Will Changing WordPress Theme Damage Your SEO Ranking of Website?

Does altering the theme of your WordPress will affect the SEO ranking of website and traffic? Well, the answer to this is entirely dependent on the circumstances it goes through. On asking this question to your team, you will get a mix response. Some may agree to this while the rest may not. 

If you are among those bloggers who like to use the free version of the WordPress theme, you would tempt making changes to it. There are many entrepreneurs and SEO executives who prefer changing WordPress themes at regular intervals.  

In this post, I will discuss a few things that you should keep in mind before making any changes to your WordPress theme. So let us get started!

Two Important Things to Consider: 

Before moving ahead consider the following two factors for your website ranking:

  1. Many traditional WordPress themes have built-in SEO options. Also, if you are making use of the theme’s SEO feature, there are high chances that it will affect your blog’s SEO.
  2. If you are keenly using an SEO WordPress in order to handle your own blog’s SEO, you can retain your SEO if only your new theme of WordPress is SEO optimized.

Will Changing WordPress Theme Affect the SEO Ranking of Website?

Even if you change the WordPress theme carefully, or select the website’s best SEO ranking, it will definitely affect the ranking of the website. However, there may be additional reasons and a good SEO audit shall find out the real causes. The below-stated reasons will affect the changing traffic and SEO rankings of the website:

1. Custom Settings are Different

On changing a theme you will realize that the old custom settings have become invalid. Theme-specific attributes will be lost and it is a time-killing practice. If the new theme does not have similar features, you will have to employ a new developer for customizing the theme and it may cost you a lot too. The best solution is discussing the issue with your development team and accordingly select a WordPress theme with similar attributes.

2. SEO Oriented WordPress Themes

There are many great benefits of making use of SEO friendly WordPress theme. SEO themes are awesome as they provide some extra-ordinary SEO features such as proper heading tags, SEO enabled codes and so on.  You can always ask your SEO team to advice some SEO oriented WordPress available themes.  

3. Make Sure that Metadata Doesn’t Change with a New Theme

Metadata is held responsible for website ranking in various search engines. Ensure to use the same SEO plugins which you have applied in the old scheme. It will make sure that your rankings do not go down. In addition, you need to ensure that the Meta description and Title tags are unique. 

4. Bounce Rate and Page Speed May Affect your Traffic 

It is clear that the two themes can never be loaded at the same speed. A visitor expects a superb loading speed and if he fails to get it, he may switch to some other alternative. Thus impacting your business negatively. You can use two different SEO tools such as PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. These will enable you to get a clear image of the themes’ loading speed.  

5. Pick Up an SEO Friendly Data

There are excellent beautiful WordPress themes that you can avail of being a premium member. Some may look catchy with their design, rest may lack in basic SEO attributes. It is wise to choose a theme that has bug-free codes and is SEO friendly in nature.

6. Backup Your Data

One most important factor you need to consider while altering a WordPress theme is taking a backup of every theme and blog database. After you are done with this, you can easily transfer the said data to an SEO. if you do not do this, you may end up losing the essential data. 

7. Changes in Permalinks Affects the Rankings

You cannot allow your permalink to change at the time of changing the theme as it will impact negatively on your rankings. Permalinks are basically the URLs to different pages and posts. In other words, your website’s location will change. 

At the time of the alteration to the theme of WordPress, it is essential for you to remember this challenge. Ensure yourself that the new and the old themes are the same. In addition, you need to confirm it manually that these links direct you to the same pages or posts.

8. Hire a Professional

If you lack resources to change the theme and any other changes, it is suggested to consult professionals who can turn out to be helpful in changing your theme. There are available SEO professionals on the web who can convert the entire process in a smooth and effortless way.

Ending Note

You should remember a golden rule in the industry of digital marketing. Your main motive is to acquire huge traffic and convert them into customers. Your site portrays your business and you need to ensure yourself that it does in the best possible manner. 

If you genuinely want a changing WordPress theme, you must ensure that the change is taken in a wise manner. Additionally, the theme needs to be SEO friendly. There will be less chance of deterioration of the SEO ranking of a website if the theme is chosen properly. 

Therefore, it is always advised to choose a theme wisely so that you don’t have to make changes in the near future. Keeping the aforesaid conditions in mind while going for a theme change in WordPress will ease your work.  

Mark M. Thompkins

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