If you are considering switching to a new theme, you should know that it takes longer than one might think. It is a significant event requiring a few precautionary steps before the change, so you don’t lose your website data or traffic.
In this post, we will share all the steps that will help you change a WordPress theme as quickly and painlessly as possible. Let’s get started!
Tasks to complete before changing a theme
It would be best if you considered reviewing the following checklist to ensure your website won’t lose any data during the change. And remember, these precautions are necessary if you want the change to go as smoothly as possible.
Here are the things you need to complete before you change a WordPress theme:
- Copy code snippets from your theme, just in case. If you have added a custom code to your theme’s functions.php file, don’t forget to copy it. The tweaks you made to your current theme might not work in the new one, so you should save them for later, in case you want to add them to your new theme’s functions.php file. This step is especially important for AdSense and Google Analytics tracking codes that need to be added manually.
- Test your website’s load time. Knowing that site speed is an important factor in SEO and user experience, you should check the load time of your website and compare it to the page load time after you start using a new theme. Here’s a free website speed test tool for you to use.
- Back up your website. Do this step so you can have copies of your website data and database before you change a WordPress theme. This step will ensure that you can recover your website quickly if anything goes wrong during the switch.
- Put your website in maintenance mode so site visitors don’t see your website is under construction. Refer to this guide article to find out how you can put your website in maintenance mode.
- Find a reliable, SEO-friendly, well-designed theme that’s worth switching to. If you need help choosing the right WordPress theme for your website, check out this article一Choose the right premium WordPress theme and TKO your competitors. There, we wrote some tips to help you pick the theme that will blow your visitors’ minds and make your competitors jealous.
Task list to complete during the change
After you have completed the steps above, it’s time you install a new theme on your website.
If you need help with the installation process, be sure to check out this post How to install a WordPress theme.
Then, you can move on to changing a theme manually. Here are the steps you need to complete to change a WordPress theme:
1. Log in to the WordPress Admin panel (WordPress Dashboard).
2. Navigate to Appearance → Themes.
3. Click the Activate button, to activate the theme.
Tasks to complete after you change a WordPress theme
Once you’ve changed the theme on your site, you should take care of a few things before you turn off the maintenance mode. Here are those tasks:
- Installing a plugin or plugins that the new theme requires you to install. For example, if you have switched to a WooCommerce WordPress theme, you’ll have to install the WooCommerce plugin.
- Perform design adjustments to your website, such as changing the fonts, color settings, widgets, etc.
- Test your website. Ensure that all plugins, widgets, and functionality are working properly.
- Add tracking codes to add Google Analytics and AdSense to your website.
- Turn off maintenance mode.
- Test page loading time and compare the load time to when your old theme was installed. If there are major differences, be sure to go through this checklist that explains how you can speed up your WordPress website.
- Keep an eye out for the bounce rate. If your theme is not as user-friendly as the previous one, you might want to make it easier to navigate.
- Gather user input on your new site design. If you are interested in user feedback and suggestions, create a survey and send it to your subscribers.
We hope this post helped you understand how to change a WordPress theme. As you can see, the process is relatively easy, but you must prepare your website for the change correctly.
If you are thinking about switching a theme but don’t want to do it yourself, feel free to send us an email一we are more than happy to help.