One of the many benefits of WordPress is the ability to easily change the design of your website. You can make such a change with a single switch from one topic to another. However, a simple switch is only part A. Changing the design by setting a new theme is a little trickier in your details. Part B , which is no less important, is often forgotten.
The following will call you a “checklist” with Part B. Thanks to it, you can avoid unnecessary problems.
1.) Keep records of changes you make to the current topic
From time to time we encounter problems that need to be solved. There is nothing unusual about that. Today, it is common to look for solutions to problems associated with your website by surfing the web. There are a number of discussions, articles and blogs that will tell you what to do in case of problems. Often it is enough to add or change a .php file in the theme of a web page. But with the solution of one problem, others come. The positive of the problems is that they have their solutions. Adding a .php file is easy and you only need to do it once. And that’s what makes us (probably) forget about this change. Therefore, I advise you to record these changes. Why? Because it can happen that changing the topic will also change what should not have changed at all. In this case, it can take you hours to find where the error is. In addition to keeping a “change list”, don’t forget to check the page load speed after each change. For example, at tools.pingdom.
2.) Make sure your new theme is widget-ready
Slajder widgets are one of the most frequently customized elements on a website. A number of changes are made to them, from customizing text, images to customizing links. Should your new theme not be widget-enabled, you could lose any changes you have made to the widget widgets. In this case, anything you change in the sidebar.php file of the old theme will be overwritten. Therefore, be sure to check that you have added all these codes to the sidebar of the new topic. It is very important.
3.) Information from Google Analytics worthy of gold
Most of you probably can’t imagine a WordPress site without Google Analytics or some other similar tool. However, if you use Google Analytics, be sure to copy the tracking codes to the new topic when changing topics. So simple thing, but how many of you forgot about it. Or add the Google Analytics code via the module.
4.) Regular deposits
Get used to making backups regularly. You will never have to worry about losing important content again. Back up files, modules and databases as a precaution. I’m not saying something has to happen and go wrong, but why try? A paid Backup Buddy module will do well when creating backups, which will do all the necessary backups for you. You won’t have to do them manually.
5.) Maintenance mode
You probably don’t want visitors to your site to see the state in the middle of a change of topic after another. Therefore, do not make these changes “live”. Turn on maintenance mode for 15-20 minutes. That should be enough to make sure everything works as it should. Once you have the mode activated, you can start making changes. You can use the free Comming Soon module for this.
6.) Test all functionalities and modules
The moment you have a new theme activated, make sure that all functions and modules work as they should. The list in point 1 might be useful to you at this point. Make sure everything really works as it should.
7.) Probability of errors
If you already have a new theme active, you can turn off maintenance mode. If you have a blog, write about this change. You can also warn your readers that there may be some errors with the changes. For example, feel free to encourage visitors to test your blog to help fix errors faster. If you happen to find a problem that is likely to be in the topic, contact the topic’s developers. If you paid for the topic, they should fix the error for free.
8.) Test page load time
Compare the page load time from the old topic with the page load on the new topic. By default, tools.pingdom will do this for you.
9.) Monitor the bounce rate
When switching topics, look at what your bounce rate or bounce rate looks like. If it’s higher than you used to, you’ll need to work on the changes. Add widgets or better call-to-action for new readers.
10.) Listen to your visitors
The last piece of advice is, listen and communicate with your fans. Ask them for their opinion and carefully consider what they say.
If you are an advanced WordPress user, maybe one more piece of advice to conclude. I recommend making changes via a custom CSS or child theme.
As you can see, changing the topic is not a problem. The problem may occur after a change. We need to think about what such a change can bring about and be prepared for it. I hope that this checklist of mys will help you and that, for example, thanks to it, you will prevent all possible problems that I will face for you during the change.