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If you use WordPress regularly, chances are you’ve changed the theme of your website at least once. If you never have, then this article will guide what to do before changing WordPress theme.

The best thing about changing the WordPress theme is the ease with which it can be done. Just a few clicks and you will have the new look of your website ready.

What to do before changing WordPress theme?

We give you some recommendations before uploading a new theme to your domain and activating it in production.

1. Take note of changes to your current roster

Many times they are found in the form of code snippets that are manually added to the activated theme in files like “functions.php” or other files. So, first of all, you should take note of those changes you have made in your current topic.

If your template has custom code in the functions file, you should copy it to the new theme.

Also, search if you have custom CSS files in your old template. It may be that you use a CSS element in a post on your website that you need to recover.

We always recommend using child themes for this (your theme must have support for child themes ) so that in future updates, you don’t lose these customizations.

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2. Be careful with the sidebars

Sidebars are the most personalized area for WordPress users: Custom texts, images, links, advertising, etc.

However, you must make sure before uploading your new theme that it is widget-ready. Otherwise, all those modifications will be lost.

Also, anything you modify in your old theme’s sidebar.php file will be overwritten. So make sure the WordPress theme adds the codes in the sidebars.

3. Don’t lose the Google Analytics tracking code of your current topic

Most users use Google Analytics or similar services to keep track of their statistics. Some don’t use plugins to add the code they need for tracking and just open the file “footer.php” and add the necessary javascript code.

Some users use WordPress themes with specific sections to put the AdSense code. Always remember to copy and paste these codes in the new topic so as not to lose. In this case, your statistics and remunerations.

4. Are you working with a good RSS?

Some users tend to syndicate the contents of their blog and mostly use FeedBurner. One of the main benefits of integrating this tool is that you can have a good analysis of the subscribers.

Themes like Genesis allow Feedburner to be integrated into your configuration panel. When changing the subject, remember to make sure that there are no two RSS feeds (for example, WordPress and Feedburner), since, if you do not pay attention to this point, it will seem that you lost subscribers, when in fact what happens is that are not reflected in Feedburner.

5. ALWAYS make a backup

Backups are always a good idea. Before changing the theme of your site, remember to back up your work: the files, the plugins and the database. Theme change doesn’t usually cause problems, but it never hurts to make a copy.

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6. Activate “Maintenance Mode”

Once you have the new theme active, it is recommended to access the WordPress administrator and make sure to activate the «Maintenance mode» for at least 15 or 20 minutes so that your clients do not see your real website disabled. You can use the free WP Maintenance Mode plugin on WordPress.org, for example.

7. Try it and make your new image public

Now just make sure you do all the functional tests for the new theme:

  • Check all the plugins.
  • Next, test the compatibility of your new theme in different browsers and if Google Adsense or Analytics works correctly.
  • Check the source code of your new theme to see if it has https support in the case of having a security certificate configured and the URLs are displayed correctly.
  • Check the SEO of your website, that the URLs of the posts and categories work properly.
  • Test your project to see if it is responsive and on mobile devices, it looks flawless.
  • See the CSS styles if they load smoothly and if they’re optimized. If you were using a cache plugin or CSS and js miner, clear all caches.
  • Finally, disable “Maintenance Mode” and notify your users of the good news of your theme change.

Well, with these simple steps, you will have changed the WordPress theme of your site without further complications.

Having a problem with your WordPress site theme? Let us know in the comments if you were able to configure your theme and carry out updates smoothly.

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