How to safely switch WordPress theme
Changes are inevitable. All is well in due time.
New trends and opportunities affect every business. This will irreversibly change your website. But what if you need to change the foundation? We’re talking about this case when your WordPress theme needs to be replaced.
Of course, if you are working with an experienced web agency, there is nothing to worry about. Just ask for help and wait for the finished result. However, it is always useful to know which stages of work should go through on your site. This is important regardless of how much you are involved in the process.
Stage one. Start.
Decide on a new theme. Yes. Such an obvious fact. It is worth choosing exactly what you like and suits the required characteristics. Of course, there are very popular themes that are frequently used. For example, Divi, Astra, Porto, Oxygen and others.
In addition to beauty, there are many factors to consider. Specifically, is the selected theme suitable for an online store (if there is such a need, of course), and how much it lends itself to speed optimization and has all the necessary blocks, etc.
Of course, unless we’re talking about switching to a custom theme. Then web development company can take any wishes for both the website of the online store and the information portal. In any case, it’s up to you.
It’s good to decide on one theme option and match the new skeleton to the existing site. It is important to understand what is provided by the creator of the theme, and what will have to be redone yourself. Websites are like snowflakes – each one is unique in its own way, even when it seems completely ordinary. Assess the extent of the changes.
Stage two. Retrospective.
We are always chasing something new, missing the importance of retrospective analysis. We want not only to change, but to improve the existing one, right?
Let’s analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the current one.
Check these items:
- Were all the elements created on the basis of the theme, was there any customization of individual elements, which blocks cannot be avoided in the future?
- You need a mandatory plugin audit. It’s time to put things in order there. What commercial plugins have you used, which are free, or maybe even customized plugins that can’t be updated? Prepare a list.
- The current page load speed and general SEO audit are especially important for commercial websites. There will be something to compare in the future.
Must make a backup. Absolutely! You are your data. Don’t take unnecessary risks, even if you are a very lucky person 🙂
It is worth to think about and check all the features of brand style that you want to keep. For example, special fonts, familiar paths for your customers, particularly successful elements.
Your victories are worth leaving. Your positive experiences will help to cope with the changes.
Stage three. Technical.
Don’t forget about transferring all necessary widgets, plugins, APIs and other important code elements. That is, after carefully checking their presence, we proceed to action. Here is the step where you should think about wordpress support and maintenance services.
Stage four. “Technical work in progress”
Regardless of whether you are personally good at development or a web studio comes to your aid, there are only two main options for rebuilding a website.
The first variant. Your old site continues to live its own life, and your updated site is configured on the test resource. After the completion of work and successful edits, the new look is simply transferred to replace the old one. After some settings, your site functions successfully. That is, interruptions in work are possible, but in general everything happens quickly and almost painlessly for your activities.
And the second one. Radical. The site is being closed for renovations with the caption “Sorry, we are not working now”. However, an experienced web agency will never allow such an option, be sure of this.
Stage five. Testing and debugging.
There is no limit to perfection, you know? It’s time to embody all your wishes, while the enthusiasm for change is fresh. However, don’t forget about routine checks and testing of all pages. It is very important that old links lead to the right place in order not to lose site positions. It is also worth considering all the necessary technical content and plugin settings. Check everything methodically and in an organized way.
Remember: Devil is in the details!
Stage six. Refining the brand.
New theme is always fresh and interesting. But what about you? It’s time to understand all the features of your brand and add them to the pages of your updated web resource. Also, do not forget to clean the theme from default content and unnecessary blocks. Use the best practices for corporate identity, which we talked about above. Your regular customers will applaud this step!
Stage seven. Monitoring and correction of mistakes with wordpress support and maintenance services.
And when the work is already finished and it seems you can relax, the fun begins.
Don’t forget to include all analytics and tracking codes. Test regularly how users, especially repeat customers, react to your site’s features. Where they go, what they look at, what they keep their eyes on, what they refuse. Failure monitoring is most important.
Collaboration with the web development company has many benefits. For example, you need to know about all the difficulties of transferring only in theory and you can plan the most daring transformations without fear.
Need a change for the better? Is it time?
AvedSoft is ready to take care of the future of your project!