Points To Remember Before Changing WordPress Themes

We all love changing WordPress themes, don’t we? Well, if you are a WordPress user, then you must have changed your WordPress theme at some point of time or the other. A great feature of WordPress is that you will be able to change the themes extremely easily. However, changing themes is not entirely about clicking the activate button. There are various other things that you will have to keep in mind while shifting from one WordPress theme to another. 

So, here we are with a few points that you should keep in mind if you want to switch from one WordPress theme to another:

Makes notes on your present theme 

What most WordPress users do to find a solution to their problem is surf the internet. In  most cases, the solution is present in the form of snippets which they have added manually in their theme. So, you need to carefully go through your theme file and list all the additional pieces of code that you have added. You should also check the load time of your current theme. In this way, you will be able to compare your present theme with the new theme.

Be careful about the sidebars

You need to ensure that your theme is widget-ready. Sidebar widgets are extremely easy to use. The users will be able to customize them without facing any kind of difficulty. The sidebars are the regions which the users customize the most. People add images, custom text, advertisements and links to the sidebar. So, if you were earlier using a theme which was widget-ready and now you are switching to a theme which is not widget-ready, then you will be losing all the changes that you have made to your sidebar.

Backup is a must

You need to take a backup of all the files and data of your existing theme before you switch to the new theme. You must also take backup of your plugins and theme files. Even if nothing happens, it is always better to be safe. There are a huge range of plugins available using which you can easily take backup of your database.

Maintenance mode 

You would not want your users to navigate to your website while you are making changes to it. So, it is best to keep your website in maintenance mode for around 15 to 20 minutes during which you can change your theme and make sure that everything is working properly. Once you have set the maintenance mode you can change your theme. Once the maintenance mode is over, your user will be able to see your brand new website theme.

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Test all the functionalities and the plugins 

Once you have activated your new theme, you need to check whether you have retained all the functionalities of the existing themes and whether your plugins are functioning properly. You need to make sure that the formatting of your plugin is still the same so that the users do not face a lot of problems in navigating through the pages of your website.

Cross-browser compatibility

This is another very important aspect of WordPress themes. You need to check whether your website is running fine on all popular web browsers or not. Web browsers have a tendency to display things differently. You need to make sure that your theme appears the same in all browsers. Only then will your users become interested in visiting your website.

Inform your users 

You need to inform your users that you are shifting from one theme to another. By informing your users, you can expect to get a lot of bug reports from them. Ask your viewers through Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms to check whether your website is performing well on all browsers as well. If the answer is no, then you should ask them to send you a screenshot of the issue they are facing. After that you can do the troubleshooting as required. You may even take the help of a developer to fix all the bugs for you.

Checking the loading time 

You need to check the loading time of your website multiple times. This is very important for your website. If your website takes a long time to load, then all your users may get bored and gradually they may lose interest over your website. You should also compare the loading time of your new theme with the previous one to check how it is performing.

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Never stop tracking

A lot of bloggers do not use tracking features on their website. If you are a blogger and you want to become popular, then it is of primary importance that you use some sort of analytic tools for your website. A very good option is Google Analytics. This will help you to know how exactly your website is performing.

Pruning plugins 

A lot of themes come with a number of preloaded features. They also have a lot of inbuilt plugins in them. You should get rid of all the things that you do not require. Try to uninstall those plug-ins that you do not use. Otherwise they will unnecessarily occupy a lot of memory and may even have a negative impact on the loading speed of your website. You must make your choices wisely if you want your website to perform really well.

Always take suggestions from your viewers

You need to know what your users have got to say about the change. You should ask them which features the like and which features they do not like. You may communicate with your users by means of Facebook polls and surveys. You must take the opinions of your users into consideration. This will make them feel special and they will also start trusting you more.

So, these are some of the points that you must check before you change your WordPress theme. Do you have any checklist of your own? Then don’t forget to share it with us.

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