Thinking about changing your WordPress theme? Have your checklist ready?
Here are the 11 things you should consider to add to your checklist before doing so:
1. Backup everything
Always backup before hand. Why? Backup enables you to restore your WordPress, if anything goes wrong. WordPress Database Backup is your tool to count on.
Don’t forget to double check on your Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and other tracking codes before go live. These tools allows you to keep track of your site’s performance, measure your conversion rate, and all the insights you need to know about your WordPress site.
3. Plugins / Shortcode / Custom code
Make sure to examine all the plugins, shortcodes and custom code, remove all the old and unused plugins on the new theme to guarantee your site’s performance. You don’t want the change to slow down your WordPress sites, do you?
4. Ad code/design:
Fine-tune your ad code and design to fit nicely with the new theme, especially when working with Google Adsense, Chitika, Clicksor, etc. Pay attention to detail, because every advertiser has their own set of codes and design. You don’t want the ad code to break your design.
5. RSS feed
Subscribe to your own blog to keep yourself in the loop and make the subscribe box “visible”. RSS feed is the vital part of your blog, build your audience and send them update frequently.
6. Theme functionality
Test EVERYTHING about the theme. Seek help from anyone you can: your friend, your family and if possible, your potential customers/audiences/users. Running in beta can be a great idea before you officially make the switch. Observe and listen to your users’ behavior. Change and adapt accordingly. Don’t neglect the theme documentation! Treat it like your favorite product’s manual, it’s there for a reason.
WordPress widgets add content and features to your Sidebars. With text widgets, you need to verify and copy all the added code to a new file with your note and comments. After switching to the new interface, you can add it manually. Remove the unnecessary widgets for better performance.
8. Cross-browser checks
You’re confident on how gorgeous you new WordPress theme looks? Be aware, Internet Explorer (IE) may not agree. It’s important that your site remains the same in all the popular browsers.
This is IMPORTANT. Period.
Check your new theme for potential malicious and unwanted codes. Hackers tend to target free themes to inject links and other junks. You know you don’t want to open your doors to those evil doers, so think harder and check twice before using free themes. Read this article on How to Scan Your WordPress Site for Potentially Malicious Code
Are you sure all your links will work? We got an advice for you: “Click them all!”, then double check with this W3C Link Checker Last but not least, link your logo to your homepage. I don’t recall any site don’t link their logo to the homepage, and you don’t want to be an awkward exception here.
11. Page size and load time
Everyone has their own experience. Do you have any items apart from those above on your checklist? Are these also on your list? Please share in the comments!