Pre-Theme Checklist: Vital Steps Before Changing WP Themes

Are you considering a makeover for your WordPress Site? A WP theme decides the overall website appearance. A website remake allows you to redesign your site altogether. However, ensuring a smooth process necessitates understanding the basics. In this guide, we’ll unveil vital steps before changing WP themes. This pre-theme checklist will help you navigate your path toward a smooth theme transition.

Ready to embark on this pre-theme adventure? Let’s delve into the process and empower you to switch themes with confidence and finesse!

Why is it so important to follow this pre-theme checklist?

WordPress is one of the best website builders and is widely preferred by the majority of website builders. It allows you to change your Site’s theme as per your desire. Altering a WordPress theme can refresh your Site’s appearance, but mishandling the process can disrupt your live website. Therefore, before you dive into the captivating world of new themes and fresh designs, it’s crucial to pave the way for a smooth transition and give your website a charming appeal. 

 Vital Steps Before Changing WP Themes

Read on to discover the essential steps you should follow before changing your WordPress Theme to ensure a smooth transition while preventing your site’s user experience.

1. Decide a Responsive, Compatible and feature-rich WordPress Theme

Before you make a switch to a new theme, it’s essential to select a WordPress theme that is feature-rich, highly responsive, and compatible with the current WP version. A responsive theme guarantees optimal display across all devices, and compatibility ensures smooth integration with WordPress as well as plugins. In addition, the feature-rich theme offers more customization options and necessary functionalities as per your Site’s needs.

All these will assist you in making a smooth theme transition.

You can select from plenty of themes available in the market. Also, be sure to check for the theme reviews, support, and updates to verify their authenticity. 

2. Record any PHP code snippet used to add more functionalities

PHP code snippets help you add new features to your Site.

If you have used code snippets to customize WordPress themes to add more functionalities, be sure to recode the PHP snippets from your theme file before changing it. This will enable you to preserve these changes.

This is because some web admins add the code snippets directly to the theme files, and changing the theme may lead to losing all the customizations you’ve implemented.

Once you change your WP theme, you can paste your code snippet to gain the same functionalities again on your Site.  

Alternatively, you can also add the code snippets using WPCode. It’s a code snippet plugin that makes it easier for you to add the code easily and keep it intact even if you change your theme in the future.

3. Obtain Your Existing Theme Performance Metrics 

Website performance is a crucial aspect of Search Engine Optimization that can significantly impact its user experience and presence on SERPs. 

When switching your WP theme, make sure to take note of your current website loading speed and performance. This will let you compare your Site’s performance before and after switching your WP theme. This way, you can determine whether your new theme is performing well and reliable. Several free performance tools can help you assess your Site’s performance. 

4. Take Note of Your Theme Customization.

Every theme comes with different elements, such as widget areas, sidebar, header, and footer elements. If you are using special elements on your Site, such as sidebar elements and widget areas, you should take note of this. 

Changing the WP theme will reset all the customizations, making it default, and your preferred widgets and other elements may vanish or move from your Site.

After switching your theme, you can add your preferred element or widget areas to your Site to facilitate your regular tasks.

5. Back up your WP Site’s Recent Version 

Website backup is one of the most essential things that must be done on a regular basis. It helps you keep your data safe and provides a way to restore it if things go wrong. This is why it’s among the vital steps before changing WP themes. 

Prior to changing your theme, it’s crucial to take the backup of the most recent Site, even if your Site is on auto backup. For this, you can use any plugin, like Jetpack, UpdraftPlus, or Duplicator. Here’s a detailed guide on how to back up a WordPress site using Jetpack. 

6. Place your Website in Maintenance Mode to Notify your Users

Making changes to your live site can be a bad decision as it can impact your site’s user experience. And you must not overlook the importance of user experience. Therefore, whenever making changes, it’s always a good idea to put your site in maintenance mode. This will help you showcase a useful message to your users that your Site is undergoing changes, preventing user experience.

If you don’t know how to do this, you can check out a detailed guide on how to place your site in maintenance mode easily. The guide was specially created for e-commerce sites, but the process remains the same. 

7. Activate and Test the Preferred Theme on Your Site

Once you’ve verified your new theme’s compatibility and reliability, you can install and activate the theme on your Site. Now, when you’ve set up your Site, check whether it is functioning properly. You can also test your site on different devices, browsers, and plugins to ensure everything works fine. 

8. Customize your Theme and Site

Now, you can customize your theme as per your desire, like using the code snippets and adding your preferred widgets. 

Also, you can delete unnecessary plugins that you no longer use. This will help you ensure your site performs well and faster.  

9. Turn Off the Maintenance Mode and make your Site Live 

Now, once your Site is working fine as expected, you can turn off the maintenance mode and see your website active in a fresh and more appealing look.

Give your Site a Fresh Look Today!

In conclusion, taking essential steps before changing WordPress themes is fundamental to ensuring a seamless transition without compromising your website’s integrity and functionality. By carefully preparing and backing up your site, documenting customizations, and testing changes in a controlled environment, you can confidently navigate the process, preserving your design elements and user experience while embracing a fresh look for your online presence. Also, choosing a new theme wisely is pivotal, as it sets the foundation for your Site’s appearance and functionality. Selecting a responsive, well-supported, and feature-rich theme that aligns with your design preferences and website goals can help you offer your users a seamless and attractive user experience. These vital steps serve as a safeguard, allowing you to adapt and maintain your site’s unique identity and functionalities, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to a new theme.

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