How to Set the Default Theme for WordPress Multisite

How to Set the Default Theme for WordPress Multisite

When you create a new site in your Multisite network, a new theme will be automatically assigned. If your network is using the latest version of WordPress, the default theme of that version will be used.

But what if you don’t want to use the default WordPress theme? What if you would rather set your own default theme across your network?

In this short tutorial, I’ll show you how to set your own default theme for Multisite.

WordPress theme gallery
Set your own default theme across your Multisite network with this handy little snippet.

Setting a Default Multisite Theme

If you want all the site on your network to use the same theme, but would rather not use the current WordPress default theme, you would have to manually switch to your preferred theme each time you created a new site. Talk about time consuming.

You can override the WordPress default theme by editing your wp-config.php file. Just add the following code anywhere before the line where WordPress includes the wp-settings.php file.

define( 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', 'your-default-theme' );
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');

You’ll need to replace “your-default-theme” with the name of the theme you want to set as the default across your network.

Setting a Default Multisite Theme With a Plugin

If you would rather not meddle with code, you could use our New Blog Template plugin instead.

Note: We no longer support or maintain this plugin. Feel free to download it from our GitHub repository and use or modify it however you like.

With New Blog Template, you can set a default theme as well as define default active plugins, WordPress settings, posts, pages, categories, tags, links and users.

New Blog Template
The New Blog Templates plugin allows you to set your own default themes for your network.

You can create a template from any blog on your Multisite network and inherit any or all of its attributes when you or your users create a new site.

It’s an easy way to quickly create new sites and populate them with content, users, and plugins.

It’s a great plugin if you want all your sites to use the same structure, plugins, and use a standard set of pages and posts.

If you’re a WPMU DEV member and need any assistance with the above, feel free to contact our support team at any time. Not a WPMU DEV member yet? Sign up today with a free trial.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [Originally Published: March 2014 / Revised: February 2022]