WordPress is as amazing platform to show your creative work to the world. It let’s you to customize every single piece of your website to great level of creativity. WordPress theme is the major consideration when it comes to the overall site make over. As a WordPress user, upgrading wordpress theme is always a moment of joy not for only you but also for your valuable visitors. There are so many While Upgrading WordPress theme there are so many things that we forget to look after which leads to lose of our hard work on previous theme. You can upgrade WordPress theme very smoothly without compromising with your valuable data. Keep few things in mind while changing WordPress theme.
Take A Separate Backup For Your Code
We love our website to look stunning and for that we make lot of changes in the default theme as per our keen requirement. While changing wordpress theme, it is very important that you keep a separate backup for your custom self written code. It will help you to restore your custom changes very easily , you dont have to write all functionality from scratch. Do this simple things to make this process easy:
- Maintain a list of all changes that you have made
- Make separate copy for each important code
- Try to setup priority for which changes you need to backup first
After changing the theme, when you restore your custom code, do make a cross check that all the changes are working properly or not. You can also perform site speed test to ensure that all changes have not affected the site’s speed and performance. You can use GTmetrix for checking site speed, it offers tons of features apart from site’s speed.
Do A Complete Backup Before Upgrading WordPress Theme
Thinking a step ahead is always a policy. Before upgrading WordPress theme, make a backup of your entire site. Nothing will go wrong while shifting to a new theme but for safety purpose make a habit of creating backups on regular basis. Here is a quick check list of which things to make a backup:
WP content file backup which includes(theme and plugins)
WordPress database of your site
WordPress configuration files
You can check in depth article regarding WordPress Site Backup which will help you in further important steps. Taking a backup is a step by step process and take some time, don’t make a backup in hurry the chances are you might miss some important files to backup.
Take Care Of Your Widgets
Widgets provide lots of useful features as we can customize it fully according to our requirement. If you were using widgets in sidebar of your website for customizing your Ads, do make a backup of it. Make sure one important thing that your new theme is also a widget friendly theme as your previous theme other wise you will lose all your sidebar data and functionality.
Make a backup file of sidebar.php so when installing a new theme you can have all your sidebar data working. But make sure not to overwrite it with the new sidebar.php file.
Don’t Ignore The Tracking Code
Most of us use some sort of traffic tracking mechanism for our site to keep updated with all the activities like Google Analytics. And on the other side many of us use tracking plugins to do this. If you are using some tracking plugin than you should copy and backup the code. When installing new theme you just have to paste the code from previous theme.
Inform Your Visitors About The Change
You don’t want your visitors to see a page not found 404 error or site breakdown or something like that. It’s a better idea to inform your visitors about the changes and estimated time that is required for the site makeover. Best way to ensure that all your visitors to know about it to use a maintenance mode. It is a good idea to show some images or attractive GIFs of maintenance mode. You can also post image which containing some interesting facts so your visitors will get some content to read.
Test Your Site Well While Upgrading WordPress Theme
Once you have done with the installation process of new theme, do setup a testing procedure for your site by simply making check points by which you ensure that the site is working well. Check for all the functionalities, their may be possibility that some functionality are not working. Before re-launching your website, hands on all new features of theme so you will get a overview of new theme and also check if their is any error. You should also take care of your WordPress Security while testing your site. Make sure that your site don’t have any 404 or broken pages, if there are any fix them before you launch the site.
Check For Browser Compatibility
From user end perspective the site browsing experience must be smooth and uninterrupted. There are so many users which uses various browsers. Do check your site compatibility with the major browsers because every browser has it’s different viewing setting. Some browser display content in a compressed form and some display data in uncompressed manner. So it is important to check the site visibility on all major browsers.
Hear From Your Visitors
Once you launched the website with the upgraded theme. Take a moment to hear from your visitors about the new theme by taking a quick feedback. This is the best way to know that the website is working as per your expectation or not. Ask your user what they like the most and what are the things they don’t like. It will help you to know what are the possible errors which you missed during testing.
It’s never too late to give your Website a striking look by new theme. Give your Website a complete makeover and surprise your visitors with new look and features. Before purchasing new theme do check all details regarding its features and it’s important licenses.