It might look perfect now but in a year or two, there’s a big chance that you are going to want a new WordPress theme. It’s not because you’re indecisive or anything like that. Most of the time, changing a WordPress theme has something to do with growth having to alter some aspects of a small business.
Regardless of what your reason is for changing your theme, some WordPress beginners can’t get a hold of the process. So here is a quick guide on how to apply a new WordPress theme to your site.
But before anything else, here are some things you have to do before changing your WordPress theme
Changing your WordPress theme is literally just a few clicks away but before you do that, there are some precautionary steps that you need to take.
Copy The Snippets From Your Original Theme
If you are fond of customizing your theme, you might have certain files like function.php.
It would be a good idea to keep a record of your snippet files because they might come in handy someday. You may not want to use them in your new theme but they can still prove to be useful in other web projects.
Do A Load Time Test
Before installing your new theme to your website, you might want to check out how long the site is loading. The reason for this is to figure out if your new theme will be slowing down your site.
If that’s the case, then you should at least look for other themes that would be more compatible with your site.
Keep A File Of All Your Tracking Codes
Analytics are important for you to be able to track your site’s traffic and ad sales. With that, you shouldn’t forget to save all your tracking codes before deleting your old theme and replacing it with a new one.
For future use, you can also install Monster Insights which lets you add the Google Analytics plugin without any problems. Aside from that, you can also install the header and footer plugin so that you will always have a copy of your tracking codes.
Fully Backup Your Content
Changing your WordPress theme isn’t always easy peasy. There are times when something goes wrong and then you would need to have a backup of all your content. Otherwise, you are going to have to start from scratch.
If have a small business, this could be bad news since you might lose all your progress right from the very beginning.
In that case, we recommend that you install a website backup plugin which enables you to conveniently and easily backup all of your content. However, before you reinstall your theme, you have to make sure that the backup is already downloaded to your computer.
Keep Your Site On Maintenance Mode
The moment you start working on your new theme, your site will be on an under-construction mode. This is not really something that you want your visitors to see.
It gives off quite an unprofessional vibe. Aside from that, when people see this, they begin to doubt if the site is still active.
With that, you are going to need a plugin called Seedprod that lets people know that your site is under maintenance.
How To Change Your WordPress Theme
Once you have done all of the precautionary steps detailed above, it is now time to install your new theme.
However, it might be a good idea to test out the theme first before letting it go live on your website. Here is how you change your WordPress theme without going live.
1. Go To The Live Preview Option
WordPress comes with a feature that lets you try on a theme without having to actually activate it on your website.
Just go to Appearance » Themes which you can locate at the left sidebar.
You will then be taken to a page where all of your installed themes are. Just hover over to your desired theme. After that, you can click on the Live Preview button.
Your WordPress theme customizer will then be opened. From there, you can test the theme and see if everything is working the way they should.
2. Theme Switcha Plugin
Not many people know this but there is actually more than one way to change your team without having to go live.
Another option would be to use the Theme Switcha plugin.
After you install and activate this plugin, go to your Settings » Theme Switcha which you will find at the left sidebar of the admin panel.
When you go to the settings page, you have to click “Enable theme switching” and then save the changes when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.
After that, the plugin will now display all of your installed themes at the bottom of the page. If you want to preview one of them, all you have to do is click your desired theme.
3. Activate Your Desired Theme
Now that you have gone over with all the testing, it is time to finalize everything.
Just go to Appearance » Themes.
From there, you can look for the theme that you have been testing a while ago. Move your cursor over the theme that you want and then click Activate.
After that, you can go to your website and see how your new theme looks live.
Things To Do After Changing Your Theme
There are several things you need to take care of after the theme has been changed. For instance, you need to turn off the maintenance mode of your website. However, before you get to that, you need to do these simple tasks:
Test Your Website
A few minutes ago, you went off to test your theme. This time around, you need to be able to test your entire website. You have to make sure that all the plugins and functionalities of your website are functioning as they should.
Testing your website might take time but it is worth it since you will be able to make some quick fixes if ever the comment section or the contact form is not working. For example, we recently switched themes on OnlineGamblingGuru.com and tested the website quite a few times. Even if we tested it, a few bugs here and there still seem to resurface.
Make Sure That The Site Is Compatible With All Major Browsers
Many things can happen when you switch from one theme to another. Sometimes, the main coding mechanism of the site changes and results in incompatibility with some of the most widely used browsers.
It is important to cross-check your site with various browsers to make sure that you wouldn’t be giving your readers or customers a hard time accessing your site.
Add The Tracking Code
Now that you have successfully installed your new theme, it is time to put the tracking code back on.
You are back in business. This means that you should get back to tracking your traffic and call-to-actions.
Turn Off Maintenance Mode
If you use the Seedprod plugin, just go to SeedProd » Settings and then select “Disabled” on the settings page. Don’t forget to save the changes. After that, people can start to view your website live again.
Consistency is a vital part of every business. As much as possible, it is important to be consistent in your digital marketing efforts. However, it is also imperative that you do not become stagnant. That’s a good point to note when it comes to changing themes.