If you’ve been using a WordPress site for some time now, then the chances are that you might have changed your website theme at least once. After all, modifying website appearance has become a crucial factor in determining success in today’s competing web world. But, in case you haven’t switched themes even once, there’s nothing much to worry, as WordPress helps change themes a hassle-free task.
But, just activating another theme won’t be enough to switch themes. Even if you decide on hiring the services of a Web Development Company, there are many things you should consider before changing your WordPress theme. Or else, you may end up losing your website critical elements or data. Below are some essential considerations that you should take into account before switching your WordPress theme:
- Don’t Forget to Create a Backup
Creating a backup of your current theme is the best way to ensure that you won’t lose anything during the switch. Having a backup will help you quickly restore your theme with data intact – the way you left it before changing the theme.
Even though, nothing might happen to your site, but is makes sense to be a safer side. And so, make sure to backup all of your site’s theme files and other crucial components. Luckily, there are many great plugins online that can help automatically schedule your backup.
- Scrutinize Your Current Theme
When it comes to figuring out any solutions to WordPress-related issues, we tend to search the web to get answers. If you’ve looking for a solution in the form of code snippets, then you will possibly add the code manually to your functions file or any other file immediately. But, we have a tendency of forgetting changes that we make very often. So, to find some particular code you most likely would have to spend more time to seek the desired result. A viable alternative is to examine carefully your current theme and note down what all code you have added to it.
Furthermore, avoid switching a theme with one that loads slowly. Of course, you wouldn’t want your website performance to be affected. Thus, you must monitor the load time of your current theme and the theme you wish to activate. You can do so, by using Pingdom Tools and others.
- Be Wary of Widget-ready Areas (or Sidebars)
Widgets are highly useful tools that help in adding more content and functionality to a WordPress site. While widgets can be added in several areas of a WP theme, they’re most commonly added into the theme’s sidebar. In fact, people make an ample number of changes such as adding more text, images, etc. in the sidebar (also called as widget-ready area) of a WordPress site.
For instance, you can display all your recently published posts or the most popular posts link to the sidebar section of your theme. Doing so, help brings visitors to focus on the most important content of your site. You won’t encounter any issue if you’re activating a widget-enabled theme. If not, you will lose an excellent opportunity to promote your content quickly. So, you must add the sidebar code of your current theme into your new theme as well.
- Your Mustn’t Overlook Tracking Your Theme
The majority of WordPress users make use of Google Analytics or other analytics services to track who all have been visiting the site. For this purpose, it’s imperative that the analytics tracking code must be added to our theme. While some themes already have a dedicated area for the AdSense code, some add the code in the footer.php or another file. But, sadly we usually overlook or forget to add analytics tracking code when switching themes.
So, make sure to embed the code used in your current theme into the newly activated theme as well.
- Test Your New Theme
This is an obvious thing you shouldn’t ignore at all cost if you want to ensure that your newly activated theme retains, all the same, features, plugins and other components – that still works just like in your previously activated theme. Not to mention, you would have spend hours in creating 404 pages, adding advanced commenting process, installing relevant plugins and so on. But, if your new theme doesn’t support all those functionalities and plugins, switching themes will be a wasted effort. Of course, you can drive traffic merely on the basis of improving the look and feel of your site.
So, make sure to test your new theme carefully and check whether it contains the same functionalities, plugins, and other vital elements or not.
Whether you’ve already changed your WP theme or are planning to perform such task for the first time, there are a few important considerations you must keep in mind before making the switch. Right from creating a backup to examining your current theme, testing the new theme, etc. – these are certain things you must remember to make the theme switching task a successful endeavor.
Ella Cooper works for Xicom Technologies, one among the best web development companies as a programmer. Apart from programming she has a penchant for writing and thus she shares her development experience through blogging.