What do you need to know about switching themes?
Get ready for a little work to get your blog looking good in the new theme!
The answer is yes, you can change themes.
All you have to do is go to the dashboard of your blog, scroll down on the left-hand sidebar until you find APPEARANCES. Then click on THEMES. You will see all the themes there! You can also install new themes and use them on your blog. Click on any of the themes to bring it up and select it as your default theme. You can change themes as often as you like! HOWEVER, THERE ARE TWO BIG WARNINGS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT!!
WARNING #1 – Switching between themes.
We created and then configured many pages and posts differently between our four default themes depending on the individual needs of how that theme’s unique features needed certain portions of the content displayed.
What this means is that you can switch themes, but there may be a handful of pages or posts that need to be looked at and then manually updated, or even re-created as a post or page in order to align with the features of the new theme.
Additionally, post images are sized differently in one theme to the next.
As long as you understand all this, then you will at least have the right set of expectations going into the theme changes. Please be prepared that you will need to make the updates yourself to ensure that your new theme choice looks good with the existing content that we (and you) have created along the way.
There is an alternative to the need to reconfigure existing post and page content after switching choices within our four default themes. We can literally take down what you have now and reinstall the new theme on your blog. However, this will erase all custom modifications and content that you have added to the blog to date. It will be a fresh, new install of the theme on your blog. All content and updates made in the past will be lost.
WARNING #2 – Installing and using one of your own custom theme choices (not one of PSMU’s four existing themes).
If you would like to use a theme that is not currently available to you, that can be done. You would need to send us the .zip file to your requested theme for review. As long as the new theme follows the WordPress Codex best practices, is secure and uses proper PHP and does not make any abusive database calls, we will be able to add the theme to your blog.
We also want to maintain the highest level of customer service…always! This is very difficult for us to do with any unique or custom theme that is not one of our four default PSMU theme choices. There are literally thousands of WordPress.org themes out there, and each has its own way of working, its own special features and is on its own update schedule by the developer.
What that all adds up to is that we cannot supply anywhere near the same level of customer service, training and support for a blog using a custom theme. Why? Some of what may seem like the most basic questions, requests for guidance or fixes may require us to know what theme you are on, how that theme uniquely works and then devote the time to understand why it is not working. I hope you can appreciate that it would be nearly impossible for us to provide the same level of customer service/training at the low monthly rates that we now offer, if we had to work with unique themes all the time.
Also, some blogs on our service have an area of the dashboard called “PSM Blogging Options.” This is a system (short codes) that automatically inserts links into numerous places throughout your blog. This system may no longer work on a blog with a new, unique theme that you select. You can get around this issue by going into each post and page and manually inserting the necessary links yourself, which is not a big problem as it only needs to be done once.
WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE CONTENT UPDATES FROM PSMU IF I SWITCH THEMES AND/OR INSTALL A THEME THAT IS NOT ONE OF PSMU’S THREE DEFAULT CHOICES?
Yes. We will still be able to update your posts and pages with the most important new content updates as long as the slug (the part in the URL that comes after yourdomain.com for posts and pages) stays the same.
The only thing that may happen is that new posts or pages may not look as good. If the width of pages or posts in your new theme are different than what they are on the four existing PSMU themes, then the content may not display correctly. This means that content can shift and not look as well “designed” for that page. You would need to go in manually to make changes that ensure that the content on that page/post displayed appropriately to your satisfaction.
Also, things like visual sidebar ads may not look as good on your own custom theme for the same kind of reasons (the width of the sidebar in your new theme might differ from our four default PSMU theme choices). But yes, we can keep your blog updated with new content in the future!