Considering a WordPress site revamp? In order to prepare for changing your WordPress theme, follow these steps.
Every website owner will at some point have to change the design of their site. Instead of using a heavy theme, use a lighter one to speed up download times and provide users more control over their website’s design and appearance.
It’s simple to alter the WordPress theme on your site, but there are a few steps you must take first to avoid breaking the live site. There are a few things you need to perform before changing your WordPress theme.
Table of Contents
1. Keep Your WordPress Site Safe With A Backup Copy
How to Backup Your WordPress Website in 5 Min
First and foremost, you should take a full backup of your site. You’ll have a copy of your website’s present state if you back up your content and database.
In the unlikely event that the theme change does not go as intended, you can always restore your site from a backup without losing any critical modifications.
Even if you set your computer to take automatic backups on a daily or weekly basis, you should still make a fresh copy of your data and save it in the cloud or on your computer in order to avoid losing any changes you make after the backup.
If you’re looking for an easy way to back up your website, UpdraftPlus is the best option.
2. Put Your Website Into Maintenance Mode to Let Your Visitors Know What’s Going On
How To Put Your WordPress Site In Maintenance Mode
On a live website, changing the WordPress theme might be disastrous. It’s better to inform your website visitors that maintenance is taking place rather than upsetting their experience by giving them a deformed page with information, graphics, headers, and footers scattered everywhere.
There are several techniques to make it appear as if work is being done behind the scenes when your website is under maintenance.
Custom coding, plugins, and third-party page builders are all options. To make maintenance mode activation and deactivation as simple as possible, we recommend using a plugin.
It is common knowledge among bloggers to advocate the SeedProd plugin for temporarily putting their websites into maintenance mode, but this is not required.
3. Snippets Of Code To Copy And Paste
How to Insert Code Snippet in Word
Perhaps you’ve added some custom code snippets to your WordPress theme to improve its functioning.
Changing themes may cause you to lose your customizations, depending on how you added them. Make a duplicate of any custom CSS you’ve added to the theme file before making any changes.
This may or may not be retained by the new theme if you’re using a snippet-adding plugin. Copy all the custom code you made to the theme file or plug-in, and save it somewhere safe. In either instance, it is preferable. This means that even if something goes awry, you can still personalise your new theme by using the same code.
4. Write Down Any Changes You’ve Made To The Theme
Add a Note to Your WordPress Dashboard ✍📌
Plugins, header sections, footer elements, custom messages, and so on should all be noted down for future reference.
It’s possible to recreate these adjustments manually if the WordPress theme is changed and all customizations are reverted to the default.
Checking whether or not the new theme may be customised is also critical. Consider its font and layout customization options, how simple it is to use with a page builder, and how readily you can tweak it with code snippets.
As a result, check to see if it gives the same degree of control as your previous theme did so that you can customise it to your satisfaction.
5. Observe Your Website’s Loading Time
Speed Index: What it is & How to Optimize your Website for it
Before making any changes, it’s critical to run a speed and performance check on your website using your existing theme in its present condition.
After changing the theme, you may rerun the test to evaluate the website performance on a new theme to an old one. Because of this, if the theme has slowed down your site instead of speeding it up, you can undo the change.
Take note of the site’s performance and structural scores, as well as the web vitals, when you run a performance test. In order to make sure that adding code snippets to the same sites in a new theme won’t overwhelm it, you may check the performance data for each page where you’ve used the snippets.
Analysing the new theme’s handling of old snippets is made easier by doing so. WordPress speed test tools are also available to help you gauge how quickly your site loads.
6. Verify The Theme’s Compatibility On A Number Of Devices
Your website visitors use a number of devices to view your site. Because of this, having a theme that is both responsive and cross-platform is essential.
WordPress themes generally operate well on desktop computers but have issues on mobile devices.
Find out if the theme you intend to employ is mobile-friendly by design or how much effort you will have to put into making the theme mobile-friendly.
Check your old theme’s loading speed on mobile as part of the compatibility check, as well as the bounce rate and average stay time of mobile users.
A comparison with the data from your new theme will be possible later. When things go awry, it’s simple to revert the modification or move to a different theme.
7. Make Certain You’ve Made the Correct Adjustment
Go over the list of considerations and make sure you haven’t missed anything important before making a decision. Getting feedback from your audience is equally vital. Consult with your target audience to learn their thoughts on the new look and feel of your website, and then make any necessary improvements based on their feedback.
In addition, make sure that all of your website’s information is properly formatted. Next, take a close look at your website for any problems and fix them as soon as possible. You can also see the effect of this modification on your website visitors by following your SEO ranks in analytics.
If you notice a fall in traffic, an increase in bounce rates, or a decrease in average stay time after making the adjustment, you should turn it back. In addition, if WordPress isn’t your cup of tea, there are a slew of other CMS solutions to consider.
You should be able to easily change your WordPress theme by following the above instructions. For your website’s security, it is important that you are not utilising a nulled version of the theme, but the actual developer-created one. Regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that you take every precaution to protect your website.