Things to Do Before Installing a WordPress Theme
While it is easy to change WordPress theme, there are a number of things you will need to do to avoid problems. In this post we will be looking at the most important things you need to do before you change the theme.
Copy snippets from the current WordPress theme
It is common for intermediate users to add code snippets directly to the functions.php file of their WordPress theme. These changes are usually made one and it is easy to forget about them. If these changes were made, it is important that you go through the files of your current theme and take note of all the additional code. This will enable you to add the code later in the new theme’s functions.php file or the site-specific WordPress plugin.
Test the load time
The last thing you want is to keep wondering if your website is slower with the new theme or not. The only way to avoid this confusion is to test the load time and note it down before installing the new theme. Doing so will help compare the two once you change the theme. Needless to say, how fast your web pages load affects user experience as well as SEO. If the new theme makes your website slow you should consider removing it.
Don’t lose tracking codes
It is common for some users to add the analytics tracking code into the theme files. There are also some WordPress themes that make it possible to add Analytics or AdSense code directly into the settings panel. Overlooking these codes will lead to problems. Ensure that you copy these tracking codes before you change the theme.
Make a full backup
No matter how confident you are you must always backup your website before you change WordPress theme. Backup everything from your database to posts, images and plugins. With the backup you will be able to recover your website easily in case something goes wrong. Download the backup to your computer before you proceed.
The sidebars are normally used for adding widgets such as advertisements, social links, contact form and subscription forms. You have to make note of the changes and copy any custom code that you added ito your widgets. Copy the code on your computer so that you can reuse it on the new theme.
Keep the site on maintenance mode
Last but not least you need to activate the maintenance mode before you start changing the theme. The last thing you want is for visitors to assume that your website crushed. You can use the SeedProd Plugin for this purpose.
Doing the aforementioned things will smooth the transition from the old to the new WordPress theme. Always make sure you know what you are doing and don’t be afraid to bring in expert help.