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How to Change WordPress Themes Safely

How to Change WordPress Themes Safely

WordPress is of the great flexibility for you to customize the appearance of your website easily. There are numerous WordPress templates available for you to choose. Thus, you can install and activate your preferred one with much ease. Now, the issue is that you may want to change the theme in the future. Especially, with the growth of your website, the initial theme may not be suitable for your overall style. In this case, we’d like to introduce how to change WordPress themes safely in the following.

Frankly speaking, the process of switching WordPress theme is pretty simple and quick. You just need to install your target option and click the Activate button. However, the thing is that your new template may bring some wrong pieces to your site, which make the whole structure collapse. And then, you should go through a long and complicated retrieval process. In this case, for the painless template changes, you’d better check the following introduced steps. Even, you’d better have a look at these 10 tips before you change the theme on your WordPress site.

Step 1 – Select the Truly Quality WordPress Theme

If you do not have the target temple, then, you need to find one that meets your needs. Here, you have to choose the high-quality one from the reliable resources. We have listed some tips when choosing your new template in the following.

  • Fully responsive with the 100% mobile compatibility
  • Regularly updated to fix any loophole
  • Eye-catching design with the proper organization and color scheme
  • Built-in drag-and-drop tool

Step 2 – Make A Full Backup of Your WordPress Site

This is an important step but is always ignored by most webmasters. After all, you cannot make sure that there will be nothing wrong after changing your site. In this case, you need a backup file for the latest version of your website. Once something unexpected happens, you can revert the site back to the normal condition easily.

Instead of the manual backup, we highly recommend you to use the UpdraftPlus WordPress plugin. It can simplify the backup process and can store your backup files into the cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP and many more.

After the installation, you can enter the plugin settings page and hit the Backup Now directly. And then, you should keep the backup file to the safe location. If your site goes wrong after changing themes, you can use it for restoration.

Backup Now

Besides, this plugin allows you to schedule your backup. Here, you can choose to backup the files and database on your preferred interval. Also, you can choose the remote storage if you need. There are 15 storage options to choose.

Backup Schedule

Step 3 – Clone Your WordPress Site

It is true that you have already got the backup file of your WordPress site. However, for the better security, you’d better clone your WordPress site for the testing purpose. This way, you can test whether your new theme can work well with your website before making the true changes.

The whole process is not complicated. You can choose to clone the site manually or make use of the WordPress plugin. To learn the details steps, you can check this post of how to clone WordPress site easily.

Step 4 – Troubleshoot the New Theme on the Clone Website

Now, you can enter the admin panel of the clone website. And then, you can install and activate your target template to see whether there is anything wrong.

To begin with, you should look over the widget and menu options. It is possible that your old theme has its exclusive settings for these aspects. In this case, you should double check them and make the modification accordingly.

After that, you need to make sure that all your installed plugins can work properly. After all, if your new theme is not compatible with your current plugins, your website can be in the wrong situation.

Besides these basic aspects, you also have to check for the custom post types, the post formats, browser console, thumbnail images, mobile display and many more. After all, each template has its own design and development.

Step 5 – Create the Maintenance Mode for Your Website

After the testing and debugging, you should make sure that everything is fine if you change your current template to the new one. Next, you can start the maintenance mode for the WordPress site. This way, your website cannot be accessed until you finish the changing of WordPress theme. After all, if people visit your website when you are switching the template, they may get the bad visiting experience.

You can learn from this WordPress maintenance mode guide for the detailed steps to do so. Even, you can create the coming soon page. From this special landing page, people can easily know that your website is under construction and can be normal in a few hours and days later.

WordPress Maintenance Mode

Step 6 – Change Your WordPress Theme

Lastly, you can start changing your WordPress theme. The whole process can be done from the Appearance tab of your dashboard. You just need to install and activate the theme via a few buttons. And then, you can make the related customizations for the better display.

Change WordPress Theme


Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.