So you’re keen to change up your WordPress blog’s theme but to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible here are the top to-do’s to check off first.
Before installing your new theme have a think back to whether or not you have made any changes to your current theme. It might be a custom coded instagram feed footer or a button you added to promote your social media channels. Anything that has been added straight to your theme’s files manually needs to be jotted down and saved to place it back into your new theme’s files.
Sidebars are created when your theme includes areas for ‘widgetised content’. If you’re using sidebars in your current them make sure you new theme has these areas included too.
When you activate the new theme you will also need to re-activate these sidebars. You’ll be able to find all of the content on the left side of your Widgets area (Appearances > Widgets) in the Inactive Sidebars area.
If you have added any tracking or verification codes to your theme manually; think Google Analytics, Pinterest, Bloglovin etc then remember to copy these down and add them to your new templates theme files when you make the switch.
No matter how simple you think your theme switch is going to be it always, ALWAYS pays to have a recent backup handy. Plugins liked VaultPress are fantastic for automated daily backups that are super easy to restore if something should go wrong or if you’re after a quick one-time backup try the Updraft Plus plugin.
After you’ve made the switch to your new theme and made sure everything is in place give your plugin list a bit of a prune. Plugins that you might have needed for your past theme might be a thing of the past now so go through and see what can be deactivated and deleted.
Different themes will also need different image sizes depending on the design and layout. To create these new image sizes for your new theme install the AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild plugin and head to Tools > Rebuild Thumbnails.
Now that your theme is all set up and looking fab keep an eye on your analytics over the next few days to make sure there’s nothing odd. An increase in bounce rate, drop off of traffic or just no stats at all show that there might be something wrong.
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Hey there, Madeleine here. I'd love to help you!