WPMU Themes: When is a comment not a comment?

This is a gotcha for you if you’re following us down the host-your-own WPMU road, and have preconceived ideas about comments in program scripts.
If you’re with me so far, you’ve already seen that we can customise a theme, say to include a school photo in the header. Then we can limit use of our customised theme, say to individual bloggers in that school.

But how do we make that newly-customised theme appear under a customised name? This caught me out: in other words I got it wrong and had to go and RTFM. Plan A was to rename the folder containing the theme. After all, the only other place where the theme name appears is in a comment block at the top of its CSS stylesheet. As you can guess by now, renaming the folder wasn’t enough.

A search of the theme files soon showed that the only other file containing the theme name was the CSS stylesheet, where it’s in amongst a comment block at the top. Due to programming of my brain in my past life, the fact that the info was in a comment block caused me to disbelieve the evidence of my own eyes, and assume that couldn’t be the bit I needed to change. Of course, it was. Here’s what the manual page has to say:

The comment header lines in style.css are required for WordPress to be able to identify a Theme and display it in the Admin panel > Presentation as an available Theme option along with any other installed Themes.

Changing the name in the stylesheet file’s header soon confirmed that’s the name used to identify the theme in the WPMU user interface (Site Admin/Themes, Site Admin/Blogs/Edit, Presentation/Theme etc). So if you make up a custom version of wondertheme for myschool, you’ll need to change a line in the header something like this.

Theme Name: wondertheme


Theme Name: myschool’s wondertheme