Checklist: 15 Things You MUST DO Before Changing WordPress Themes

By WP Saviour •  Updated: 02/28/21 •  9 min read

In case you have used WordPress, then you may have in all probability switched themes at the very least as soon as in your life. In case you haven’t, and that is your first time, then it’s even higher. The fantastic thing about WordPress is that it makes it very simple for customers to vary themes. It’s actually few clicks away. However altering themes is far more than merely clicking activate. On this article, we are going to give you a guidelines of issues that you simply MUST do earlier than altering WordPress themes. These steps are essential to ensure the method goes easily in any other case you possibly can find yourself dropping parts that you simply didn’t imply to lose.

1. Take Notes on Your Present Theme


Many WordPress customers surf the online to search out options to their issues. Usually they discover these options in type of snippets that they add manually of their theme such because the capabilities.php or one other file. As a result of these modifications have been made as soon as, individuals generally tend of not remembering them. Undergo your theme recordsdata and notice down all extra code that you simply added. You additionally need to verify your present theme’s load time as a result of this fashion you possibly can evaluate the 2. Go to a web site like Pingdom Tools or use YSlow to check out totally different pages (Sure totally different pages, not simply the homepage).

2. Be cautious of the Sidebars


It’s essential to guarantee that your new theme is widget-ready. Sidebar widgets are very easy to make use of due to this fact loads of customers use it to customise it. We discover that sidebars are in all probability probably the most user-customized space of WordPress websites. Folks make tons of modifications comparable to including customized texts, photographs, hyperlinks, commercial, and different widgets. In case you are utilizing a widget-enabled theme, and you turn to a theme that isn’t widget-ready, then you’ll lose all of that. In case you are utilizing a widget-enabled WordPress theme, then this isn’t a problem.

Additionally something that you simply modify in sidebar.php file of your previous theme, might be overwritten. So just be sure you add these codes within the new theme sidebar.

3. Don’t lose monitoring


Most bloggers use some kind of analytics whether or not it’s Google Analytics, or one of many different providers. A number of us don’t use plugins so as to add the monitoring codes. A few of us open the footer.php file and modify the codes. A few of our themes have a spot to position the adsense code. Whichever one is your case, you need to just be sure you copy and paste your monitoring code to your new theme. This is without doubt one of the issues that could be very generally missed by customers. As a result of it’s so easy, most of us neglect about it.

4. The Good ‘ol RSS are you working?

A number of us use FeedBurner for our WordPress RSS Feeds. One of many components of integrating FeedBurner into WordPress is pointing your default feeds to FeedBurner this fashion you possibly can have analytics in your feed subscribers. A number of themes like Genesis, Normal Theme, and others let you combine FeedBurner from their settings panel. You want to just be sure you preserve the feed directed to FeedBurner in any other case there might be two RSS feeds to your weblog. The primary WordPress one, and the FeedBurner one which is taking the information out of your WordPress RSS Feed. Besides, you’ll lose rely of loads of the subscriber that you simply had as a result of they have been subscribed utilizing the /feed/ url which now not factors to FeedBurner. Once more, this doesn’t imply you lose them, it simply means you can’t see them within the FeedBurner rely.

5. Backup!!


You by no means have something to lose by making a backup. As a precautionary measure, it is best to backup all your theme recordsdata, plugins, and the database. Though nothing ought to occur, however you possibly can by no means be too secure. You should use BackupBuddy to create a full-site Backup for you.

6. Upkeep Mode


You in all probability don’t need your customers to see if you are making the swap as a result of they’ll find yourself seeing a damaged web site or such. It’s best to activate Upkeep mode for 15 – 20 minutes that it could take you to guarantee that all the things is working correctly. After you have setup Upkeep mode, you might be good to go forward and activate the brand new theme.

7. Testing all performance and plugins

After you have the brand new theme activated, it’s good to just be sure you retain all of the performance and plugins nonetheless work. Do not forget that good ol’ notes record that you simply created in step 1. That is the time the place that may come helpful. Return and add any and all performance that you simply need to carry from the previous theme into the brand new theme in case you haven’t executed so already. Check out all of the options together with however not restricted to the commenting course of, single put up pages, search, 404 web page, archive web page, contact web page and so on. Ensure that all your widgets are nonetheless there and are working.

On the plugin entrance, you simply need to guarantee that the formatting remains to be the identical. A number of plugins make the most of your present types to show their output. So that you in all probability need to guarantee that they nonetheless look good with the brand new theme.

8. Cross Browser Compatibility


Check your web site in all browsers you may have entry to. Browsers generally tend of rendering issues in another way. Specifically Web Explorer. You need to guarantee that your design seems to be good in main browsers. Some fairly wanting themes generally tend of breaking in varied browsers. So if loads of your viewers is utilizing Web Explorer, you then need to guarantee that it’s nonetheless accessible to them.

9. Make these Third Celebration Gadgets look fairly

In case you are utilizing Google Adsense or one other advert firm that means that you can format them, then your greatest guess is to customise them. For instance, you earlier web site was orange, so that you had orange hyperlinks for Google Adsense. Now whether it is blue, you then in all probability need to take that into consideration.

Identical goes for twitter widget, fb like buttons and so on. Regulate these together with your new colour scheme. In case you are going from a lightweight to a darkish design, or vice-versa, then it’s good to make these modifications.

10. Let your Customers Know


Flip off upkeep mode, and write a fast weblog put up to let the customers know. Discover, you solely spent like 15 – 20 minutes on checking issues. There isn’t a method that you possibly can’ve catch all of the bugs. By letting your customers know, you possibly can anticipate to get bug studies. We frequently ask our readers on twitter (@wpsaviour) for bug testing. Ask your viewers by way of twitter, fb and so on to see if the location seems to be good of their browser. If they are saying YES, then its excellent news. If they are saying NO, then ask them to please take a screenshot of the problem. You may check out the problem and attempt to repair it. In case you can’t repair it, then kindly ask the developer of the theme to repair it. Discover: except you paid for the theme, these builders are NOT required to repair these points for FREE.

Folks have all kind of browsers, display resolutions, and so on, so getting their opinion is essential. Don’t neglect to remind your RSS readers to go to the location as properly, to allow them to see the goodies.

11. Pruning plugins

Themes at the moment are coming pre-loaded with loads of options. For instance, in case you are utilizing Genesis or one other theme that has BreadCrumbs, then you possibly can eliminate Breadcrumb plugin of yours. The idea is straightforward. Do away with issues that you simply don’t want. One factor it is best to make certain although is usually plugins can do the job higher. For instance loads of themes are coming with tons of web optimization options. Genesis, Thesis, Normal Theme, and all others boast their web optimization options. We’d relatively use a way more highly effective plugin like WordPress web optimization by Yoast. Make your selections properly.

12. Take Child Steps when Altering


You might be working with a brand new theme right here, so it’s in all probability greatest that you simply make modifications rigorously. Change smaller parts to guarantee that it behaves correctly in all browsers. Then as soon as you might be comfy sufficient, then you may make drastic modifications. It’s essential to be taught the construction and semantics of the brand new theme earlier than you make large modifications. It will let you detect the issue immediately.

13. Check Loading Time

Take the load time numbers that you simply had in your previous theme (from merchandise 1 of this guidelines), and evaluate the 2. See what you are able to do to enhance load time by trying out Prathamesh’s presentation on Slideshare.

14. Monitor Bounce Charge

After switching themes, you need to just be sure you are monitoring bounce price. Some themes are simply extra friendlier than others in terms of navigating the readers round your web site. In case your bounce price has elevated in comparison with the earlier theme, then it is best to in all probability work on that. Add associated posts widgets, standard posts widgets, or just have a greater call-to-action for brand new readers.

15. Hearken to your readers, and IMPROVE


When a brand new design comes out, customers at all times have recommendations. They both love a particular function, or hate a particular function. Talk together with your viewers utilizing surveys or Fb Polls. See what they wish to see improved, after which work on getting that executed.

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WP Saviour

I am a WordPress specialist. My mission is to help you create beautiful websites with ease!