How To Safely Change Your WordPress Theme – Financeuse

On the floor, altering a theme, might sound innocent. It’s really easy, it’s arduous to think about it could possibly do any hurt. You may even do it from inside the dashboard today, with none handbook FTP add required. It’s fast, painless and completely protected, proper? Depends on the way you’ve arrange your website.

The factor about WordPress websites is that they usually turn out to be extra of a puzzle, or jenga tower, over time. You have your theme, added plugins and any small (or main) edits you may need finished. These all come collectively to create a wonderful practical website that fits your wants.

And that’s why it’s vital to watch out if you change your theme (and even replace WordPress in your website for that matter). If you pull out the unsuitable piece, the entire construction may collapse. And then you definitely’ll find yourself having to undergo a protracted (and with some webhosts, pricey) retrieval course of. Or you could find yourself having to interchange lots of the plugins you’ve grown to know and love.

But, there’s a means you may make altering the theme a zero% danger endeavor, and fortunately, it’s lined intimately beneath. Let’s get began!

Step 1. Select A New WordPress Theme

If you haven’t already, discover a new theme you like. If you’re not a developer, attempt to discover a theme that appears kind of the way you need it to. A terrific place to search for premium themes is Themeforest. Here you’ll discover a lot of WordPress themes which have loads of colour choices, added options, and even drag & drop web page builders (like our Total WordPress Theme) to make it simple for even non-coders to customise their WordPress theme.

Of course in case your price range doesn’t permit for a premium theme, take a look at our Financeuse Free WordPress Themes or at’s huge repository the place new free themes are added on a regular basis.

When choosing a brand new theme it’s vital to ensure that your new theme helps the plugins you deem needed. If you’ve constructed a complete retailer with WooCommerce, you’ll in all probability wish to proceed utilizing WooCommerce along with your new theme. So simply double examine plugin compatibility and major theme options earlier than committing.

Of course, if you happen to’re a developer you don’t have to fret about discovering the “perfect” theme. You in all probability have the data to create or customise a theme your self. Once you discover a theme that meets your wants, transfer on to step two.

Step 2. Create A Backup Of Your WordPress Site

It’s a good suggestion to backup your WordPress website earlier than altering your theme, and there are fairly a couple of methods to go about it. In this put up we’re going to give attention to two completely different strategies: utilizing backup plugins, and backing up your WordPress website manually. Both are pretty simple processes (even for brand spanking new customers).

Method 1: Using A Plugin To Backup WordPress

VaultPress WordPress Backup Plugin

The finest backup plugin (in our opinion) is VaultPress. It’s simple to make use of and takes a whole backup of your web site. Plus it begins at simply $39 per yr (for a JetPack Personal plan). A low worth contemplating it gives automated backups, 30 day backup archive, and 1-click restoration. But wait… there’s extra! Because VaultPress is part of JetPack plans, you’ll even have the choice to allow Akismet and JetPack premium options in your website.

The largest profit of getting a plugin do your backups, is that you just don’t have to fret about it.

A pair different stable premium choices are WPvivid and BackupBuddy. If you wish to study extra about both, checkout our full WPvivid review and BuddyPress review.

And in case your price range is restricted, a standout free different is Updraft Plus. Updraft not solely backs up your website, however uploads it to a number of places “in the cloud”, all with a single click on. And it additionally lets you to do a easy 1 click on restore if one thing has gone horribly unsuitable.

That stated, in case your web site is a giant a part of the way you make your revenue, or extremely vital to you in different methods, you’d do good to make a handbook backup as properly each from time to time. Just to cowl all of your bases.

Method 2: Manually Backup WordPress

While backing up your WordPress website manually may seem to be a giant, difficult, even, overwhelming activity to a more recent person, it’s actually fairly straight ahead.

#1 Log into your webhosts management panel to your website (whether or not that’s cPanel or one thing else).
Most webhosts have the choice to both log into your account, or into the management panel by their web site, so go to your webhosts website and log in.

#2 Find FTP login data, or create a brand new account.
To do that, click on one of many choices contained in the management panel menu that claims one thing like “FTP users/accounts” or “FTP access” or “FTP settings”. If you don’t see any customers, otherwise you don’t know the password, you’ll be able to shortly create a brand new person by clicking “add new user”, then creating one.


#three Login, and replica all related information from the fitting listing.
Now, at this level many individuals would advise you to get an FTP consumer like FileZilla, however you’ll be able to really entry your website by ftp along with your net browser, and even good previous Windows Explorer (or finder/nautilus if you happen to don’t use Windows).


To do that, merely kind “”” into explorer, or the opposite one, and log in with data you discovered, or the person you simply created. I like to make use of my file browser as a result of it makes backing up as simple as copying and pasting into the specified location, then making the folder into a zipper archive.


#four Go again to the management panel, and open up phpMyAdmin.
For many management panels this includes a good bit of scrolling downwards (search for the brand pictured beneath).


#5 Choose the fitting database.
If you’ve got a variety of WordPress websites operating on the identical internet hosting a variety of databases can be in the identical phpMyAdmin. So you have to double examine that you just’re selecting the best desk to again up. One means of doing that, is solely going into the databases and checking what’s written within the posts beneath the “wp_posts” part.


Another method to discover out, is by checking your wp-config.php file on the related website. You can do that both by the WordPress Dashboard, or by opening the backup copy of the file in a textual content editor. (Be cautious to not edit it.) Simply seek for ‘db_name’ and also you’ll discover it immediately.

#6 Export the database
Simply click on customized, and choose the fitting database when selecting which one to export, scroll previous the opposite customized choices, and click on go. It’s precisely so simple as it sounds. Another piece of excellent information is that it’s simply as simple to import a desk. If one thing goes unsuitable… and also you already know find out how to do it!


Step three. Clone Your Website For Testing

There are two simple methods to clone your web site for testing, both by utilizing a staging website that comes along with your internet hosting plan, or by organising a neighborhood server.

Cloning Your WordPress Website To A Staging Site

Many WordPress internet hosting plans embrace entry to one-click staging reminiscent of GoDaddy and WPEngine. These are nice choices since they’re on-line, so you’ll be able to login to check the theme on numerous gadgets (one thing you’ll be able to’t do along with your localhost because it’s confined to your pc).

If you’re utilizing WPEngine this course of is very simple (as it’s with most hosts). All it’s important to do is log into the WordPress web site you need to duplicate, click on on the WPEngine menu merchandise on the high of your dashboard, click on on the staging tab and the click on the large blue button to “Copy site from LIVE to STAGING.” And that’s it (another excuse why we love WPEngine a lot).


Cloning Your WordPress Website To A LocalHost

Setting up a localhost can be an amazing choice, since a neighborhood model is accessible even with out an web connection (making it further helpful). And similar to backing up your web site, you’ll be able to both use a plugin to assist or manually clone your web site.

Method 1: Using A Plugin To Clone Your WordPress Site

Depending in your desktop working system there are a couple of choices to setup a localhost server.

#1 Install native server software program & WordPress.
You can select from XAMPP, WAMP, MAMP and others. What this software program does, is recreate the atmosphere of a webserver in your very personal pc. Not solely does this help you check new themes, plugins, and WordPress updates out in your WordPress website. It lets you make utterly ready-to-post drafts in WordPress, if you don’t have an web connection.

Remember to activate Apache and mySQL after set up is full. Once your localhost is prepared, you’ll additionally must set up WordPress domestically.

#2 Install plugin on unique website and export.
As an instance, we’re going to be utilizing All-in-one-migrate right here. But you should utilize any plugin that you just want. Among the opposite free plugins, Duplicator appears to be probably the most raved about. Simply add and activate your plugin of alternative, after which export your web site accordingly.


#three Install plugin on native hosted WordPress and import.
This is pretty straight ahead. Log into your domestically hosted WordPress website, set up and activate the plugin, then import.


#four Wait and revel in your new clone.
Wait some time because the plugin imports the copy of your website (this could take a fairly some time, relying on the scale of your website). Then open it up and revel in as soon as it’s completed. It’s that simple.

Method 2: Manually Cloning Your WordPress Site

Manually copying your stay website simply features a few further steps.

#1 Prepare your native server or staging website.
Whether you’re utilizing a plugin or not, this step continues to be the identical. You will nonetheless must setup your localhost and set up WordPress domestically.

#2 Copy and paste backup copy of WordPress
If you intend on creating the native clone manually (and also you’re already midway there) you simply want to repeat the backup copy of the information you took earlier. Just paste them into the suitable folder ( ampps/www/ folder if utilizing AMPPS, or the mamp/htdocs if you happen to’re utilizing MAMP). Make certain to put the information in a separate folder. This is to keep away from bother with the ‘server simulator’ software program (ought to be positioned in for instance ampps/www/wpclone/ if utilizing AMPPS). If you didn’t take a handbook backup copy already, comply with the steps laid out above.

#three Open up phpMyAdmin and import the database.
First open up the native server dashboard. From right here open the phpMyAdmin (if you happen to’re utilizing AMPPS you might additionally merely enter ‘localhost/phpmyadmin’ into your net browser as a substitute). Click import. Then choose the sql backup file you saved earlier, in the course of the handbook backup (once more, if you happen to didn’t do the handbook backup, comply with the steps listed above).


#four Find appropriate database person/password data and create a person in phpMyAdmin.
First, open up your backed up wp-config.php file in a textual content editor, like notepad, and seek for DB_USER and DB_PASSWORD. Then take these values (situated the place I blacked out), and make a brand new person with that username and password by going to databases in phpMyAdmin, after which clicking examine privileges subsequent to the fitting database,then lastly clicking add person.


#5 Replace Some Urls
So your new native website doesn’t go loopy considering it’s situated elsewhere, you have to edit two fields within the database. The siteurl and residential, beneath wp_options (if it’s solely displaying 25 rows per web page, residence can be proven on the 2nd web page). Edit them to https://localhost/wp or no matter you selected to call your folder, and your cloned website can be prepared to make use of.


Step four. Testing & Troubleshooting Your WordPress Theme On Your Clone Site

This is as simple as logging into the admin space in your native clone or staging website. Install and activate the theme to see what occurs. All of those steps aren’t required. They are simply among the many theme options you may wish to check if you happen to switched themes.

Enable wp_debug
This is an effective way to check if there are any errors in your theme. To enable wp_debug , open up your wp-config.php file and set wp_debug to true, like so:

outline('WP_DEBUG', true);

This will present your whole php errors and notices on the entrance finish of your WordPress website. Keep in thoughts that not each discover displayed will break your website, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a good suggestion to repair them.


Custom Post Types
If your previous theme used a number of built-in customized put up varieties and your new theme doesn’t have theme it could seem like you misplaced all of your content material. But don’t fear, it’s nonetheless in your database.

You can use a 3rd occasion plugin, like Post Types Unlimited, to register your previous customized put up varieties in your new theme. If you aren’t certain what the names of your customized put up varieties are you’ll be able to ask the previous theme developer, or search the previous theme for the register_post_type perform and find the names of your previous customized put up varieties.

It’s a good suggestion to look over the widget choices, advert spots, footer columns and the sidebar width along with some other widget prepared areas. This means there aren’t any surprises later.

Missing a will need to have widget? You can all the time adda plugin. For instance Social Candy for social hyperlinks, or the More Widgets plugin for adverts, about part, e-newsletter, maps and extra.

Double examine the menu places and codecs in your new theme. Perhaps there are extra menu places, or a vertical navigation. Just look the theme over so the place your whole menus can be if you activate the theme in your stay website.

Post Formats
Loads of themes use customized fields. So if you happen to’re utilizing one to outline a particular video/audio/gallery/and many others you may need to change the output of your put up codecs in your new theme. This might be finished by way of youngster theme so you’ll be able to proceed utilizing the previous meta on previous posts, otherwise you may be capable to use the add_post_meta( )

We talked about earlier than that if you happen to’re not a developer you need to discover a new theme that’s appropriate with your whole required WordPress plugins. Just to make sure it’s a good suggestion to check your plugins to ensure they actually do work along with your theme.

If you’re a developer who has created or custom-made a theme, now can be a superb time to ensure that your tweaks haven’t effected plugin compatibility.

Check Browser Console
Open up your browser to examine for javascript errors. If some issues aren’t working accurately (javascript associated), reminiscent of sliders, drop-down menus, carousels, and many others. you’ll be able to examine the browser console for errors. Just open your console to see your javascript errors, and hover on them to see precisely the place the error is situated.


Here are hyperlinks to the place you’ll discover your console for numerous browsers:

Check Featured Image Sizes
You may need to add or tweak your featured photos if you change over to your new theme. Once you’ve cleaned home, you’ll wish to re-crop your whole photos with their appropriate dimensions.

Some themes like Total crop photos dynamically, so that you don’t must do something. But, if you happen to theme doesn’t do that for you, use the Regenerate Thumbnails WordPress Plugin to regenerate all of your photos within the correct sizes.

website positioning Check
Unfortunately there are themes with built-in website positioning choices, and if you’re presently utilizing them you probably won’t be able to hold them over to your new theme. Instead you need to set up an SEO plugin in your stay website and fill out the choices earlier than updating.

Mobile/Browser Testing
If you selected to create a web-based staging website by way of your WordPress host then you’ve got the choice to do some actual cell testing of your personal. Grab your pill and telephone to see how your new theme appears to be like. Or, if you happen to selected to put in your new theme in your native host, you’ll be able to attempt a web-based responsive simulator just like the Responsinator or Cross Browser Testing.

Make certain to go to your posts, pages, and examine that every part is in working order. Once you’ve confirmed that there aren’t any points, it’s time to maneuver on to the ultimate step.

Step 5. Install & Activate Your New WordPress Theme On Your Live Site

Now that you just’ve completely examined your new WordPress theme, login to your WordPress dashboard set up it in your stay website. Before you activate the theme simply do a fast double examine utilizing the Live Preview choice. You can use this to click on by a couple of of your pages simply to ensure that every part appears to be like good.


An optionally available step can be to put in a coming quickly plugin in your website earlier than activating your new theme. This means if it’s important to make any tweaks to your stay website after activating your new theme, your guests will see a fairly beneath development or coming quickly web page. Two plugins we actually like are WP Maintenance Mode and the Coming Soon Plugin by SeedProd.

Once you’re able to go, merely navigate to Appearance > Themes and click on the button to “Activate” your new WordPress theme.

Wrapping Up

To somebody who hasn’t skilled the nightmare of a web site prepare wreck, this may seem to be overkill. A whole over-complication of one thing that’s presupposed to be easy. Trust me – it’s not. Think of this like having nice medical health insurance on high of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising, however to your WordPress website. Working arduous to troubleshoot your theme domestically minimizes your danger of one thing dangerous taking place in your stay website.

Did you discover this information useful? Or do you’ve got something so as to add? Let us know within the feedback part!

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