June 9, 2017

What Happens When You Swap Your WordPress Theme?

What Happens When You Swap Your WordPress Theme

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you switch your WordPress theme? With so many beautiful WordPress themes available, it can be tempting to switch to a better looking theme. While it is mostly safe to switch your WordPress theme, there are few things that you need to keep in mind. In this article, we will answer the question: “what happens when you switch your WordPress theme” and things that you need to do to make sure that your site works properly after the switch.

It’s extremely important that you create a complete WordPress backup when you are making a major change like switching themes, installing plugins, or importing/exporting data. Before activating a new WordPress theme, you should preview it to see how it will affect your site. WordPress allows you to install and preview themes without activating them. Simply install a theme and click on the Live Preview button under that theme.


When previewing your theme, you should take notes on things that the new theme will affect. Browse your site’s main page, single posts, individual pages, and archives. See how the new theme handles things differently.

Menus Will Most Likely Disappear in New Theme

WordPress comes with a built-in navigation menu system. Each WordPress theme defines theme locations where menus are displayed. That’s why when you switch your WordPress theme, there will be new menu locations.

The menu you previously assigned to a theme location will need to be reassigned.

Simply go to Appearance » Menus. Next, select the menu you want to use and then check the theme location where you want menu to be displayed.

edit menus

Widget Settings Will be Changed

Widgets allow you to easily place different elements in your WordPress theme’s sidebars. When you change your WordPress theme, similar to menus those sidebars are replaced by the new theme’s sidebars. This will automatically deactivate your active widgets.


Theme Settings Will Disappear

Each WordPress themes come with different customization options. In fact, there are some WordPress themes that come with tons of customization options controlled by their own theme options panel. These settings may include your site’s logo, favicon, header, background image, etc. All of these settings will disappear when you switch to your new WordPress theme.

If made a list of changes, then you can probably try setting those things up in your new theme. However, it is possible that your new theme may not have all the features that your previous theme had OR that it may have more features than your previous theme.

In most cases, these settings do not affect your site’s performance on search engines.

Theme Specific Sliders Will Disappear

Many WordPress themes offer an easy way to add sliders on different sections of your website. These sliders will disappear when you switch the theme.

Things That Will Not be Affected by a Theme Switch

Your WordPress posts and pages will be unaffected by the theme switch. However, depending on how your old themes displayed posts, images, attachments, and pages, they might look a little different on your new theme.

All your media uploads will be unaffected by the theme switch. However, many WordPress themes come with their own image sizes for featured images and thumbnails. You may need to regenerate image sizes after switching the theme.

The default WordPress settings located under Settings menu will also remain unaffected.

Pallavi Gupta

Wordpress | BuddyPress | WooCommerce Developer : I have developed a wide range of websites using Wordpress, PHP, HTML, CSS, jQuery and MySQL.

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