I want to: use one theme for multiple Wordpress sites (single installations).

The reason is simple: i want to be able to update the theme once for all of my sites (well not all but a group of them).

Now I know: i can use multisite. but i really don't want to, because for this specific group of sites it will cause some very complicated issues that i don't want to deal with and maybe some more that i don't think of (which make me worry even more :)

And I know: i can use "infinitewp", "managewp", "cmscommander", "wpremote"... but i have a few problems with them: 1. they will cost a lot if i want to manage a large number of sites :) 2. i will be updating the theme (code it) my self rapidly and will me much easier to just update the code in his folder then login and update for every change. 3. i'm not sure i can even use a folder upload method in those applications and the auto theme update method won't work for me.

What i Thought of is:

Maybe: can i use register_theme_directory function to set the theme directory of all of my sites to one folder on my host (not located on any of this group sites folders). Is it possible? will it be a good idea? or a risky one?

UPDATE: I got one good answer but i will be glasd to hear if you have any other opinions / suggestions to add...

2 Answers 2


Your best bet is setting up your own WordPress plugin server and deploying your theme to that -- then install the plugin that interacts with that server on all of your sites and hey, presto! You've got yourself a custom theme which updates through the native interface!

And you save yourself a whole lotta trouble having a unix folder with multiple users and one file that they all access (which would probably end up with access conflicts etc)...

See WP Update Server on Github to get started.

  • Maybe i didn't quite understand the suggestion. if i understand right it means every time i will need to update the theme i will have to login to each site and click update (after uploading it and all...)?
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 13:38
  • @Ben That's where something like WP Remote comes into it -- you can bulk update from there. WP Remote is free now :)
    – FaCE
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 14:56

I now got an e-mail from the "manageWP" support saying:

they do have a way to update plugins and themes from a file :)

So what you have to do if you need it is:

Click "Websites tab" > Select the sites you want to update the theme on > Click on "Manage themes" > Click "Add Theme" > Select "URL & ZIP" > Drag the theme zip file to drop zone > Done.

(If your uploading existing theme or plugin it will update it)

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