A Checklist to go through before Changing a WordPress Template or Theme

So you want to change your WordPress theme, but don’t know about the steps to do it effectively. Don’t worry, after reading this blog you will be able to change your WordPress theme like a pro.

WordPress, being the most used content management system at present with 35% market share, makes it super easy for the users to manage or change themes on the site. However, you should keep one thing in your mind that changing the appearance of your live site is a major event and you have to be cautious while doing that.

Here, we will show you step by step process of changing a WordPress website theme like  a pro. So, let’s start:

Things to Execute Before Changing Your Theme
Before migrating your theme from HTML to WordPress, you have to take some precautionary steps. We recommend you to go through the below-mentioned checklist in order to ensure that the theme changing process goes smoothly as a cakewalk, and you do not end up losing crucial data of your site.

1. Take notes on your present theme
You should definitely take a note of the current WordPress theme. Decide which colors, widgets, menus or links are important, and try to imagine this website structure in the new navigation structure.

You should remember that you do not have to change the basics of your site if you are completely satisfied with them, but a few extra improvement ideas will not harm you. So, before changing the theme of your site, you can take notes on your current WP theme and see what additional changes you want to see on your site.

2. Turn the maintenance mode ON
You definitely do not want your website visitors to see a broken site while you are changing the theme. This will make your visitors think your site has gone down and then the possibility is that they will look for other alternatives for that specific content.

Therefore, it is always better to turn on the maintenance mode for a specific amount of time. This maintenance mode will inform your website visitors that your site is currently under maintenance work and predict a specific time or date when it will be back again.

3. Backup all your crucial data
Although, changing a theme on WordPress is not that risky as your system allows you to go back to your old WordPress theme whenever you want to do it. But, creating a backup on a regular basis is definitely a wise idea. As a precautionary measure, you should back-up your plugins, theme files, and the database before changing WordPress themes.

If nothing else, backing up your crucial data will make you feel secure and give your complete peace of mind. You can also check out some amazing backup plugins if you are completely new to backing up your WordPress website.

4. Take extra care of the sidebars
Sidebars are used for adding widgets including advertisements, subscription forms, social links, or a contact form. The new theme of WordPress has to be packed with all crucial widgets which makes sidebars one of the most important elements that should be personalized.

Actually, it is where you get the freedom of personalization things of your site, and you can do a plethora of changes in texts, images, colors, advertising, to name a few.

If your WordPress theme is already widget-enabled, and you want to switch to a whole new theme that’s not widget-ready, then you’re about to lose various widgets. One of the easiest ways to do the modifications is overwriting your sidebar.php file, and adding necessary codes in the new theme sidebar.

5.  Cross-Browser Compatibility
Test your WordPress based website in different browsers you have access to. Different browsers have a tendency of rendering website elements in a different manner, especially Internet Explorer. In addition to this, you have to make sure that your website design looks great in different browsers. Some good looking WordPress website themes have a tendency of breaking in different browsers. So if a majority of the audience is using Chrome or Internet Explorer, then you have to make sure that it is still accessible to them.

How to Change Your WordPress Theme?

Now, let us talk about how to switch your theme. The steps of the procedure are pretty simple, and we will walk you through each one of these steps.

Step 1: Navigate to Your Themes Section
To get started with the process, head to the Appearance > Themes within your WordPress site:

Now, you will see a list of all the installed WordPress themes. Your activated WP theme will be clearly highlighted here:

Your next step depends on whether your new theme can easily be found in the Directory of WordPress Theme, or whether you have bought a premium WordPress theme on anywhere. Regardless, you can click the Add New button, and easily move on to the next phase of the process. In addition to this, you can also convert your site from HTML to WordPress to have more customized version of your theme.

Step 2: Install WordPress Theme
In order to choose from the plethora of free WordPress themes that are available, you can simply search for one theme using various drop-down menus on the Add Themes page:

On the other hand, if you have bought a premium WordPress theme, you will be provided with a ZIP file. It can be installed using the Upload Theme link on this page, and after that using the Choose File dialog to locate that particular file:

In both of these ways, once you have uploaded or found your desired WordPress theme, you will just need to click on any relevant Install button. And, after that WordPress will work its magic and you are almost done with that!

Step 3: Activate Your New Theme
Now the final step is to activate your WordPress theme. For any premium WordPress themes, you will usually see any activation link on the next confirmation screen, after the entire installation process is complete.

If it is not the case with you, you can view all the installed themes by heading back to Appearance > Themes screen. In order to apply a new theme, just hover over it and click on the Activate button of that theme:

Let’s Wrap Up:
So, in this blog, you have seen various precautions and processes of changing your WordPress theme. If you still face any difficulty, you can contact a professional company providing WordPress development services. These companies can help you in changing as well as customizing your WordPress theme without any error or glitch.

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