If you have used WordPress for quite some time, you probably tried switching its themes at least once. If you haven’t done that, and this is your first time, then that is even better for you.
Changing the WordPress theme takes a few clicks, but to make the whole website work as expected is not as simple and easy as deactivating your old theme and activating the new one.
In the following article, we will talk about 10 very important things that you must have in mind before changing your WordPress theme. These steps are critical and will ensure that the process will run smoothly because otherwise, you can end up messing up your entire website.
You Can Also Read How to Migrate from Wix to WordPress
Always think about the changes you’ve previously made.
Before updating to any new theme, you should always take your time to think about the changes that you’ve made to your current theme and take care of any custom or additional codes that you’ve written in your files, such as functions.php and other.
Many WordPress users tend to forget that they’ve added some code straight to their theme’s files, (in most cases these lines of code are Google Analytics and Search Console codes or any other custom functionality added to their website) and updating to your new theme will overwrite the theme files, and all of these codes or snippets will be gone, and you might find yourself confused when you stop seeing any data from services like analytics or the search console.
Watch Out For The Sidebars
Before activating your new theme you should make sure that it is widget-ready because most of the time the sidebars are the things that are the most customized areas of all WordPress websites.
If you’ve taken your time to create good-looking sidebars, make sure to check that the new theme that you’ve chosen is widget-ready, because otherwise, you might lose all of your content stored there.
Always Backup Your Website
Before you start a WordPress theme change, you must create a backup first. Having a fresh and working backup will ensure that even if something goes wrong, you can always go back to your previous website version. This can save you lots of problems, troubles and time, and it is pretty easy to do it.
Use a Maintenance Mode
It is very important to let your website visitors know that you are performing some kind of update of your Website, and not confusing them about it.
WordPress offers easy ways to integrate a maintenance mode of your Website, which will show a very friendly image with a text, telling that there is some work going over the website. You can install any “maintenance mode” plugin and activate it.
Testing Plugins And Functionalities
Once you’ve activated your new theme, it is very important to make sure that all of its content remains the same, and that all of its functionalities still work the way you want them to work.
Take your time to go over every page of your website, scroll down to its end, check the links, go over the single post pages, the 404 pages, the contact page, check the contact form, and everything at all.
Cross Browser Check
Another very important step that you should take is to check your website’s compatibility with all of the common browsers. You have to make sure that the design and the stylings look good and as expected on all of the browsers:
Check The Plugins
Before updating your theme, you should always make sure that all of your plugins are compatible with your new theme and will not cause any unexpected problems or behavior. Making quick research will be enough and will minimize the risks of facing problems in the future.
Monitor Loading Time
It is important to monitor the loading time of your website before you update your theme and compare the results with the new results after your update is finished. It is important to keep track of that and if you notice that your new theme leads to a poor performance you should take care of it and improve it.
Let Your Visitors Know
It is important to let your users know about any new upcoming changes to your website. Take your time to write a quick blog post where you explain the need for your actions, as well as the pros about them. This will lead to increase authority and more trust in your blog.
Listen To The Opinion Of Your Visitors
Whatever you do to your website in terms of improving it – you do it for your visitors. You should always try to satisfy their desires.
Before updating to a new theme and changing the overall design of your WordPress website, it is a great idea to ask your visitors about their opinion. Ask them if they are okay about the changes that you are about to perform, do they support them, or do they need them?
Any feedback from them will be very important, and you should always consider listening to them.
Of course, at the end of the day, the website is yours and you can do whatever you think is good, but it will be best if you adjust the final version according to their overall opinion.
Our Final Advice
Changing a WordPress theme is something pretty easy, but there are lots of aside things that you should take care of. The final result will always be better if you take your time to make a research about your new theme, its compatibilities, and last but not least inform your users and listen to their opinion and advice before updating.