even if they are not actually using it. This brought me another set of thoughts, on security, so I checked out my own site and noted, with a sigh of relief, a 404 page came up rather than the directory. So, I guess the idea is good for two things!

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  2. @Viktoria Michaelis – Heh. The fix to that is very simple. If you add a blank index.html file into your plugins directory or themes directory, browsers will see a blank page when browsing those directories versus seeing the folder structure.

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  3. @Jeffro – which is what I have in effect and thus the 404. However, it highlights how many people don’t have this simplest of security additions!

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  4. I just wondering about this topic this morning! Thanks!

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  5. You can keep people out of your website’s directories by adding this line to your .htaccess file too:

    Options -Indexes

    It’s a good backstop so you don’t have to remember to put a blank file in every directory.

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