WordPress themes are great, but they can be tricky blighters. Some themes break your site, some take you down a one way street, possibly to a dead end, and some seem impossible to get looking the same as the demo.
With over 3000 themes available in the WordPress directory you can, and we all do, literally install dozens before you get the perfect theme for your site. And, there are hundreds of themes not found in the directory; many of them are premium themes with nice layouts and features.
However, just changing themes and making it look like a good fit for your website is not always as simple as clicking a button. Themes have different layout options, important design elements such as your logo, sidebars, and widgets might not match. Also, just because you’re changing your theme doesn’t mean that you want to change your colors.
Depending on the complexity of the theme you are changing from and to, there could be a lot of adjustments to make before your site is ready for public viewing.
Things to do before changing themes:-
- Make a Backup. Always. We would recommend the WPBackUp plugin at https://wordpress.org/plugins/backwpup/ , but any backup is better than none.
- Check the functionality between your old theme and your new theme to see what plugins you can reduce or what you might have to add. A good example is social network plugins, some themes include these natively.
- Note all of the code, customizations, widgets, and snippets that you have added to your theme.
- Make a list of all your active plugins.
- Take a screenshot of your widgets. You’ll want to make sure you get them in the right position and order in the new theme. If the new theme does not have the same locations for widgets it should automatically move them to the inactive widgets area so that you can drag and drop them into the new layout
- Check page layouts and Templates. One theme’s post/portfolio etc. layout is not always the same as another’s
- If you have a drag and drop theme be especially careful as they can use a lot of proprietary code that will not work with other themes except their own.
- Use a Maintenance Mode plugin
- Test. Lots.
- Test some more. Check single posts, pages with multiple posts on, portfolio pages, forms, menus, sidebars, header, footer, galleries, widgets and more. Look at your site on as many devices and browsers as you can.