May I Ask You for Tips on Changing WP Theme?


The New Year has spurred me into action about changing the theme of Social Bridge.  After much perusal, I have decided that Twenty Sixteen

Twenty Sixteen
Twenty Sixteen

 is the theme I want to go for. One of the main reasons I like it is that it allows one to choose the colour of the pages ~ and not just black or white. (Maybe there’s all sorts of other themes that allow that but I haven’t found them.)

Anyway, when I started to investigate making the change, I got a dose of the dithers because it all seemed a lot more complicated than it used to be or else I’m suffering from hazy memory syndrome.

So, I’d welcome any words of wisdom you might have about making the change. My biggest fear is losing everything that’s already written or messing it round so much that it will be like a jigsaw that a puppy got at.

What I Want to Avoid!

I know some of you are absolute whizzes at changing themes and the appearance of your blogs ~ I notice with great envy when you carry  it off with seeming panache.

So all tips welcome and thanks Folks!



Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

54 thoughts on “May I Ask You for Tips on Changing WP Theme?”

  1. You can do a preview of a theme that way you will know if you lost writings or not or even if you like that theme. I remember doing a preview before I took the plunge. Also you can open another account separately then view your themes but the first option of previewing is best. Hope you like your new theme.

    1. Thanks Joseph. It’s how to do this safely that I’m not sure of. Activate sounds very ‘forever.’ So, it’s to be sure which buttons to press to simply preview.

      1. WordPress has made changes. I tried it on a different site that I have and did the twenty six theme. At the top it has right hand corner Try and customize this is your preview ( one change they made) You will open a window on the side at the top left somewhat you’ll have save and activate that is when you are happy with the theme and taking the leap of faith. Hope this help. As I said it is totally different than last years.

        1. Joseph, thanks for giving me the push. I previewed Twenty Sixteen but it didn’t seem to be quite for me so, for now, I’m tweaking my existing theme and will see from there what I do.

    1. Thanks for this brilliant link, Sue.
      I’ve found the courage which is a start and have lost the fear. It would definitely be a lot easier to be starting a blog than trying to bring an established one into a new theme.
      BTW, I was thinking about ‘pear-shaped,’ and wondering about all the other possible fruity shapes. An interesting little detour!

  2. I tend to like reading black text on white background. Everything else is too hard for my old eyes, so I don’t really like being able to change the colors of the page, I’m sorry to say. But that pic of Puss in Boots? I use as a desktop photo much of the time. I love it so much because it reminds me of old cat who died last summer. He was so much like Puss. And I LOVED the movie and could watch it again and again. Is that too off topic? hahaha

    1. Luanne, you certainly got me thinking about the colour and I didn’t want to lose you. I had a look at Twenty Sixteen and would have opted for a very pale cream or green if anything. I tend to find writing on light colours (less dazzling than white) easier on my eyes.

      1. That might work. I know I need a contrast, and sometimes WordPress black isn’t very black even on my ole black n’ white WP theme haha. No matter what you do to your theme, you won’t lose me except to a migraine ;).

            1. You sound more confident about this than I do!
              I’ll definitely have dog and cat therapy before and after and possibly during the transitions.

  3. I’m thinking of doing the same thing (changing themes) and worried likewise. I’m reading the comments you receive (thanks!) and printed out the hughsviewshowtobackup post. Let me know how you do – then maybe I’ll take the plunge. 🙂

    1. Hi Pam, glad to know I’m not alone!
      I spent a good while today playing around with themes and have decided, for now, to make a few changes to the existing theme and also to do some de-cluttering and re-organising. Great to have that back-up info!

        1. I’m not sure about the ‘chicken’ bit. I decided that there was no point bringing a load of stuff I need to either dump or re-organise to a new home. At least, I know now that moving to a new theme is very doable so that’s major progress.
          Look forward to seeing how you get on.

  4. A few times I have changed themes as it seemed to inspire me. The preview is really nice and I have utilized that tool, rather like trying on clothes somehow. But I always worry too and have to spend time tweaking it just right and that takes time for me. I’ve never been successful with the colored pages. Maybe you will inspire us all for some new looks. Good luck! Will look forward to seeing what you choose.

    1. CC, I agree that the tweaking is the time-consuming part and certainly it seemed that Twenty Sixteen wasn’t worth all the hassle so I’ll be on the look out for something more ‘me.’ Watch this space over 2016!

    1. Hi David, thanks for your encouragement. I actually changed and changed back so, at least, I’m over that terror hump. There’ll be not stopping me now if I keep focussing on appearance!

  5. Setting up my blog was trial and error and I am still learning…but I don’t remember any issues with changing the themes:):)

    1. Hi Olga, it;s that they’ve changed it around a bit since I last changed theme. That’s what gave me total dithers. I guess one could be learning about this stuff forever.

  6. Jean, I love the twenty sixteen theme … And was thinking of doing it for myself. I like the idea of trying the preview and playing around with color combinations.
    I decided not to go with it for me, as they were fewer tab links to different parts of my site, and I like having a long side bar.
    If you are going for the blog part alone, I would say give it a go!
    Val x
    P.s. Loved Antonio Banderos as Puss in Boots!!

    1. Hi Val, I think we’re a bit the same. I didn’t feel it was for me when I actually tried it out.
      Interesting how Puss in Boots is back on the agenda through that pic. I had a HUGE cuddly Puss in Boots as a kid who slept with me for years.

  7. Hello Jean, there may be something about this archived on my ‘social media for writers blog’ at although I’m in the process of converting/updating the material there into a series of little ebooks, so if not then I’ll make sure this topic is covered. As others have said, you can preview how your blog will look before activating a new theme. Twenty sixteen isn’t a million miles away from Twenty ten in terms of layout, so it shouldn’t mess up your site. You also shouldn’t lose your content; one of the benefits of being on is that it’s harder to ‘break’ a blog than if it were self-hosted. Good luck, have fun making it your own and I look forward to seeing the new look!

  8. It will be interesting to see and hear what happens..I myself don’t accept change too …not to say change isn’t good, but I have to think on it before acting..

  9. I changed theme twice last year, Jean, in my own fit of the dithers, so can only encourage you to go for the ‘press the red button’ mentality, which I see you’ve done, because I see and like your new theme! It’s actually easier for me to read on a desktop. Anywayz, Unless you have super-duper bells and whistles and seriously complicated plugins, activating a new theme, deciding it was a mistake and hurriedly going back to your old one should cause no hiccups at all. Still, well wear, as they say, I think it looks very snazzy.

    1. Tara, thanks for your admission of dithers.
      I’m wondering now about seasonal changes. Feel, though, that I’ve got to do a bit of tidying up before I ‘move house’, so to speak.
      I made so many changes backwards and forwards (and backwards) today, I hardly know what I’ve done!

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