Changing the Default Theme on WordPress 3 Multi-site

WordPress‘ default theme has come a long way with the new twentyten theme. However, for those of us using the multi-site feature it may still not be something we want all our users to be using on sign-up. Fortunately, there is an easy fix to the problem.

First, open up includes/default-constants.php in your code editor.

Change define( ‘WP_DEFAULT_THEME’, ‘twentyten’ ); from twentyten to the name of your new theme. This is located right at the very end of the file so it should be easy to find.

If you’re not using a theme that is a child of another theme you’re done. If you are using a child-theme you’ll need to add some more code for this to work.

In your content/mu-plugins folder create a file called default-theme.php

Add the following code to default-theme.php

$tName = get_option('template');
if ($tName == '[your-child-theme]') {
     update_option('template', '[your-parent-theme]');

Of course, you’ll need to replace the your-parent-theme and your-child-theme placeholders with the names of your themes. Once it’s done however new registrations will use your theme instead of the default twentyten theme.

Higher Ed Web Dev – Boom or Bust

For many of us who make our living the last two years have been tough. Budget cuts have found there way into all aspects of our work from personnel to office phones. We’ve watched heads roll as governments and private donors have forced cuts in places that had been “safe” for years. Even our students have felt it, not just as their parent’s jobs have been at risk, but because many state schools have been turning to them to make up what state governments are no longer willing to provide.

While this has been bad news for many, for us in the web it presents something of a silver lining. We are the ones administrations turn to to help bring in new students. That fact has contributed to not only a number of jobs in sector that doesn’t seem willing to hire anyone else, but also to a host of new resources for us who develop school sites. Heck, if I was to measure the health of an industry from the growth or decline of the resources that support it I would say higher ed web people are in pretty good shape.

Of course, I could be wrong, but for tonight I choose to take the glass-is-half-full approach.