How To Change A WordPress Theme in 4 Easy Steps

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Is your website currently running on a WordPress theme and you are wondering how to change a WordPress theme? Changing and managing themes on a WordPress site is a cinch.

However, you must remember that making a huge change to your website’s design is a significant event. Before you change a theme, and even afterwards, there are a few things you need to remember to ensure that you don’t lose any data or website traffic.

It’s not as simple as clicking a button to switch to a different current theme.

Before you activate a new theme, there’s a lot to think about. Among other things, you’ll need to choose the theme carefully you’ll be using, and you’ll need to back up your present site.

Using a step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to change a WordPress theme the right way.

Table of Contents

What You Should Do Before Changing Your WordPress Theme

Copy Your Current Theme’s Snippets

It’s not uncommon for intermediate WordPress users to add code snippets to their theme’s functions.php file to modify their site.

People tend to forget about these alterations since they were done just once.

Check your existing theme files to see whether you or your web developer included any extra code that wasn’t included in your original theme. Adding them to your new theme’s functions.php or a site-specific WordPress plugin will let you do so later.

Content for the Sidebar

Widgets like social media links, adverts, subscription forms, and contact forms may be added to sidebars.

These modifications should be noted. If a widget has any custom code, be careful to copy and paste it to your computer to be used in a future theme you create.

Keep Your Website in Maintenance Mode

When making updates to your website, it’s better to place it into maintenance mode. The last thing you need is for your site’s visitors to view a construction site.

The SeedProd plugin is the best option for this. It’s a well-known WordPress plugin that lets you effortlessly build gorgeous coming soon and maintenance mode pages for your website. 

Secure Tracking Codes

Certain users can include an analytics tracking code in their theme files. Some WordPress themes enable you to insert Adsense or Analytics code via the theme’s options panel.

Beginners often ignore these regulations, which is a costly oversight.

All the tracking codes must be copied so that they may be added to your new site after altering the layout.

A plugin like MonsterInsights is always recommended for this. I suggest utilizing the header or footer plugin for other tracking codes.

Set Up A Complete Backup

Before making a theme change, you should always back up your articles, photos, plugins, and database.

A WordPress backup plugin may be used to produce a complete site backup. The backup should be downloaded to your PC before proceeding.

If anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to restore your website.

Loading Time for the Test

Check your website’s page load time before making any changes to it so that you can see how much time it takes to load a new theme.

Make sure your new WordPress theme is quicker than your old one since this is a major component of user experience and SEO.

Use a WordPress speed testing service to see how fast your site is. You can also use the Google PageSpeed Insight tool to test the speed of your site.

Ensure that the homepage and some internal pages have adequate load times.

What You Should Look Out For In A Theme

Choosing the incorrect theme might harm the success of your website. 

Luckily, it isn’t difficult to make the right choice.   This is what you should be looking for:

  • Compatibility with major web browsers:  To ensure that the widest possible audience can see your site, ensure it is accessible on all browsers and devices.
  • Support for the plugin:  Some themes are designed to work with certain plugins. Consequently, you must check that all of your plugins are compatible with the latest theme.
  • Integration with a page builder:  Page builders often make it easy to customize the design of your website. Hence, making sure that your preferred tool is compatible with your theme is critical.

Because page builders make it easy to customize the design of your website, making sure that your preferred tool is compatible with your theme is critical.

The developer’s support channels should also be excellent if you ever need them. The quality of a theme’s support is usually reflected in the theme’s user reviews and ratings.

Finally, ensure the theme was developed with SEO (search engine optimization) and is mobile-friendly. Fortunately, the majority of themes now take into consideration these factors are there are many great WordPress theme providers to choose from.

How To Change A WordPress Theme

Let’s get down to the details of how to change your WordPress theme. I’ll lead you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Make a Backup of Your Website

As I stated earlier, the first thing you should do is create a complete site backup. This is critical so that if anything goes wrong, you’ll have a fresh starting point to work from.  Luckily, we’ve already covered how to back up your site.

Step 2: Go to the Themes section of your WordPress

Changing your theme is now a simple matter. To begin, navigate to Appearance > Themes in WordPress:

In this section, you’ll find a complete list of all the themes you have installed. You’ll be able to see your active theme easily:

There are a few options here, depending on whether or not you purchased a premium theme from somewhere other than the WordPress Theme Directory. However, click the Add New button to proceed to the next stage.

Step 3: Install WordPress Theme

On the Add Themes page, you may browse among the hundreds of free themes by using the drop-down choices.

For a premium theme, you’ll get a ZIP file instead of only the theme’s files. Use the Upload Theme link on the same page to upload your theme, then go to your theme’s location in your computer’s file explorer by selecting Browse.

Once you’ve discovered or uploaded the theme of your choice, all you have to do is click the appropriate Install option. As soon as WordPress has finished working its magic, you’ll be all done!

Step 4: Activate New WordPress Theme

I recommend activating your theme at this point. After the installation is complete, you’ll often get an activation link for premium themes on a confirmation page.

If this is the case, returning to the Appearance > Themes menu will show you all your presently installed themes. A new one may be added by clicking on the Activate button:

Upon completion, you will be able to access the front end of your site and see your new theme. It should be operational and look rather nice.

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