Using this knowledge base entry from Magento I have tried to set up multiple domains to access my Magento store

System > Manage Stores

in the menu System > Manage Stores I have the following Manage Stores View

System > Configuration

in the menu tab of System > Configuration I have set the Base URL with trailing slash (/) for both Unsecure and Secure

in the design tab of System > Configuration (both themes I am trying to use are in default)

Current Package:     [ default     ]

Translations:        [             ] (blank)
Templates:           [             ] (blank)
Skin (Images / CSS): [             ] (blank)
Layout:              [             ] (blank)
Default:             [             ] (blank)

Originally I had tried using this method to set the theme, it had not worked, then I found the tutorial and went to that method.


in my .htaccess I have (which should cover www.site1(2).com and also site1(2).devenv.com)

SetEnvIf Host .*site1.* MAGE_RUN_CODE=base
SetEnvIf Host .*site1.* MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

SetEnvIf Host .*site2.* MAGE_RUN_CODE=c_base
SetEnvIf Host .*site2.* MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

In index.php I echoed out the env variable to make sure I was getting what was needed, and did get base on site1 and c_base on site2

System > Design

I am setting my template using the System > Design menu item and only 1 theme works for both sites (default/mycustomtheme)... none of the default themes work (default/default, default/modern, rwd/default)


If I attempt to load any theme other than this custom theme I get a page with no CSS files loaded, no theme files loaded (though if you search for a file that falls within the theme it is there, for instance http://site1.devenv.com/skin/frontend/default/mycustomtheme/images/footer-logo.png, the file is there and exists, along with the css files (there is no script or link for any theme files in the header, in fact there is nothing between the opening head and closing head tags)

/skin/frontend/default/mycustomtheme/ works for all stores
/skin/frontend/default/{default|blank|iphone|modern}/ does not work for any store
/skin/frontend/rwd/default/ does not work for any store

I do know that the site1 and site2 are both being fetched properly as they have different home page cms, and the proper home page cms is being called with the proper url


How can I get the ability to alter themes within my stores (what am I doing wrong or missing)? Could it be a server setting blocking this? Is there something server side I should be looking at?


in my system.log file I have the following error when trying to load a new template

2015-03-05T15:20:50+00:00 CRIT (2): Not valid template file:frontend/base/default/template/ec/header.phtml
2015-03-05T15:20:51+00:00 CRIT (2): Not valid template file:frontend/base/default/template/ec/footer.phtml
  • does it work if you select a store in the upper left and set the (blank) values to mycustomtheme?
    – Jeroen
    Mar 4, 2015 at 20:35
  • No, tried that before using the design tab to set it
    – Kender
    Mar 4, 2015 at 20:38
  • if you echo or log the server parameters which you expect from .htaccess are they correct?
    – Jeroen
    Mar 4, 2015 at 20:41
  • using <?php echo getenv('MAGE_RUN_CODE'); ?> in mycustomtheme footer, for site1 I get base, for site2 I get c_base (as expected)
    – Kender
    Mar 4, 2015 at 22:05
  • added system.log update above... also, in index.php I echoed out what is being sent as $MageRunCode and $MageRunType and I get the correct results
    – Kender
    Mar 5, 2015 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


Problem found I had a module installed


This module was causing conflicts with the themes that do not have certain files involved in that theme, so had to transfer 1 folder and 1 xml layout file to theme i wanted to use


You should be setting your theme under

System-> Config -> Theme

enter image description here

You can choose your configuration scope for each store

Then set your theme in the Themes section.

(You should remove the System->Design and move that to your System -> Config -> Theme section)enter image description here enter image description here

  • I tried doing it this way first, before I found the Magento tutorial page mentioned in my question
    – Kender
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:41

Do you happen to use symlinks ? And if so, please make sure you allow Magento to use Them (system - configuration - developer) -- there is a menu item for symlinks.

  • The site worked fine when it was a single site, problems only occurred when I added the second domain. Though I did try turning Allow Symlinks on and no change to the functionality, so I turned it back off
    – Kender
    Mar 5, 2015 at 22:06

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