This plugin is included in WordPreciousss 3.1 +, but you need this if you use WordPress 2.5.x and want to be able to create skins for your themes.


Precious Skinner is a modified version of the Skinner Plugin by Windy Road, and is a plugin that let you easily customize a theme without touching its core files.

This is done by creating skins for your theme(s), which you actually can do inside WordPress. All skins need a style.css to work, but you can also add other theme template files to your skin(s) that will override the theme’s default templates.

The plugins comes with a skin switcher widget which you can use to let your visitors chose the skin they want to use on your site.


  1. Unzip the precious-skinner package and upload the directory “precious-skinner” to wp-content/plugins/
  2. Optional (Beta release only): upload the directory “classic-eks” found in “precious-skinner” to wp-content/themes/classic/skins/ - the skins directory has to be created.
  3. Log into you blog and go to Plugins and activate the plugin.
  4. FTP yourself to the theme you want to make skins for and create a directory called “skins” - themename/skins/
  5. Log into your blog and go to Design -> Skins to start playing

Creating skins


The easiest way to create a skin is to go to Design -> Skins and scroll down to the “Create Skin” section and press the (well,) “Create Skin” button. This will give you a new browser window called “New Skin”.

New skin example In the field “Skin name” write the name of your skin, and once again press “Create Skin”.

This should take you back to the Skins tab with a success message “The skin ’skin name’ has been created” on top. You will now find the skin under the “Disabled Skins” section, and to edit it you need to select it and then go to Design -> Skin Editor.


You may also create the skin on your computer, and it need a style.css to work. The style.css needs the following info:

Skin Name: Skinname
Skin URI: http://skinuri.tld/
Version: 1.0
Author URI:

As you see it’s almost like a WP Theme’s style info, just that your replace “Theme” with “Skin”. Additional files you can use for your skin is any kind of WordPress template files. A skin can also have it’s own functions.php file together with screenshot.jpg/ gif/ png.
The exception is header.php, footer.php and sidebar.php (see template tags for more info).

When your skin is ready, you can upload it with ftp to /wp-content/themes/themename/skins/

If everything is in order you should be able

Template tags

If you want to be able to override the theme’s header.php, footer.php and sidebar.php you need to replace the the template tags get_header, get_footer and get_sidebar with get_skin_header, get_skin_footer and get_skin_sidebar.

This is not necessary if you use a theme that supports WordPreciousss

But to make sure the theme don’t break if you uninstall the plugin you can use the following codes in your theme’s template files:

Header code:

<?php if(function_exists('get_skin_header')) {
} else {

Footer code:

<?php if(function_exists('get_skin_footer')) {
} else {

Sidebar code:

<?php if(function_exists('get_skin_sidebar')) {
} else {

If you’re a theme author and want to add support for the Precious Skinner plugin you may use these codes to your theme’s template files.

The Skinswitcher

The skinswitcher let your visitors change the skin they want use when viewing your blog. If you use pretty permalinks, your visitors will be redirected to the page they’re on when switching skins.

This the skinswitcher is included as widget in Precious Skinner. But you can also include it somewhere in your theme with the following template tags:

<?php precious_skin_switcher(); ?>

Which will return an unordered list. Or you may use:

<?php precious_skin_switcher('dropdown') ?>

This will output a dropdown select box.

You may not want people to choose from all skins you have installed or created, so if there’s a skin you don’t want your visitors to see, you go to your skins tab again and simply press the ‘Disable’ button right under the skin’s description.

Other notes

The css codes you use in a skin’s style.css is in addition to the theme’s styling.

You may override a custom page template in a skin, but it has to have the same file name as the custom page template found in the theme’s directory. If a theme don’t have any custom page templates, you need to create them.

If you want to import the colours (css) and functions from an other skin, you can add Parent Skin: Skin Name to your style’s header.

Older versions

Older versions of Precious Skinner was included in WordPreciousss and relied on it to work.