We all do it at one time or another. Some more than others. But with all the theme builders out there and feature-rich themes, it can become a bigger and bigger task. Often it’s a redesign.
Now depending if you are moving to a new theme or framework, there are things that will go wonky and other stuff you will lose. First off, make sure you do a complete backup of your site. That way you can revert to your old site if everything goes sideways. So before you hit that activate button on the new theme, think through and do the following steps if necessary.
Changing Your WordPress Theme
Here are 5 things to think think about and do before changing your WordPress theme.
Formatting goes to heck
This should be obvious, but the more complicated your current theme is vs. your new theme, site design and formatting will likely go south. Be prepared for a redesign.
Post types go buh-bye
Similar to widgets, your theme may have post types. A very good example of this is a real estate theme. Your listings are likely created using post types for listings. Once you change themes, that formatting and content will go away.
Theme widgets will disappear
Keep this in mind as I've seen many people who are not aware of this. Some of your widgets may be theme related and only exist when using that specific theme. Learn what they are and if you need to replace them, and you can hopefully find another general widget that will do its job.
Customizations are sadly zapped
If you have had any customizations to your theme, yes, they will go away. If had someone do them, hopefully you know what will be affected. Nothing worse than finding something that you thought could easily be replicated in your new theme turns into a huge challenge.
Some widgets may go wonky
Typically, when you do change a theme, widgets will fly around into other widget areas or may drop into your unused widgets. In any case, if you have any text widgets set up with specific html, I would recommend copying and pasting them into a file. Just in case.
If you would like to see what happens when I change to three different themes, watch this tutorial.