Sometimes it seems as though Elegant Themes releases a new WordPress theme that I want to try every week. Today, I changed the theme for this website — something that I have been meaning to do for a while. While I did this, I thought I would put together a brief checklist of the items that must be completed when you switch between Elegant Themes to make sure that the new theme is ready before visitors see it. Reference this checklist the next time you decide to try a new theme. Although I use Elegant Themes for all of my websites, many of these steps would apply regardless of your WordPress theme choice.
- Upload the new theme to your server, but don’t activate it yet. Use your FTP software to CHMOD the theme’s “cache” folder with a value of 777 to enable image thumbnails. Preview the new theme in your website’s “Themes” menu to make sure that you like it before continuing.
- Create and upload a logo. Don’t forget to do this before activating the theme, or else your visitors will see the sample logo included with the Elegant Themes package.
- Edit the theme’s footer file to remove the WordPress advertisement if desired.
- Activate the theme and proceed immediately to the “Theme Options” menu under “Appearance.” Each theme has its own particular configuration options, so explore all of them. In the next few steps, though, I’m going to discuss the things that you’ll need to do immediately after switching between Elegant Themes, regardless of the theme you are switching to.
- Click the “Integration” tab and insert your Google Analytics code in the <body> section. Click “Save.” To fetch your Google Analytics code, go to the Google Analytics website, and click the “Edit” link next to the name of the website that you are changing themes on. Click the “Check Status” link in the next page to get the code.
- Click the “SEO” tab and enable all of the options for your meta description and keyword tags.
- Click the “Widgets” link on the left side of the dashboard and reconfigure your widgets for the sidebar design of the new theme.
- Check to make sure that WordPress doesn’t produce a “No Results Found” error when browsing category or author archives.
At this point, your new WordPress theme should be ready for visitors. Is there anything I haven’t mentioned here that you do each time you change themes? Leave a comment with your thoughts.