12+ Things You must do before changing WordPress Themes

Wordpress themes things you must do before change it in 2024

In the dynamic world of web design, change in wordpress themes is inevitable and necessary. Whether it’s to keep up with the latest design trends, improve website functionality, or enhance user experience, changing your WordPress theme can be a significant step in keeping your website fresh and engaging. However, this process isn’t as simple as clicking a button. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition and to prevent any potential issues that could impact your website’s performance or user experience.

We’ve created a thorough guide, “12+ Things You MUST DO Before Changing WordPress Themes,” to make sure you have an easy time with this procedure. We’ll go over the essential actions you must do prior to putting a new theme on your WordPress website. Every stage is important in its own right, from keeping track of any modifications you’ve made to your current theme, to testing the new theme on various browsers and devices, to keeping an eye on your website’s bounce rate following the theme change.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your website maintains its functionality and continues to provide an excellent user experience, even after changing its theme. So, whether you’re a seasoned WordPress user or a beginner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to successfully change your WordPress theme.

Why Change Your WordPress Theme?

In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital world, staying static is not an option. This is especially true for your website, the digital face of your brand. One of the most impactful ways to keep your website relevant and engaging is by changing its WordPress theme. But why should you consider changing your WordPress theme? Here are some compelling reasons:

Keeping Up with Design Trends: Web design trends change rapidly. What was considered modern and sleek a couple of years ago might now be viewed as outdated. By changing your WordPress theme, you can ensure that your website’s design stays current and visually appealing.

Improving Site Performance: Not all themes are created equal. Some themes might be aesthetically pleasing but can slow down your website. If you’re experiencing performance issues, changing to a more lightweight and optimized theme could significantly improve your site’s loading speed and overall performance.

Enhancing User Experience: User experience is paramount in today’s digital age. If your current theme isn’t delivering the user experience your visitors expect, it might be time for a change. A new theme can offer better navigation, more engaging layouts, and improved accessibility.

Adding New Features: As your website grows, you might need additional features that your current theme doesn’t support. Changing your theme can provide you with these necessary features, such as e-commerce capabilities, portfolio sections, or advanced customization options.

Rebranding: If your brand undergoes significant changes, your website should reflect this. A theme change can be a part of a larger rebranding strategy, helping you align your website’s look and feel with your new brand identity.

12+ Things You MUST DO Before Changing WordPress Themes

1. Take Note of Any Modifications Made to the WordPress Theme

Before changing your WordPress theme, it’s essential to document any customizations made to your current theme. These can range from minor tweaks to significant changes in layout and functionality. Losing these can significantly impact your website’s look and feel. Documenting these customizations, such as screenshots or code snippets, will serve as a reference when setting up your new theme. The goal is not to start from scratch, but to improve and enhance what you’ve already built. This information will be useful in setting up your new theme.

2. Obtain Up-to-Date Performance Metrics for WordPress Themes

Understanding the performance metrics of your current WordPress theme is crucial for maintaining an efficient and user-friendly website. Gathering data on load times, responsiveness, and plugin compatibility is essential. Using built-in tools like the Site Health tool or external performance testing tools can provide valuable insights. Regular monitoring of these metrics helps identify areas for improvement and ensures your site remains efficient, user-friendly, and delivers the best possible experience to visitors. A commitment to continuous improvement and using the right tools is key to enhancing your website’s performance and user experience.

3. Take Note of the Widget Areas and Sidebars for the Current Theme

The layout of sidebars and widget areas is crucial for a website’s functionality and user experience. They house essential elements like navigation menus, social media links, contact forms, and custom content. The layout can vary between WordPress themes, so it’s essential to note them when considering a theme change. This information helps in planning for changes, ensuring a smooth transition, and a consistent user experience. By paying close attention, you can ensure a user-friendly website.

4. Take A Copy of the Current WordPress Tracking Codes 

To preserve your WordPress site’s tracking codes, locate them in the header or footer, or within plugins. Copy the entire code by right-clicking and selecting ‘Copy’. Save the code in a secure location, labeled clearly, and note its origin and usage. This process ensures a backup of your codes, which can be easily accessed and re-implemented. These codes are crucial for understanding your website’s performance and user behavior, so handle them with care.

5. Make a backup of your present WordPress website.

Always back up your website before making any changes, especially when changing your WordPress theme. This is crucial as there’s a risk of compatibility issues, functionality loss, or data loss during the transition. Backing up your website involves creating a copy of all your data, including files, database, images, plugins, and themes. Using plugins and tools can make the process easier and automate the backup process. Backing up your website is a critical step in website management, providing peace of mind and allowing you to revert to the old theme if needed.

6. Put the maintenance mode on your WordPress website.

To put your WordPress site into maintenance mode during a transition, follow these steps:

  1. Understand the purpose of maintenance mode. This helps maintain a professional image and reassures visitors that your site will be back soon.
  2. Access your site’s backend via the WordPress dashboard. Navigate to the ‘Settings’ tab and find the ‘Maintenance Mode’ option. The location and name may vary depending on your theme and plugins
  3. Toggle on the maintenance mode option, which allows you to customize the message displayed to visitors
  4. Turn off maintenance mode once you’ve made changes to your site.

In summary, putting your WordPress site into maintenance mode is crucial for maintaining a professional and user-friendly website during transitions

7. Verify Every Feature and Install WordPress Plugins

When switching your WordPress theme, it’s crucial to test all functionalities and installed plugins with the new theme to ensure your website continues to function as expected. Many plugins, such as SEO optimization, contact forms, e-commerce capabilities, and social media integration, can cause compatibility issues with certain themes. To ensure a smooth transition, create a list of all plugins and test each one individually after installing the new theme. Test all core functionalities, including navigation menus, contact forms, comment sections, and custom features, to ensure they work seamlessly with the new theme. This ensures a smooth transition and a consistent user experience, as any disruption can impact user experience and brand reputation.

8. Test the New WordPress Theme on All Devices and Browsers

Cross-browser and cross-device testing is a crucial step in WordPress theme development to ensure a consistent and optimal user experience across different devices and browsers. This process helps identify and fix any compatibility issues, such as distorted layouts or malfunctioning features on different devices. Tools that simulate different browsers and devices can be used to conduct this testing, allowing users to view the website as it would appear on a wide range of devices and browsers. This allows for necessary adjustments to the theme to ensure it works well and looks good on all platforms. In conclusion, cross-browser and cross-device testing is an essential part of WordPress theme development, contributing significantly to the overall success of the website.

9. Remove Any WordPress Plugins You’re Finished With

To optimize your WordPress website, regularly review and delete unnecessary plugins. Overcrowding can cause performance issues and slow down the site. Unnecessary plugins can also pose security risks. To delete unnecessary plugins, navigate to the ‘Plugins’ section in your dashboard and identify any no longer needed ones. Click ‘Deactivate’ next to the plugin name and ‘Delete’. Back up your website before deleting any plugins. Maintaining a lean plugin list ensures smooth and secure website operations.

10. Inform Users of the Launch of Your New Website

The launch of a new website or theme is crucial for building anticipation, explaining the benefits of the new design, and reassuring users that the transition will be smooth. To effectively communicate the change, plan a series of communications, starting with a teaser, followed by sneak peeks, and culminating in the official launch announcement. Focus on the benefits of the new design, ensuring users understand the value of the change and look forward to it. Provide support during the transition, such as a dedicated support page or customer service email.

11. Check the Speed at Which Your New WordPress Theme Loads

When changing your WordPress theme, it’s crucial to test the loading speed to ensure a smooth user experience. Factors like file size, design complexity, and code efficiency can influence the speed. Online tools can measure website performance and identify potential issues. However, other factors like hosting provider, plugins, and image size can also impact loading speed. Therefore, while a fast-loading theme is important, it’s equally important to optimize other aspects of the website for speed. Testing the loading speed is a critical step in the theme change process.

12. Track the Bounce Rate of Your WordPress Website

Monitoring the bounce rate of your WordPress website is crucial for understanding user behavior, especially after implementing a new theme. It represents the percentage of visitors who leave the site, and a high bounce rate may indicate issues with navigation or engagement. A significant increase in bounce rate over time may indicate the new design isn’t resonating with the audience, while a decrease suggests the new design is more engaging or easier to navigate. Monitoring the bounce rate helps identify potential issues and make informed decisions about further design updates, ultimately ensuring a user-friendly website.



In conclusion, changing your WordPress theme is not a task to be taken lightly. It involves careful planning, meticulous execution, and a keen eye for detail. From noting down any customizations made to your current theme, testing all functionalities and plugins with the new theme, to monitoring your website’s bounce rate after the theme change.

Remember, the goal of changing your theme is not just about giving your website a new look, but also about enhancing its performance, improving user experience, and aligning it with your brand’s evolution. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process of theme change with confidence and ease.

So, as you embark on this journey of transforming your website, remember that every step you take brings you closer to creating a website that truly reflects your vision and serves your audience effectively. Happy theme changing!

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