17th Preparation and Checklist When Changing WordPress Theme

I just change my theme early this month. Thus I discovered that there are things that we need to backup or take note before changing theme. Things that we edit through CSS editor might not be there once we switch to other theme. Below are the few things that we should take into consideration before and after making the move:

  1. Go through your files and note down the additional code that you inserted. You might not remember all of them but try to catch as much as you can. Make a copy of all that you are not sure just in case you need to refer back. This way you’ll know what to insert back if the code is missing. Files that we mostly make changes are style sheet, header, footer and single post. One example that I face is the stats tracking script from MyBlogLog. I have to reinstall them after changing my theme.
  2. Make a copy of all the code that you place in your sidebar. Things might mess up if you switch between widget ready themes and non ready themes. Some of the free WordPress theme might not state this clearly. I was lucky as the new theme that I apply is widget ready. The only thing that I need to edit is the sidebar placing.
  3. Deactivate all the plugins before changing your theme. Some of the themes might already have the same features as the plugins that you install. Check if you still need your previous plugins. Activate your plugins after changing your theme and monitor the changes. If you activate the plugins one at a time, then you can track the changes and able to reverse easily if thing goes wrong. My previous theme has the related post feature but not in my new theme. In this case I have to install a related post plugin. The plugin works just fine but I need to find a way to move the related post before the comments.
  4. Check everything after changing theme. Start from the most important parts like RSS subscription, about page, contact, search box, archives, categories and recent post. One of the problems that I have after changing to this theme is the email subscription that is not working. I got it fix after referred back to the theme designer’s site. From there you can find many feedbacks regarding problems bloggers encounter when switching to this theme. That saves you a lot of time and trouble checking through every detail.
  5. Test your new theme in different browsers. The two most common browsers that you can use are Internet Explorer and Firefox. I did some changes on my new theme that has no problem with Firefox but shows error when using Internet Explorer. I’m still trying to fix it at this moment. At least my blog is able to display all the important content even with the errors with Internet Explorer. You can try using this site to view how your blog displayed at various browsers.

Always remember to backup your blog when you are making changes. You?ll never know what will happen and it’s best to be prepared. Finally let your readers know that you are changing theme and request for feedbacks if they encounter any problems browsing through your blog.



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31 Responses to “17th Preparation and Checklist When Changing WordPress Theme”

  1. Colt says:

    Nice article. I’ve been using blogger but I’ve been hearing things that make me want to change. Do you happen to know if Dreamweaver and WordPress work well together?

  2. Kumo says:

    If you do a search on “dreamweaver WordPress”, then you’ll find lots of info regarding the usage of wordpress on dreamweaver. I did try to use dreamweaver on WordPress but it seems to take on a lot of memory and slow things down. I’m really bad in programming. That’s why at the end of the day I go back to plain simple CSS editor that comes together with WordPress.

  3. I have used Dreamweaver with WordPress a bit. I’t great for editing some of the code, especially when you are trying to figure out where in the descending order of calls for various post parts you need to put something. However I avoid editing any CSS in Dreamweaver. It tends to be a bit quirky and I work either from the theme editor or other text editor to avoid any problems. But that’s just me.

    Great tips on changing themes! I do most of it consistently except for turning off all my plug-ins.

  4. Kumo says:

    Thanks for sharing Chris. Agreed with you on the Dreamweaver issue.

  5. Hugo Santos says:

    when i updated the theme of my blog i forgot to do a back up of my costumizations, when i noticed it was to late.

    so don’t forget to backup even when you update the theme

  6. Bevardis says:


  7. arvin says:

    nice post love reading it, thanks

  8. RandyBrown says:

    Nice Site. I am new here but will be visiting more often as you have done a good job.


  9. Kumo says:

    Thanks for dropping by.

  10. fish tank superhero says:

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I’ve been looking for a good tutorial and now i’ve found it!! 😉

  11. bungiesucks says:

    Very great post love reading it, thanks

  12. nick says:

    hey, love the blog – i will try and keep up with it!! please keep more coming :)I wish I could start a blog but I don’t have much time :(Thanks, nick

  13. Nice article. I never use Dreamweaver as editor. Editplus rocks actually!

  14. Kumo says:

    You don’t need to have a lot of time to start a blog. As long as you make time for it, 10 to 20 minutes if enough for you to write a post. Next step is try to repeat it as much as possible. You don’t have to make it a daily work in the beginning. Just make it a hobby and you have a good start.

  15. Seo says:

    Hey, very interesting post.

    My written English is not so good so I write in German:

    “Lieber den Spatz in der Hand, als die Taube auf dem Dach.”

    Yours sincerely

  16. Kumo says:

    Well, you don’t have to be good in English to write. Using simple English to let others know what you’re trying to say is good enough.

  17. I like to use blogger. These days using wordpress and this article will help me a lot. I put my own templates in blogger for nice background and image.

  18. It give a bit strange feeling, but it all depends upon the taste of the user.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. Kumo says:

    Either way is good as long as you’re getting more traffic. There is not absolute way just that you need to learn to use it.

  20. Match says:

    1) test the theme on a test blog first

    2) don’t forget to backup

  21. Kumo says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. tokyo job says:

    To be very true, it is very difficult to switch themes again and again with all that customization which took many weeks before we get our blogs online. For me it is very tiresome job but I always do it. I always take backup via my ftp to restore everything back to normal if somethign would go wrong with new look.

  23. Kumo says:

    It all about getting more traffic with the changes. Surely there will be some risk and lots of work when changing theme but it’s one good way to keep the regular viewers.

  24. Web Design Los Angeles says:

    Wow such great tips all together at one place is amazing. This is really interesting article. I enjoyed much…

  25. Kumo says:

    Thanks. Please drop by again. Nice site you have there.

  26. John Jenson says:

    This is a cool blog, i’ll definately be coming back. I like the layout.

  27. Kumo says:

    Thanks for dropping by. Glad that you like it.

  28. Prepaid Phone Wireless says:

    Can you provide more information on this? I was looking for this additional information, just bookmarked to check the updates 🙂

  29. Kumo says:

    I suppose this is your first time trying to change your wordpress theme. Just make sure that you back up your blog before doing anything. If you make a mistake at least you can always go back to your previous layout. I think the above information is enough for you to avoid major mistakes. Besides I think you’ll learn a lot when changing the worpress theme. You can actually make your blog better as you can filter out a lot of codes and add on that you inserted previously. There are a lot of blogs that talks about changing wordpress theme if you do a search on google but I think they are mostly the same.

  30. Nice information, thanks for the really great knowledge. Your blog is really good, i’ll recommand it to my friends.

  31. Kumo says: