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13 Things You MUST DO Before Changing WordPress Themes

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Are you wondering what you should do before you change WordPress themes?

When switching your WordPress theme, there are a few very important steps that you must take to ensure the process is smooth and you don’t lose any important data. 

In this WordPress checklist, we’ll share the top things you must do before you change WordPress themes.

12+ things you must do before changing WordPress themes

Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to switch themes, then please see our beginner’s guide on how to properly change your WordPress theme.

Switching a theme is an important decision that every website owner makes at least once every few years.

Of course you have to decide your reasoning of why you’re switching, and pick a theme that suits all your needs.

We have a list of the the best WordPress multi-purpose themes and best WordPress blog themes that you can check out if you’re looking for recommendations.

Once you have chosen the theme that you want to switch to, it’s important that you follow the checklist below to ensure that you don’t lose any content or data during the process.

1. Make Note of Any WordPress Theme Customizations

Some WordPress website owners will customize their WordPress themes by adding code snippets directly to their theme files. Code snippets can be a great way to add new features to your website that aren’t part of the stock theme.

But if you add those snippets directly to your theme files, it can be easy to lose track of them.

If you or a web developer made these changes, then make sure you go through your current theme files and note all of the additional code that’s been added. 

For adding code snippets in the future, we always recommend to use a code snippets plugin such as WPCode. This way, you can keep those snippets even if you change themes later.

For more details, see our beginner’s guide on pasting snippets from the web into WordPress.

2. Get Current WordPress Theme Performance Metrics 

Before changing your theme, you should check your current website’s loading speed and performance. This lets you compare any differences in the page load time after you switch themes.

Since WordPress speed and performance play an important role in user experience and WordPress SEO, you need to ensure the new theme is faster than what you’re using now. 

You can easily check your current website speed metrics using a WordPress speed testing tool such as IsItWP’s free website speed testing tool.

For more details, see our guide on how to run a website speed test.

3. Make Note of Current Theme Sidebars and Widget Areas

Sidebars are used for adding different widgets to your website, like email newsletter subscription forms, social media buttons, popular posts, and more.

Since every theme has different widget areas, your widgets may unexpectedly move or disappear from your site if you switch themes.

That’s why it’s important to note what widgets you’re using in your WordPress sidebars and any other widget areas of your website before you change themes. Then, you can easily replicate them after switching.

If you’ve added any custom code or shortcodes, then make sure to copy this code and save it somewhere safe so that you can use it with your new theme. 

4. Copy Existing WordPress Tracking Codes

Many users will add analytics tracking code directly to their theme files. Some WordPress themes also allow you to add tracking codes directly into your theme options panel.

It’s a common mistake to overlook these important tracking codes. 

You need to make sure you copy all of your website tracking codes you’re using for analytics, advertising, and more, so you can add them to your new website. 

If you want to make it easy on yourself, then we recommend using a plugin like MonsterInsights to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

By using MonsterInsights, you can rest assured there will be no interruptions to your analytics or lost data. You’ll also unlock bonus tracking like link clicks and button click tracking, WordPress category and tag analytics, author tracking, and much more.


For all other tracking codes, you can use the free WPCode plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to add header and footer code in WordPress.

5. Back Up Your Current WordPress Website

It’s always a good idea to back up your website on a regular basis. Before changing your theme, you should completely back up your posts, pages, plugins, media, and databases.

The easiest way to do this is by using a WordPress backup plugin to create a backup of your entire site.

We recommend using the Duplicator plugin. It allows you to easily create automated, scheduled backups and save them on cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and more.


There’s also a free version of Duplicator to get you started. For more details, see this guide on how to backup a WordPress site.

This will help ensure you can easily recover your website if anything goes wrong when switching themes. 

6. Put Your WordPress Site Into Maintenance Mode

When making changes to your site, it’s always a good practice to put your website into maintenance mode. Maintenance mode lets you display a user-friendly notice to your visitors.

Maintenance mode page example

This helps prevent your visitors from seeing your website when it’s half-finished or under construction.

To do this, we recommend using the SeedProd plugin. It’s the best drag and drop WordPress page builder used by over 1 million websites.

It lets you easily create custom maintenance mode pages, landing pages, coming soon pages, 404 pages, and more. 

The SeedProd page builder plugin for WordPress

For more details, see our guide on how to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode.

7. Test All Functionality and Installed WordPress Plugins

Once you have a new WordPress theme activated, you need to ensure you have the same functionality as before and that all of your old plugins work with your new theme.

You can start by adding back the code snippets that you copied from your old WordPress theme files. For more details, see our beginner’s guide to pasting code snippets into WordPress.

Then, spend some time using the features of your site that are powered by WordPress plugins. If you’re experiencing any errors at this time, see our beginner’s guide to troubleshooting WordPress errors.

8. Test New WordPress Theme Across Browsers and Devices

Cross-browser testing will help you make sure your new website looks good on different browsers, screen sizes, operating systems, and mobile devices.

Most of your visitors will probably use Google Chrome to visit your WordPress blog. However, other web browsers like Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and more are still used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

If your new website doesn’t work right on one of those browsers, then you’re missing out on visitors and traffic. 

Luckily, you can use all kinds of cross-browser testing tools to see how your website looks across different browsers and devices.

For more details, see our guide on how to test a WordPress site in different browsers.

9. Delete WordPress Plugins You No Longer Need

Some WordPress themes will pre-install plugins when you install the theme. Some of these may be useful, but other times you won’t need them.

Simply go to Plugins » Installed Plugins to see if your theme has added any new plugins.

List of installed plugins

Now is also a good time to go through your entire plugin list to see if any plugins are worth deleting. 

If you’re looking for high quality plugins to use with your new theme, then see our picks of the must have WordPress plugins

10. Let Your Users Know Your New Website is Live

Once you’re ready to make your new WordPress theme live, you can turn off maintenance mode.

You should also get in touch with your readers to tell them about your new website. This will prepare your audience so that they’re not confused by any big design changes, and it will also help to keep your subscribers engaged and returning to your site to see the new design.

Here’s an example post we shared on Facebook about our new website redesign.

Redesign announcement example

We recommend notifying your audience via your email newsletter, social media, and push notifications.

If you’re looking for more ways to promote your site, then see our guide on how to share your blog posts with readers.

11. Test Loading Speeds for Your New WordPress Theme

Once your new theme is live and you’ve gone through the steps above, it’s time to do another speed test. Ideally, your new website will be faster and get better scores on your speed test.

To do this, simply use the same website speed tool you used earlier and compare the results. 

If the new theme is slower than your old theme, then make sure you run multiple tests, test from different areas, and check to see if you have any caching or firewall settings that could be causing the dip. 

12. Monitor Your WordPress Website Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website and leave without continuing to a second page. A high bounce rate means that you didn’t convince your visitor to stay on your site long enough to take action.

After you switch themes, it’s important to monitor your bounce rate. Some themes are simply friendlier at helping visitors navigate around your site.

If your bounce rate has gone up since switching theme, then you’ll want to work to lower it. You can do this by improving your navigation menus, adding a popular posts widget, adding more internal links, and more.

For more details, see our guide on how to increase pageviews and reduce bounce rate in WordPress

13. Listen to Reader Feedback to Improve Your WordPress Website

Finally, it’s important you listen to reader feedback after you switch to a new theme. Some readers may love or hate certain parts of your design. 

You don’t have to listen to every reader and make the changes they suggest. But if there’s a group of readers who are experiencing the same issue, then it’s probably worth looking into.

You can collect visitor feedback by adding a contact form to your website, or running a survey asking for reader feedback on your new design.

The easiest way to do this is by using WPForms. It’s the best WordPress survey plugin in the market used by over 6 million websites. 


It lets you easily create engaging survey forms with the drag and drop builder.

Plus, the reporting section automatically creates beautiful reports to help analyze your results. 

WPForms Survey Results

For more details, see our guide on how to create a survey in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn exactly what you should do before switching WordPress themes. You may also want to see our list of best WordPress themes for fashion blogs and how to customize your WordPress theme.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

220 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Julie says

    Just wanted to say…AMAZING! What a fantasitc resource this site is. I am a complete novice with all this stuff, and you explain it clearly and in plain language that is easy to understand. I will be regularly visiting your site.
    Thank you so much for helping so many strangers, like myself. :)

    With gratitude

  3. Stanley says

    Thanks for the pos. However I have a problem about my theme
    Google adsense is not showing on some pages and i don’t know the reason.
    please could you review my site and tell me why this is happening, thanks

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Google Adsense likely does not have a recommended ad for the page it’s not displaying on for the reason the ad is missing.


  4. Byju says


    I am a starter. When I changed the theme, all the sidebars like, home, shop, contact etc disappeared. But in the real theme model it is showing. What did I wrong :(

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on your specific theme but normally you would want to check under Appearance>Widgets if it is content from the sidebar that is missing.


  5. Lori says

    I have a WP site that I want to change. I’ve found a theme I like and want to download and start working on. My question is, if I download this theme is there a way I can work on it without disrupting the current site theme until I’m ready to make the new theme live? If not, what do I do? How/where can I set this theme up and add content without changing the current site?

  6. Mark says

    Hi Team,

    I have an old non-responsive theme – and wish to migrate. My site Googles #1 in its’ space and I CANNOT lose that. Do I need to use the same permalinks / naming / structure? Can I obtain the info from my WP All in one SEO plugin and transfer? Do I need to add all the tags – cut n’ paste ect? Any advice would be helpful!


    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would be best to keep your same permalinks but changing your theme shouldn’t affect those normally so it shouldn’t be an issue. IF you reach out to your SEO plugin they can let you know what SEO information they can transfer for you.


  7. Mucky says

    I was getting the 500 error message. Your advice on removing plugins and slowly adding them back was a great help. I have used those plugins for a long time but maybe they do not like my new theme. Thanks for the help.

  8. Marvin says

    I am the webmaster/developer of many Department Sites built with Dreamweaver over many many years. On Site alone has over 300 web pages with over 7000 files/links (documents, media, images, etc). I’m retiring in 3 years and want to transition everything into another software where people in the various departments and section can update their own pages. I would like to get some idea how I should tackle this. I can’t use the same urls while developing because I’ll have to run parallel while developing.Wordpress replacements. Any advice would be appreciated

  9. Nazeer Ahmec says

    I m new, I create a WordPress blog and select a theme, in 2nd step I like to change theme and insert links into images. (Clickable image) when we click image, it will open new document.
    1- Unfortunately, my themes not changed even after selection I click activate button. (Same old theme appear)
    2- there is not option add link to image. (Create a clickable image) , I just add through HTML codes in thml mode but not working.
    I need help in both problems. Thankd

    • WPBeginner Support says

      1. Try clearing your caching to see if that is preventing you from seeing your changes.
      2. When you select the image in the block editor, there is a Link Settings section where you can change where the image links to on click.


  10. John says

    I find that WP Beginner is a great and useful site with lots of information, both for beginners as well as seasoned WP people on the net. A lot of work has gone into this site so Thank You for your efforts.

  11. MClay says

    Hi. I have a site up and running currently. I’d like to download a new theme and play with it/build it out while my other site is still live. How do I go about this? I am looking and it appears I can download the new theme, but can I be working on it in the background while logged in and not effect the live site?

  12. Lawrence says

    Hello everybody
    Quick question: If I use the theme customizer on a specific theme but later change to another theme do I have to re-enter all the customizer settings for the new theme?

    And secondly if i change back to the original theme when it still have the original customizer settings or will it have adopted the settings from the second theme?

    thanks in advance…

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Lawrence,

      Customizer settings are for a particular theme. If you switch theme then you will have to configure the new theme. If you switch back to the old theme, your settings will be there.


  13. Jenn says

    I plan to upgrade from a free wordpress blog to an upgraded (premium) one in the future. At what point do you suggest making the switch? When you have 100 followers? 1000 views? Just whenever you’re ready? I don’t want to commit $8/month without knowing my blog is getting traffic.
    Any advice appreached!

    • Rushil says

      As per my real experience ( , I suggest you to buy the premium plan (Maybe something like personal) because has really very less features and modifications that you can make to make your Site look the best! To be honest , the first time I started with a premium plan of but ended up cancelling it and moving over to (It’s amazing!).

  14. mark says

    i have been asked to rebuild a wordpress website – i have content and SEO expertise but limited knowledge of any back end stuff. (i managed to muddle through building one wordpress site a few years ago using an avada theme) other than the domain name i am not looking to keep any of the content or structure from the existing site, so do i follow the steps to change the theme? or should i create a staging site in the same spot as the current site, build the new content there and then simply switch over when its ready for publishing? thinking of using avada theme again as it seems to rate well – i am building a small brochureware style of site.

  15. Corinne says

    Hi I love the info here and am a newbie so forgive me for what may seem like simple questions. I am currently running a .org site and want to switch to a new theme. I’ve uploaded the new theme but not activated it as I need to work on it before launching, the old theme info will not be transferred. (I own the domain) I believe I have to set up a sub directory in order to do this so it’s not seen until I’m ready…how??
    Also will the new theme affect my current search results (do I have to copy any info to keep my status)

  16. Surya says

    For my wp website, I am planning to upgrade from the free version of the theme to the pro version of the same theme. Currently I have plugins installed. Do I need to deactivate the plugins before upgrading to pro version & then reinstall?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Surya,

      Yes, you should. In case a plugin causes conflict with the theme you wouldn’t be able to find out which plugin. Disabling them will allow you to activate them one by one to see if they all work nicely with new theme.


  17. Alex says

    I am preparing to move from to self hosted. I checked and I can keep my old theme on org but I would like to use a new premium theme going forward on the new site. Can you please advise what is the best way to go about it? I would also like to do a clean-up of my blog and refresh posts, delete posts that are no longer relevant and of course, revamp the look. Many thanks!

  18. Charles Pedley says

    From one perennial newbie to other newbies ….

    Before I change ANYTHING on my WP site, I use the Export function under Tools in your dashboard – it is the fastest, accurate way of making sure you lose no content.
    I save the xml file in a Documents folder on my hard drive. Then if you change a theme and it messes stuff up, then you import the xml file you saved on your hard drive back into the new WordPress theme.

    I know there are all kinds of other ways but I challenge anyone that says that they are easier or cheaper. A standard XML file can be exported and imported so fast and saved so you do not lose your site. It only takes a few minutes and you do not have to pay for any of the expensive backup programs like Backup Buddy. Not saying Backup Buddy is bad, just expensive!

    And maybe it is not for you if you are an amateur like me. I do my own sites. I do not do sites for others.

    Good luck and happy exporting and importing! :)
    -Charles Pedley

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Charles,

      The method you described above works only for your posts, pages, and comments. It is not a full database backup. It can be used to import content only but it wouldn’t import any website settings stored in the database.

      If price is your main concern, then you can try the free version of Updraft Plus. Also see our list of WordPress backup plugins for alternates.


  19. Monika says

    Great article thanks. i have changed my theme several times 2017 to 2016 but now i am using Genesis and genesis sample child theme. i tried to change my header image but the code is not responsive. the image still stays the same. also when i tried to write a code in a text widget on the side bar it is not responsive. what could be wrong. thanks!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Monika,

      If you are editing code, then you need to make your changes in child theme. Theme frameworks use their own filters and functions that may sometimes override what you are trying to do in a child theme. See Genesis documentation for more help on customizing your child theme.


  20. Jimmy Lai says

    Hello…I have recently installed WP and upon instalation my website was replaced with a WP Theme “Twenty Seventeen” with all my contents gone. I attempted to undo everything to restore the original website and received a error message stating “Twenty Sixteen” directory not found. I uploaded the “Twenty Sixteen” theme but none of my original contents moved over. Please advise what I need to do to restore my original website.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Jimmy,

      Did you install WordPress in a folder where another non-WordPress website was already installed? In that case, WordPress will overwrite your website. Your website files may still be there. Please ask your hosting provider, they may be able to provide you with a backup of your website or restore your website to an earlier state.


      • Jimmy says

        Thank you for your response! WordPress was installed in the same folder with a previous version of my website created via Word Press. I have spoke with my hosting company and they were not able to restore the website to a earlier version. We located the files and was advised to reinstall WP, which led to a response of “Twenty Sixteen” directory not found.

        • Mike Harwood says

          Jimmy, do you mean you installed ANOTHER version of WordPress? As far as I know you can only install 1 version of WordPress so you may have inadvertently overwritten all of the previous installed version of WordPress included content, theme etc and unless your hosting company can help restore from an old back up you are going to have to re-build from scratch. Have to admit, if your host does not have a back-up that is very odd and you should consider moving your hosting to a more responsible company.

  21. Allison P says

    I am getting ready to do a total redesign of a client’s website. I have backed it up and chosen a new WP theme but am not sure how to make the transition easy. Once you install a new theme, what do you do with the backed up version? Can you access it and copy and paste certain content back onto the new site?

    Ex. They want to keep the bios of their directors but the current theme includes an element that allows you to add individual staff members info. It then creates a shortcode which you can add to any page on the site linking it to their bio. I will be using as the new theme but it doesn’t have a Staff feature. Any suggestions?

  22. Ratul Ahmed says

    I am new to wordpress. So Can you please tell me whether changing the theme can cause data/content loss or broken href ?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Kishore,

      No, it will not. However, if you are using a plugin that has some Theme Specific settings, then you may need to readjust those settings after switching the theme.


  23. Pete Hogg says

    What happens to all your current url’s when you change your wordpress theme?

    Do you keep them and and content?


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Pete,

      Yes, changing theme does not delete your content. However, it may change your site’s navigation menu which you can restore by visiting Appearance » Menus page.


  24. Paul Rak says

    You should NEVER directly edit theme files. If you do, then you will lose all your changes when you update the theme. Create a child-theme instead, and edit that. Then, when the underlying theme gets updated, you haven’t lost your changes.

  25. Gregory Constant says

    Hi, how are you doing? Congratulation for your Blog. I really like it, and It always sold my problem. Keep going and thanks for creating this blog. Can you please help me or give me an idea. I’m gonna build a E commerce website that also have more feature than shopping. I bought a multi purpose eCommerce template and I customized it but not the CSS code but I put some new Icon, widget, and customize some new pages. I had to update my theme because it was not compatible with the woocommerce new version. I used a plugin called Easy Update theme & plugin cause I didn’t want to delete and upload the theme again. After I update the theme, the woocomerce plugin still not updated and the search bar missing on the front page it looks like the page deform. Do you have an idea where I can get a ecommerce multi purpose Child theme where I can just update it like I update all my plugin through WP . Where I dont have to delete my theme and uninstall my plugins and reinstall them again. I need a theme where I can get a serial number and update it automatically through WP. Thanks for anyone suggestion.

  26. Tom Robinson says

    Please help +++ I bought a theme to try and revive my charity’s website look. It said nothing or no files would be changed or lost – not so. My front page with nice sliding picture disappeared and was deleted. I reverted back to my own theme but the front page was lost. I have another part of the site which is our US version. I want to copy its front page back to the UK version but on my admin side bar the tools tab is missing so I cannot import that page. I am desperate and have tried searching the web about tools missing without success.
    my site is
    the US version is
    Please can you help me.. Thanks

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Tom,

      When you buy a new theme, you should always test it out on a staging website or on local server. Once you got it setup, you can move it to the live site. Always backup your complete website before switching themes to stay safe.

      Your previous theme may have a different setup process to add slider and other things. Go to your site’s US version and visit theme settings, or Appearance -> Customize page to see how it is setup. Then try to replicate them on your UK version.

      Hope this helps.


      • Noelle says

        Hi, when you say “Once you got it setup, you can move it to the live site”, how do you do this? Do you upload the theme as per normal and then the theme settings by exporting/importing a specific database table from the staging to the live site?

  27. Franklin says

    I didn’t even think of using a maintenance mode plugin until I came here. Thanks sooooooo much for that idea! This really helps out a lot because it makes the transition to a new website A LOT more professional. I’m not going to be able to finish the web redesign tonight, so this really comes in handy.

  28. Radha says

    Hi Wpbeginner,

    I have an issue with deleting wp default theme 2017.

    My default theme in wp is 2017,when trying to remove it completely by clicking delete button(and install a new theme from elementor) failed!!!

    Can you please help me to resolve the issue?

    Being a non techie i dont want to touch and mess the existing settings unknowingly….a step by step guide will surely help ….


    • Terry Chadban says

      Hi Radha, that can happen if you don’t have a backup theme installed and 2017 is the only theme available. If you haven’t already tried it, try installing the new theme and activating it first, then trying to delete the 2017 theme and see if that helps.

      But my advice would be to install and activate the new theme but leave 2017 theme there as a backup theme in case anything happens to your new theme.

  29. Upali Obeyesekere says

    How do I get my new posts on WordPress to be sent by email. To clarify, lets say I created a new post. I want the post to appear in my inbox. How do I handle this? Please advise.

  30. beatrice johnston says

    cujstomer wants to change the hosting co… we keep the same domain….—
    MY question: if i don’t transfer the whole site and later with the new hosting i choose another theme (or the same), how i am sure i will have all the images of my library i have now…? WP will have them or better copy / transfer to my external harddrive?…… — never did someething like this… is this a dumb question?
    the site still under construction and small … no e-commerce….
    thank you for any info you may provide….
    BJ :)

    • Mike says

      Hi Beatrice

      I would recommend downloading a full copy of your database before switching web host. And for safety I would transfer all media onto a hard drive.

      Once you switch host, you can then upload the database to the new host server.


  31. Dan says

    This was informative.

    What about themes that claim AMP compatibility? We can’t just check the theme demo on AMP validator. Right?

  32. Juan Moore says

    switched to a broken theme and now I am locked out of the WP dashboard and my site. I have my site hosted on Amazon EC2. I don’t use Linux, just Windows machine. How can I can into my files? I am totally locked out and confused. Thank you.

    • Asu says

      Log into your hosting via cpanel. Delete the last themes folder you activated. WordPress will work behind to automatically exchange itself to default themes. Once you deleted it, try to log into your wordpress site. I hope this step will help you.

  33. Steve says

    I’d like to hire a WordPress consultant who can take care of these maintenance issues for me, and maybe train me in some WordPress basics. Is there a preferred way to find one?

  34. Meghan says


    I’ve just switched my blog from to self hosted using bluehost. I imported all my posts from my .com account but now they are not formatting to my new theme.

    My new theme is by mojo and has a post background box, but my old imported posts go outside this box border. Can any one help me to get my old posts to format properly to my new theme?


  35. Carly Compass says

    I am sorry I didn’t see this post until it was too late. My website is hosted on wp .org and while I was on the .com website I ruined my entire website in just a few short clicks. I didn’t realize they were connected.

    I have been working to fix all the bugs created, but I still have one issue.

    On my iPhone my website doesn’t seem to be responsive, the featured image is non existent and I see a bit of a boarder outside of the text, whereas before it filled the screen.

    Do you have any suggestions for that?

    Thank you for your time and attention on this, I really appreciate it.

  36. Dan says

    Thanks a lot,
    1 question – is there any way to observe / test the site with the new theme, before it goes live? something like a test environment, where the old theme is still in place but I can already “play and test” the new one?


      • James Lohse says

        I zip up all my theme files and copy them into a subdirectory on my website, copy the database, use phpMyAdmin to change the site URLs to the subdirectory, set it for no search engines and test things there.

        I have toyed with the idea of a local install but then you have to maintain the exact same versions of PHP, WordPress, MySQL etc to really have a proper testbed.

        Here’s an article that’s good for showing how to migrate:

  37. Monique Rene Coates says

    I am a new WordPress web developer and I am now using a couple of WordPress themes that I have changed back and forth between themes without really asking anyone HOW TO DO IT. I sometimes learn best this way . . by JUST DOING IT and making mistakes.

    This is what I found . . .

    1. The old theme or themes do NOT go away or get replaced with the NEW THEME UNTIL one refreshes using the “VIEW SITE” tab up top.
    2. Take heed, I found that the NEW THEME was usually NOT what it looked like in the preview of all of the pretty and Free WordPress themes. Upgrade time!
    3. I have kept initial coding changes minimal until I get to final theme. Just in case all gets wiped out.
    4. I also have all site / page text backed up. So I can copy & paste if all gets wiped out from a theme change.

    Hope this helps someone, even a little.
    Happy New Year! :)

  38. Lesley says

    Hi. I just switched themes. All of my post are full of the regular text that I wrote as well as gibberish (i assume it’s code). Do i have to go through all posts to remove or is there a plugin that can do that? Thanks!

  39. Kerrin Ambrose says

    I have inherited a web site which has been created in WordPress Twenty Eleven the me which I would like to update to Twenty Sixteen. Can you tell me if these two themes are compatible? Also WordPress version is 4.5 and there is a notice to upgrade it to 4.7. Should I upgrade this prior to changing the theme?

    • Gautham sevar says

      It’s entirely upto you to update WordPress or not, but it is recommended to upgrade.

      Every theme is unique even same theme’s update patch is also unique, it’s upto blog maintainer to adapt to newer themes

      Hope this helps!!

  40. Vincent de Paul says

    I purchased a WordPress responsive theme to use on our WordPress blog but when I went to upload it I found that WordPress is not accepting own theme uploads. What can I do?

  41. CJ says

    This is great info, but I need to know about an important step. How do I work on a new theme while keeping the old one live? Do I create a different file that houses the new theme? Where does one start?

  42. Joan Michelson says

    Hi, I really, really, really need/want to change our website theme but am not a web developer and don’t have the budget to hire one. I like your list but it’s a bit over my head. Our website is and I know what I want it to be a cross between Washington Post and InsideQuest – essentially. What do you suggest? Is there an intern who could help us? We have 2 big events in mid-Oct we want this done by and have been trying to get it done for a while without luck. Ideas??? We can trade advertising and consulting services. Thanks!

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