Your WordPress website has been rocking the same theme for years. You’re ready for switch, so go for it. Switching themes is a fast and easy way to inject new life into a website that might be getting old and tired. As long as you are going to do it though, we suggest you consider doing a few things alongside your theme switch.
Any time you switch themes is a good time to also do the five things listed below. You’re already in a maintenance frame of mind, so you might just as well take advantage of the process and get everything done in one fell swoop. This is called efficiency.
1. Backup Your Installation
Regular backups should be a normal part of running a WordPress website. Still, we know how easy it is to forget about backups. Forgetting is dangerous, so make a point of creating a full backup of your installation before you switch themes. Once the switch is complete and you know everything is working properly, create a new backup.
2. Thin Out Those Plugins
Plugins are great inasmuch as they add a tremendous amount of functionality to WordPress. But as good as they are, plugins can also cause problems when not maintained. Switching themes is a fantastic opportunity to go through all your plugins, keeping only those you continue to use while discarding the rest.
If you discover active plugins that have not been updated in more than six months, you might want to consider looking for replacements. Unmaintained plugins are easy targets for hackers because they know developers are not paying attention.
3. Thin Out Your Media Gallery
If you’ve had your WordPress site up and running for several years, it is quite likely you have items in your media library that are no longer being used. Those items are just taking up space. They might also be slowing down your website as well. Switching themes is a great excuse for you to go thin out a crowded media gallery.
If you have media items you no longer need because your new theme will not utilize them, don’t get rid of them. Save backup copies on your hard drive or a thumb drive before removing them from your gallery. That way you will have them if you need them for a future theme switch.
4. Audit Any Custom Code
Some WordPress users are advanced enough to use custom code to complete certain tasks. For example, you may have embedded custom code for analytics purposes rather than relying on a plugin. You should audit that code as part of the theme switch to ensure it remains up-to-date. Outdated code is inefficient code, and it could be harming your website.
5. Look at a Redesign
Lastly, you might consider a complete redesign as long as you’re switching themes. If your old design no longer matches the message you are trying to convey, this is as good a time as any for a do-over.