Is it possible to preview a theme I'm working on? I am creating a new theme for a Magento website but do not want my changes to be live on the main store until I am happy.

Is there a way to preview a theme in the admin panel or make theme-selection possible for logged in admins?

1 Answer 1


Only and easiest way to do this is to create a new store view and apply the theme to that one. This way all settings, products and categories will be the same but using the new template.

If you also want to experiment with settings you're probably better off creating a new website instead of store view.

  • And it is possible to make this new store non-public? Mar 26, 2014 at 14:09
  • you can put it on a subdomain like staging.domain.com and remove the store switcher that is provided in the base theme. To require login on this shop might be a bit trickier. You can try using github.com/sandermangel/rkstorelogin which is stable. Used it in 2 other projects on Mage Mar 26, 2014 at 14:12
  • If I enable a new store view I get the following full body error message on both my normal view and the new one: SQLSTATE[42S02]: Base table or view not found: 1146 Table 'sdksales_mage1.mage_catalog_category_flat_store_5' doesn't exist Mar 26, 2014 at 14:16
  • and it doesn't create the new storeview? Sounds like you have some issues in your installation then. Normally Magento would create a new flat category data table automatically and fill it during indexing. Mar 26, 2014 at 14:18
  • Yeah, after a few refreshes the error disappears but now the site has a half-loaded default theme (not the one I'm currently using as a jumping off point). Hmmm.. Mar 26, 2014 at 14:23

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