If you finally found a new WordPress theme that matches with your needs perfectly, now you are in for the hard part – actually switching themes. There is far more to switching your WordPress theme than simply hitting a few buttons, because WordPress is more than just a layout. Just simply switching your theme could compromise your monetization code, tracking code, and much more. Before you make the switch, you want to take a number of different steps.
Step #1 – Write Down Your Extra Code Snippets And Tweaks
You want to make sure that you retain all the extra code snippets and tweaks that you made to your current theme. This means that you need to write those down. We have a few suggestions of what to write down:
- Customization – Look at the different tweaks you made with your current theme. Your current theme’s functions.php file should tell you what you want to know.
- Monetization code – If you are selling ad space, you want the advertisement code from the backend and the ad space locations. You also want to look at the top of your single.php file if you are currently using an AdSense banner. Make sure to copy and replicate the code.
- Tracking code – Copy your site verification code, tracking code, and more. You can find these on the header.php file.
Step #2 – Make A Backup
Make a backup of your site so you do not risk your website being lost altogether. You can easily revert back to your original website if something does go wrong during the switch. Better safe than sorry.
Step #3 – Use A Local WordPress Environment To Test Your New Theme
Before you go live, make sure that you test your theme locally. Add all the code snippets and functionalities to your new theme in this local test environment and make sure that it works as it is supposed to. This is also where you ensure that you check cross browser compatibility and plugin compatibility.
Step #4 – Upload Your WordPress Theme
If you are ready to make your switch (and you have done the required testing), you want to install a maintenance mode plugin before you move to your new theme. Especially if you have a large amount of traffic, it is a good idea to switch to maintenance mode first. This means that your visitors are not going to be exposed to a broken website. As you turn on maintenance mode, it gives you the time to upload your new WordPress theme.
Once it is all complete, you can turn maintenance mode off again and use your newly changed WordPress theme. Congrats, you have just made the switch!