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How to Upgrade a WordPress Theme and Keep Customizations

Posted by WhoIsWP Team on October 31st, 2016 in

Over the years, WordPress has provided some amazing opportunities for people to get out there and express their unique personalities in an online medium such as a  blog or their own business. Many have had the chance to experience not only what being an entrepreneur is all about, but also all the responsibilities that come with the job.

 

What WordPress Theme Do I Use?

One of the decisions a small time business owner has to make when joining WordPress and creating his own website is choosing what WordPress theme to use. This is a crucial decision as it is the first thing visitors see when joining the website, so it could be the deciding factor in whether they leave or stay. For this reason, a WordPress theme detector that not only finds what WordPress theme a site is using, but also functions as a plugin detector is the perfect tool in the arsenal of any serious site owner.

However, knowing how to find the theme is only the preliminary step. After that, you have to keep your site safe and up to date. How do you do that without losing those customizations you worked so hard on? Let’s find out!

 

You Know What WordPress Theme to Use. How to Upgrade It?

After you’ve decided what WordPress theme to use, you should know there are multiple ways to upgrade it, some more complicated than others, but for the sake of the more novice users out there, today we will focus on a more general overview for doing a safe upgrade. Regardless of the path you chose, always remember the most important step of all, (which will always be first on the list): backing up your site. Having a recent backup can be a life saver in a number of situations and it is a general recommendation for any WordPress user. You could use a plugin to do it, do it manually or even schedule it. No matter how you go about it, just do it.

After that, you should download the latest version of the theme you are planning on installing in your profile. Go to your DesignWall homepage and select Your Account and Downloads. Here you should choose the theme you are looking to upgrade and upload it by selecting Dashboard, Appearance, Themes, Add New and finally Upload Theme, in this order. Now you will be able to see both versions of the same theme, but since they both have the same name, before attempting an update, you have to first rename the folder the old theme is located in and upload the new theme to your website.

When trying to pinpoint the modifications that you would like to transfer to the new theme, you could use some simple online tools for fast easy results, such as Kaleidoscope or WinMerge. They are easy to use and free, so there’s no need to worry about it being too complicated.

By examining the two themes this way, you can clearly see and compare all the differences present in the files and also copy the code snippet from one to the other. All you have to do in is to select the snippet and use the Copy to Right or Copy to Left functions after right clicking the section. After you have modified the code like this, simply use an FTP to upload the new theme bundle to your site and override the same name warning that will pop up on screen. And there you have it, the summarized version of how to manually update WordPress themes safely and preserve customizations at the same time.

 

Knowing What WordPress Theme to Use is a Plus

Since the creation of your WP website you were able to go through many seemingly complex procedures like how to find the right theme for your site, how to customize it and successfully upgrade it. You have definitely come a long way, and now you have great tools at your disposal to express yourself more efficiently via your website. Knowing what WordPress theme to pick for your site and upgrading it has never been easier! You only need your imagination, inspiration and the rest will follow. Enjoy your new, fully loaded WordPress theme!