What Should You Do Before You Change Your WordPress Blog Theme?

wordpress-themeAre you considering changing to a new theme for your WordPress blog? Do you think it’s just as easy as installing and activating the new theme? If you do, it’s not exactly that easy. Here are a few things you want to make sure you take are of before you change your WordPress theme.

Perform a Full Backup

Of course, the first thing you want to do before you install a new theme is back everything up. You never know what’s going to happen and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you backup your entire WordPress website before you even consider using a new theme.

Make a Note of Your Snippets

After you installed your current theme and started making changes, you probably added code snippets to the function.php file, footer, header and other areas within your WordPress site. You will need to go through and make a note of all of these code snippets.

For example, if you use Google Analytics, you may have a code snippet for this tool in your footer.php file. If this is the case, you will need this code for your new theme or you will lose your tracking.

Turn on Maintenance Mode

Before you make the adjustment, you want to put your WordPress website in Maintenance Mode. This is far better than your visitors seeing a broken site while you make the changes.

Another option is to use an “under construction” plugin and put your site back into the under construction mode until you’re done making changes. You can even customize the message to let visitors know what you are doing and when you will be done updating your WordPress blog.

Check Your New Theme Compatibility

You already use sidebars and plugins specifically for your needs. It’s important to make sure your new WordPress theme will work properly with both the sidebars and the plugins you currently use. You may need to test this before you install and activate the new theme.

Announce the Change to Your Users

Letting your users know what you’re doing, is important. Make sure you blast out an email to all subscribers to ensure they know you’re making changes. After you’re done making the changes, make sure you announce the change on your blog. You cannot possibly catch all the potential bugs, so letting your users know will help them understand there could be a few bumps along the road.

These are just a few of the many things you want to make sure you do before you change your WordPress theme. Depending on your Website, you may want to take care of a few more specific things, as well.

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