Will You Lose Content If You Change Your WordPress Theme? No, you will not lose any of your website content if you change your website theme.
Changing the theme doesn’t affect your media, post, pages, and comments. The only thing it changes is the website presentation or appearance.
But that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Changing theme affect your website SEO and it is one of the most crucial things that you should keep in your mind.
Wrong WordPress theme selection can break your content formatting and that may result in your visitor’s difficulty navigating and understanding your blog content.
WordPress theme selection is very crucial as it is directly related to the user experience. And user experience is one of the biggest Google ranking factors. Bad user experience increases bounce rate and decrease time on page.
So, in this article, we will walk you through some of the important factors before, after, and during the process of changing the WordPress theme.
Things That Won’t Be Affected By Changing Your Theme
WordPress theme has their own widgets, and those widgets can be different for different themes to change the overall look of your website.
Not just widgets, but some WordPress themes use multiple plugins to change the look and add customization options to your WordPress website.
When you change your website’s WordPress theme, there are a lot of things that take in the background process.
For instance, if the A theme is using some plugin to optimize your website, the B theme might not need that same Plugin.
But will it affect your website? Here are the things that won’t have an effect on changing the WordPress theme of your website:
- Your posts, pages, comments, and media files won’t have the effect of theme change.
- The website’s description and title will have no difference.
- WordPress settings will be the same as before.
- All Plugins will continue to function regularly, apart from WordPress theme plugins.
- The WordPress dashboard will appear the same.
Things That Will Be Affected By Changing Your Theme
There are a lot of things that won’t have the effect of WordPress themes. However, there are plenty of things going on in the background which do have a little or major effect on them.
- The look of your website comprises the logo, favicon, color settings, background, header, footer, and more. Most of these things get changed while you apply a new theme to your WordPress website.
- Most WordPress themes are based on Widgets that allow you to have different components on your websites, such as a sidebar, a menu, and more. So, the widgets will definitely have the effect of a changed theme. A new WordPress theme will likely have its own widgets, which might bother your website.
- Menu settings are most likely to be affected by a new WordPress theme.
- If you are using shortcodes in your WordPress website, they may also get affected by a new theme.
- If you are using sliders or galleries to show pictures on your website. It will be affected as well.
- Most of the theme-based plugins will stop working after applying a new theme.
Important Things to do Before Changing WordPress Theme
WordPress is a fantastic tool for creating websites, but it isn’t always enough. You could be considering changing themes if your site’s present theme is becoming outdated. But, before you go any farther, there are a few things we recommend you do first.
Changing your WordPress theme is a significant step toward improving your website’s appearance.
Your website may gain more visitors as a result of the change, or it may suffer a drop in search engine rankings as a result of the change. You have no idea what’s going to happen with it.
However, if you keep track of specific details, they will have no impact on your website’s ranking.
Before you change the WordPress theme on your website, there are a few things you need to do because you can always go back to the prior version if something goes wrong with your website.
Backup Your Files – Plugin and Without Plugin
Before you make any changes to your current website, it is important that you keep a backup of all the WordPress files, including plugins, posts, pages, and so on.
There are various ways to safely back up your files. For instance, you can take backup using Plugin, and you can also backup files manually.
Backup with Plugin
You can use plugins such as BackupBuddy and Updraft Plus to make a complete backup of your site. Apart from these plugins, there are some free and paid plugins you can use.
- Updraft Plus
- Blog Vault
- BoldGrid Backup
- Head over to the cPanel of your website and log in to the FTP accounts.
- Copy the files you would like to back up and go back to cPanel home.
- Now, find out the phpMyAdmin option and then choose the database.
- If you only have one WordPress website, you can directly export the database.
- Once it is done, you will have a manual backup of your WordPress website.
Copy Existing WordPress Tracking Codes
Apart from backing up your website. You have to ensure you copy all the existing WordPress tracking codes that you put into your website for tracking, advertising, and more.
Because most people paste these codes straight into their theme files, you must disregard and copy them when changing your WordPress theme.
You’ll need a few plugins to accomplish this. You can, for example, install MonsterInsights. With this Plugin, you can ensure that your analytics data is not interrupted.
Make a note of Current Theme Sidebars and Widget Areas
Widgets and sidebars enhance the appearance of your website. Most websites have sidebars with links to their email newsletter, social media accounts, forms, and other information.
Because most themes include separate sections for sidebars and widgets, they may be disrupted while you switch themes.
As a result, it’s vital that you keep track of all the sidebars and widgets on your present website. If you’re creating sidebars and widgets with shortcodes, make a duplicate of the scripts and paste them into your new theme when you install it.
Get Current WordPress Theme Performance Metrics
Before making any changes to the website, make a note of the current loading speed, so you know when to revert to the old theme.
Because the speed with which your website loads affects its rating and ranking, it is important that your website load quickly.
To test the speed of your website, try tools like GT Metrix, Google Website Speed Test, Pingdom, and others.
During the Changing Process
When changing the theme of your WordPress website, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
These factors will indicate to the search engine that your website is under maintenance, ensuring that your website is not blacklisted or penalized as a result of its downtime.
Put Your WordPress Site Into Maintenance Mode
Your website may go down many times when making changes to your WordPress theme. Furthermore, there may be some pages that the search engine indexes that you do not wish to be indexed.
As a result, your website should be put into maintenance mode. This will help let your users know that the website is currently under construction.
Plugins like SeedProd, Elementor Maintenance Mode, and Under Construction can help you maintain your website in maintenance mode.
These plugins will allow you to build a page for your website that says “under construction.”
Test All Functionality and Installed WordPress Plugins
After you’ve activated the new WordPress theme, double-check that all of your website’s features and settings are operational. Also, double-check that the previous plugins and themes are compatible with the new theme.
After you’ve double-checked your website’s features and settings, paste the shortcodes you copied from your old theme.
Make sure the Analytics and Advertisement codes are pasted into your new theme. Make absolutely sure you spend some time troubleshooting the faults in your new theme.
Test New WordPress Theme Across Browsers and Devices
After you’ve tested your website’s functionality, settings, and features, you should test it across a variety of browsers.
Additionally, ensure that your website works on a variety of screen sizes and operating systems. You can use a number of internet tools to test your website on various screen sizes.
Not only that but make sure to test your website on mobile and tablet devices as well. If your new website does not seem good in given screen size or browser, it will have an impact on its ranking.
Test Loading Speeds for Your New WordPress Theme
After you’ve activated the new WordPress theme and your website is live, you should run a website speed test to see if it’s performing better or if it’s taking longer to load.
You may use the same tool we published before to assess your website speed and see if you’re getting the same, better, or worse results.
If your new theme is taking a long time to load, make sure you try it several times before making a decision. Also, make sure that caching or firewall settings aren’t the source of the slowness.
There is some trash left behind after changing the WordPress theme, and you must clean it up. Not only should your website be cleaned, but it should also be monitored to ensure that it is functioning properly after the new theme has been installed.
Delete WordPress Plugins You No Longer Need
There are some residual plugins on your WordPress website that you should be deactivated to ensure that your website loads faster and that it does not include anything that could cause the lag.
When you install a new theme, many of them come with their own plugins. So, when you’ve uninstalled the old theme, make sure you uninstall any plugins you don’t use anymore.
Monitor Your WordPress Website Bounce Rate
Monitoring your website is the most important step to perform after activating a new theme. You need to check your website’s bounce rate, and if something goes wrong, you can fix it.
The Bounce rate is the average percentage of the visitor who visits your website and leaves without checking out another page. The lower your website’s bounce rate, the better it is meant to perform among your targetted visitors.
If your bounce rate skyrockets after switching themes, you’ll need to tackle the issue. Internal links, navigation menus, posts, and pages can all be improved to reduce the bounce rate.
Check Ads And Update Them If Required
If you run Ads on your blog then it is important to very your Ads placement after changing the theme. Every theme is not the same, different themes have different styles and appearances.
So, it is the best practice to check the Ad placement and verify if they are displaying properly. And make some changes if required.
Check Your Content Formating
Content format is directly related to user experience. Do not forget to check your content format after you change your WordPress site theme. Make sure your content H1, H2, H3, and H4 headings are correct and have them in a systematic order.
Changing themes affects some content elements which are also vital elements for SEO. 5 crucial factors that affect SEO on changing WordPress theme are:
- Website loading time
- Text and pictures
- Structured data
- How the pages are interlinked
When you change the WordPress theme it affects the processing of search engines which results in poor visibility of the site in organic search results. You can check out our detailed article on Does Changing Theme Affects SEO where I have explained 8 important factors to consider.
Changing theme is not a big deal you can pick any theme and with a few clicks, you can change your WordPress site theme. But selecting a theme is an important task for your blogging carrier.
- Select a theme that is lightweight and does not take much time to load.
- Select a theme that provides you with a good customization option.
- Select a theme that has a decent appearance that your visitors will love and stay long on your site.
- Select a theme that is updated by its author regularly.
- Select a theme after having proper research and reading reviews.
- Always try to go for a premium WordPress theme and not the free ones. As it is a one-time investment. Free themes are not codded well like premium themes. So, they take much time to load and have fewer customization options.