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Changing themes

  1. Is there a recommended way to change themes? It usually takes me a good while to sort it out and check that it looks how I want it. I know you can preview the themes before you change but that doesn't always show the whole story.

    I wonder if I make the blog private while I change themes and sort out all the photo sizes and widgets etc would that cause problems (apart from people not being able to read it for a bit). Is that what people do who have big old blogs with lots of posts and pages or is there a trick or a tip for doing this that I have missed somewhere?

    Thanks for any thoughts in advance, Joanna

    The blog I need help with is zebbakes.com.

  2. My recommended method is to create a second blog, perhaps zebcakestest, make it private and then post a bunch of test posts (image posts, asides, comments, etc) and play around with themes and widgets there.

  3. For the most fun - make a test site (make it a variation of your regular site like your-sitetest so you don't burn a good address) export some of your content and import it to your test site and change away with the new Themes - remember to set the test site to Private to keep the search engines all the way out and prevent duplicate content from being indexed.

  4. Thanks for the suggestions staked and auxclass. I should have said I have tried doing a test theme, but I hadn't thought of importing and exporting content to it.I thought the export option was for if you wanted to leave WordPress altogether, so I'm not quite sure how to export part of the content and then import it. I will have a look and see if I can find instructions somewhere. Would you, when switching over, still switch your 'real blog' to private while you tweak it? I have only changed themes once and still now I come across old posts where the photos are all out of line or headings or quotes have turned into capitals or something like that. I just wondered what other people do at the point of change itself or do they just muddle through....

  5. http://en.support.wordpress.com/export/ - should help

    I would figure out what I wanted to do on the test site - then just change the "real" site - I would not take the "real" site offline - I would not want to send visitors away - if you are concerned then put a sticky post at the top that says you are making changes and please be patient if there are changes

  6. @zebathome
    I agree with auxclass. I believe every blogger ought to have a test blog ie: a mirror blog. I use a mirror blog first to test everything before I change my main blog. The benefit of having such a test or mirror blog is you will feel no sense of urgency or concern when testing other themes and items because your readers will still be viewing the main site. After testing you can post a sticky post as auxclass suggest, switch to your main blog, select the theme you have tested, click the “activate” button, and reinstall widgets found in your Inactive Widgets box in moments.

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