If you have a WordPress powered site you know the excitement of finding a brand new theme to use on your site. However, you also know that little feeling of dread: will this theme break my site? Here are 6 tips to ensure your new theme installation is a success!
1. Back Up Your Site
This is the most important thing you can do. If worst comes to worst you will always have something to fall back on. There are many plugins and services you can use to back up your site, or do it manually your self. However you do it, make sure you back it up!
2. Check Compatibility
Check to see if your new theme is compatible with your current version of WordPress. Most theme makers will include in the documentation provided with the theme what versions of WordPress it is compatible with.
3. Save Manual Site Changes
If you have many any manual changes to your site, for example inserted ad or Google Analytics code directly into the theme, make sure you save those changes. Changing a theme will get rid of those changes and having them in one place will save time and effort re-installing them.
4. Check Your Plugins
Your new theme may have built in plugin capabilities. Check your plugins to ensure that they are functioning properly as well as that they are necessary. If your theme has Twitter support built in, you may not need an extra Twitter plugin.
5. Check Browser Compatibility
Once your new theme is up and running check it in all browsers and operating systems. Don't forget mobile devices and tablets! This would also be a good time to test links, forms and other functions of your site to ensure that everything is working properly.
6. Tell Your Users
Let your users know you have made changes, especially if the changes will drastically change user experience or functions. You can also get feedback from them to help pin point any issues your new theme may have that you might not be able to test for.
Do you have any other tips to make the theme change process as smooth as possible? Or perhaps you have a nightmare theme switching story you'd like to share? Either way, tell us about it in the comments!