I've read http://codex.wordpress.org/Category_Templates, which tells you how to change your index.php for each category. But I want to load a whole different theme directory in for my site when a particular category is viewed.

So for example, if I go to: http://www.mysite.com/mycategory/ It will load a separate theme.

Is this possible?

4 Answers 4


I think what would work best for your case is making use of the WordPress template hierarchy.

You can actually just create a custom template file in your theme folder named category-{slug}.php to get a custom look for that category.


If your category was 'Dogs' and the slug you set for it was 'dog', the template file loaded for that category would be named category-dog.php, otherwise it falls back to category.php.

Codex Link:


  • you can also name category-{cat-ID}.php the template for one single category, or add conditional includes of sub-php pages into the original category.php, as written above. Commented Apr 11, 2011 at 6:12

There is no point in switching to another theme when the category page is loaded because it is actually just the another page of your site which could be customized through the theme category template. I suppose you can use conditional tags for categories to customize your header and footer too or load custom CSS style sheet. Something like:

<?php if ( is_category('your-category') ) { ?>
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<?php bloginfo( 'stylesheet_directory' ); ?>/my-category-style.css" />
<?php } else { ?>
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<?php bloginfo( 'stylesheet_url' ); ?>" />
<?php } ?>

You have two solution I guess:

  1. If you want to work in one Database, here your can just choose one theme directory, and then change the WordPress template hierarchy, because your site when it's loaded connect directly to index of your theme first and then to another PHP file in the theme folder.
  2. You can add others sub-domains to your site, and linked them to official site. and for every sub-domains you can choose one theme. But really it's not recommended.

Old plugin here that might still work: http://download.mikelopez.com/2006/10/17/wordpress-themed-categories-plugin/

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