Based on answers like this one, I made a small plugin to display a theme displaying a "Coming soon" theme, whilst our team of editors can fill in the final theme.

It worked yesterday, but today, even though I'm logged in, I only see the "waiting" theme. I logged out and logged back in, but still, I'm seeing the "waiting" theme, as if the is_user_logged_in() function returned false. Are these hooks too early to check for user authentification?


add_filter('template', 'pxln_change_theme');
add_filter('stylesheet', 'pxln_change_theme');

function pxln_change_theme($theme) {    
    if ( ! is_user_logged_in() ) {
        $theme = 'waiting';
    return $theme;
  • Updated my answer. Tested it locally, and it works. Happy coding.
    – user47133
    Dec 29, 2016 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


Try hooking on all these:

(But I guess you'd have to do it from a plugin, since doing it from theme functions.php might be too late).


Plugin Name: test
Description: switchtest
Version: 0.1.0

add_filter( 'template', 'yourthing_switch_theme' );
add_filter( 'option_template', 'yourthing_switch_theme' );
add_filter( 'option_stylesheet', 'yourthing_switch_theme' );
add_filter( 'pre_option_stylesheet', 'yourthing_switch_theme' );

function yourthing_switch_theme( $theme )
   if ( is_user_logged_in() ) {
        return $theme;
   else {
      return 'waiting';
  • Thank you for contributing. Unfortunately, that does not solve the issue.
    – pixeline
    Dec 28, 2016 at 16:31
  • just tried the updated version (finally managed to find time to install wp locally), and works as advertised. :)
    – user47133
    Dec 29, 2016 at 16:21

Filters, unlike actions, don't run at a specific moment, but when the function they are attached too, is called. The template-filter is called from get_template and the stylesheet-filter from get_stylesheet.

Typically, these functions are called to enqueue styles and scripts using wp_enqueue-scripts, an action that takes place after the current user has been set. However, it is not uncommon to see these functions also called from a function that is attached to after_setup_theme, which is fired before the current user has been set.

So, you will have to check your theme for the use of get_template and get_stylesheet (or a function that uses them, which you can find under 'used by' in the links above). Then check if the function is attached to a hook that is too early.

  • 1
    can't agree with the first words of the answer. Actions are filters thta do not return value, that is whole of the difference between them. Dec 28, 2016 at 12:42
  • Thanks, that looks like a probable cause. My "main" theme uses get_template_part and get_stylesheet_uriextensively, so that must be it. I just wished there 'd be a cross-theme, reliable solution. :(
    – pixeline
    Dec 28, 2016 at 17:07

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