With so many great looking themes out there it’s easy to want to switch themes but changing themes can affect your site’s functionality. Before making any major changes, always backup your site first. Next, if you found a theme you want to switch to, then install it and preview it first. See what it will make your site look like. do you still have all the same functionality? To show you what a change will look like I’ll switch from my current theme you see here
and I’ll pick a new one.
After previewing it I do see that there will be some changes and I’ll dig into those more so you can see as well.
First, the menu will be different. Each WordPress theme defines it’s own menu navigation so what I had before will change. So I’ll have to be ok with that. To setup a new menu I’ll just to go Apperance-> Menu
and add my pages again and save it. Then I’ll update the Menu locations
and set which menu goes where. Next, the widget settings will change also.
If you have a lot of widgets on your site, then changing the theme will change these as well. The widgets that are no longer used will be placed down here under the Inactive widgets area.
Each theme has it’s own customization options.
Settings like logo, header,
the sizes of those, whether or not you can add a background
and such. When you activate a new theme you’ll want to work with the new settings to get your site to look how you want it. Things like theme specific sliders, shortcodes and theme specific post types and taxonomies will disappear, but you can find plugins to add these items back if you need them. The great thing about WordPress is all your pages and posts data will not be affected. Also understand that all your media is left untouched.
But a note about images, -many themes set their own image sizes for things like featured image, so you’ll want to use a regenerate image size plugin to regenerate the sizes for your theme.