You have had your WordPress web page for a while and are toying with the idea of changing your theme. Or maybe you are a beginner and about to choose a theme.
The good news is that WordPress has loads of themes to choose from. What you may not know that there is a lot more to choosing a theme than you imagine.
Basically, a change of theme affects the overall appearance of your website in terms of page layout, font type and color and heading levels. It also affects the features and functionality of your site and how your content is organized.
So before you click on the activate button, consider the following:
1. You Could Lose Changes
When you shift from one theme to another, changes made on your previous theme could be lost. To avoid this, make a list of all changes you have made on your existing site including customization, plugins and widgets. Note down the corresponding codes. You will use these codes to transfer changes to your new theme.
It helps to back up your theme files, plugins and database of your old theme. Save to multiple locations, including dropbox.
2. Location of Widgets May not Match
Widgets are areas on your website that allow you to customize your WordPress site. These may include items such as permalinks, adverts, logos and banners. They are often located on the sidebar but also in the footer and header.
If your widgets were previously in the footer and the new theme does not have a footer, or your footer is not widget-enabled, you may lose your widgets.
You are advised to save your widgets in your inactive widgets area before switching to a new theme. Also copy and save the code of your widgets.
If you are using external analytics to track activity on your website, migrating to a new theme may cause you to lose track of your subscribers. You may end up with two RSS feeds, one for wordpress and a second for the external program.
Ensure you integrate any external analytics program with WordPress analytics.
Your theme’s appearance could be affected by the browser you are using. Ensure compatibility with all browsers, including Internet explorer.
Items such as FB like buttons, Twitter or Google Adsense links may change color. Take that into account and customize them to match your new color scheme.
Changing your site’s theme may be necessary from time to time but you’ll need to take relevant measures to ensure a seamless transition. If in doubt, consult a web developer.