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What Will Happen If You Change WordPress Theme & How to Avoid Bad Situations

What Will Happen If You Change WordPress Theme & How to Avoid Bad Situations

One of the greatest highlights of WordPress is the massive number of website templates available. With the well-designed options, you can decide your site appearance in any way you prefer. In this case, with the growth of your website or due to the changes of your content styles, you may want to change WordPress theme you currently utilize. Frankly speaking, the switch of the WordPress template is simple. You only need to install and activate the new one in your website admin. Even, you can achieve the theme change in the database directly.

However, have you ever thought that what will happen after making this change? In the following, we’d like to tell you what will happen if you change WordPress theme and how to avoid bad situations that might be brought from the changes.

The Specific Sliders Will Be Removed

Note that different templates have their own ways for adding the slider in different locations of your website. In this case, even if your new template supports the slider feature, the slider achieved by your old theme will disappear.

How to Avoid

It is possible that you want to display your slider in a fixed manner and protect it from being affected by the switches of themes. If so, you’d better leverage the WordPress slider plugin instead of relying on the template slider feature.

WordPress Slider

The Well-Designed Navigation Menu Will Change the Display

Actually, there is a default system of navigation menu for all the WordPress sites. However, the display of this special bar is supported by the design of website theme. Here, each WordPress theme may define the menu location in a different way. Therefore, your current navigation bar can be showcased in another manner when you switch your theme.

How to Avoid

This issue can be fixed easily. You simply need to go to the Menu settings from your website admin panel by pressing the Appearance > Menus button. Here, you can find all the menus that are achieved by your already utilized templates. And then, you can choose your previous menu from the drop-down list and reassign it as your primary menu bar.

Choose Menu

Your Current Template Settings Will Lose

Without doubt, different WordPress themes come with different settings and customization options. These settings have a large control over your website design. For instance, you can determine the background color scheme, website logo, text font, website favicon, the footer and header sections and many more.

If you decide to switch to a new theme, you have to know that all of these well-configured settings will lose in full. And you have to set up your new template from the scratch.

How to Avoid

Actually, there is no effective method available to deal with this bad situation. It is true that you can try all the old settings up in your new template. However, if the new option does not have all the functions and features supported by your old theme, you still will lose some great designs.

What you can do is to reduce the bad impacts. For this, before switching the theme, you can go through your old template and take the notes for the settings of it. This way, you can try your best to remain some useful settings on your new theme. If the new template fails to support some specific features, you can choose to use the functional WordPress plugin.

The Sidebar and the Widget Settings Will Be Changed

Just like the navigation menu and the slider display, the sidebar and the showcased widgets supported by your old theme will be replaced with the new ones if you change the WordPress theme. This practice generally will deactivate all your currently used sidebar widgets and replace them with the new options that are supported by your new theme.

Actually, this can be a disaster if your previous theme supports some special widgets that your newly switched one does not have.

How to Avoid

It is possible that even if you have changed to a new theme, the sidebar widgets offered by the old template are not removed totally. Instead, you can find them from the section of Inactive Widgets after pressing the Appearance > Widgets button.

This time, you can drag and drop them to your sidebar again. Generally, the widget settings will not be removed.

Inactive Widgets

The SEO Ranking of Your Site May Be Affected Negatively

Most of you may find out that your SEO ranking is down after changing the WordPress template. Actually, the pure changes of the themes have little or even no impact on the SEO and online ranking of your WordPress site.

However, it is possible that your old theme comes with some built-in SEO settings in the theme option panel. If so, things are totally different. The switch of the theme means that you will lose all the SEO benefits achieved by the previous template.

How to Avoid

Firstly, you need to figure out whether the changed themes are within 8 options. They are Frugal, Hybrid, Genesis, Builder, WooFramework, Thesis Version One, Catalyst and Headway. If so, you are lucky enough to use the plugin of SEO Data Transporter.

With it, you can easily transfer the SEO settings and data from one theme to another. This way, even if you have changed the template, your website SEO will not be affected.

The utilization of this plugin is not complicated. You simply need to click the Tools > SEO Data Transfer button. And then, you should choose to import the SEO data from one template to another. After clicking the Analyze button, you can know what SEO elements will be converted.

To start the transferring, you just need to click the Convert button.

SEO Data Transfer

However, if your themes are not within the above-mentioned 8 options, you need to carry out the SEO practice for your site.

Some Specific Taxonomies and Post Types Will Disappear

In fact, many WordPress templates not only support the functionality that is related to the website appearance only. Instead, some of their functions might be within the plugin filed. For instance, some themes allow the custom taxonomies and the custom post types. With them, you can display the special contents, such as the photo galleries, testimonials and portfolio.

However, if you change your WordPress template, these post types or taxonomies might be inaccessible, especially when your new theme does not support these features. The direct impact of this is that some of your web contents cannot be showcased properly.

How to Avoid

Here, the first thing you can do before the switch is to check the feature list of your new theme. If you cannot find the support for the custom post types and the custom taxonomies, you’d better think about another theme option.

Or, you can only create these custom options manually to ensure the proper display of your website contents.

Custom Post Types

The Theme Shortcode Can Be Useless

Many WordPress themes come with a set of shortcode that can ensure the easy way to bring the additional functionality for your website. For instance, these special codes can add the column layouts and particular buttons into your posts and pages.

However, if you switch to another template, the shortcode can be disabled and become useless. In the result, these lines of coding stuff will appear as the plain texts inside the blog posts and can achieve nothing.

How to Avoid

Unfortunately, there is no one-click method you can use to import the shortcode from the previous WordPress theme to the new one. What you can do is to manually find out the posts and pages that contain the template shortcode and remove the unused coding stuff one by one.


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.