What Happens When You Switch Your WordPress Theme?

Switching WordPress themes is a common occurrence for bloggers and business owners. It is a simple way to update your look without having to completely redesign your website from scratch. However, switching themes can be risky, as many WordPress themes come with tons of customization options, and if coded incorrectly, they can cause major errors and downtime on your site. Before switching your theme, make sure you are prepared to make the transition smoothly. If you don’t do it smoothly, it could have a negative impact on your traffic. So, to help you make this transition, today we will be talking about what happens when you switch your WordPress theme.

When you switch your theme, it is important to first back up your content and site files. This way if you for whatever reason need to restore the old version, you can. There are also a few things that you can do to prepare for your move ahead of time to help prevent any major problems down the road. First, check your site for broken links that may have been caused by the previous theme and make sure that everything is functioning properly. You can also run a complete security scan on your site. This way you’ll ensure there are no security issues that may affect the new theme.

1. Migration Issues

If your theme has been coded incorrectly, it could break your site, so be sure to test the new theme thoroughly before making it live. Be sure to watch for any errors or strange behavior when browsing the site to make sure everything is working as it should be. If the new theme has any issues that can’t be fixed right away, you should temporarily use your old theme until you can get the problem resolved. You should keep your website in maintenance mode during this period.

A laptop displaying a 404 error
Before launching your website with the new theme, you should check for any errors

The reason why it’s important to fix any issues before going live with the new theme is that you don’t want users to be unable to find important information on your site due to technical problems. In addition, vulnerabilities like these invite cyberattacks. If a hacker is able to gain access to your site and cause damage this way, they can steal personal and sensitive information, which could put your customers at risk. Therefore, whenever you change your theme, make sure you’ve fixed any vulnerabilities beforehand. This way you will keep both your website and your visitors safe.

2. You May Lose Some Traffic

A drop in traffic is a normal thing to expect when you change your WordPress theme. Some people are bound to be put off by the introduction of something they have never seen before. Similarly, this can occur if you leave your website in maintenance mode for too long during the change. Once you’re ready to make your new WordPress theme live, you can turn off maintenance mode. This will alert your users that the website has been updated and let them know they should access the new site. Once you have turned the maintenance mode off, let your users know that you are using a new theme by updating your homepage to reflect this change. If you have a custom website header or logo, it’s a good idea to change them to match your new theme as well.

A person looking at website performance metrics.
You should expect a small loss in traffic when switching your WordPress theme.

3. Search Engine Rankings May Take a Hit

Before updating any WordPress themes, it’s wise to prepare everything carefully to prevent any loss of settings or functionality during the update process. This includes your URLs and how they rank in search engines like Google and Bing. If you update your WordPress theme without making these changes, it’s possible that your ranking will drop. This will also cause your traffic to dip a bit. There is no reason to worry about this, however. As long as you’re willing to take the time to adjust the URLs and make sure they’re working properly after the update is complete, you won’t have any issues. Also, make sure that all of your backlinks are working properly.

4. You May Have Compatibility Issues

Not all browsers are going to support every WordPress theme. Before updating your theme, check to make sure it is compatible with all browsers. This means that you should be testing it on all popular browser versions. Only by doing this can you make sure that everything is working properly. This will take a little extra time, but it’s well worth it. That being said, always preview your website before going live with a new theme. This way you’ll be able to see if everything is working correctly.

A person browsing the internet on their phone.
When you switch your WordPress theme, you need to make sure that it also works well on the mobile version of your website.

To check compatibility, you can use a free tool like BrowserStack. Simply load the site you want to test into the browser of your choice and then run the test. The program is going to show you if there are any compatibility issues. If it finds any, you can easily correct the issue by adding some code to your WordPress site. You could also consider using a different theme altogether. Furthermore, you can check your site’s mobile optimization with Google Search Console. This tool allows you to see how well your site is working on mobile devices. It can also make suggestions for improving its performance on mobile devices.

5. Some of Your Ads May Not Be Working Any Longer

When talking about what happens when you switch your WordPress theme, the last thing we are going to mention is the problem with ads. More accurately, what can happen to your ads once you install a new theme. when you install a new theme onto your WordPress website, all of your existing ads will stop working. When you switch to a new theme, you’ll need to install new ads again. This is part of the installation process so it shouldn’t cause any serious problems on your site. However, if you discover that some of your ads no longer work after you’ve installed the new theme, you may need to contact the original advertiser. They may be able to provide you with new ads that are compatible with your new theme. Overall, there shouldn’t be any major problems when you switch themes on your WordPress site.

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