How to Update a WordPress Theme without Losing Customization
Updating a WordPress theme can bring several improvements, from making the site more secure to giving it a fresh look. But most WordPress users are concerned about the changes they make on the theme being lost during the update.
Fortunately, the WordPress admins have thought of that and put into practice measures to ensure the customization won’t be lost during an update. Follow along as we explain how to update a WordPress theme without losing any personalization changes.
The simplest way to update a WordPress theme is to do it manually. This means that you’ll have to download the updated version of the WP theme from the developer’s website and upload it to the WordPress dashboard through the admin section.
In order to update a WordPress theme manually, open the Themes page on the WordPress dashboard and click on the Add New button at the top of the page. Then, click Upload Theme and select the zipped file of the new theme version. After uploading the contents of the file, click Activate to update the WordPress theme.
Using a Child Theme
The best and most secure way to update a WordPress theme without losing your customization is to use a child theme. A child theme is based on the parent theme and inherits most of the characteristics, allowing you to customize it without the changes affecting the parent theme.
To create a child theme, you’ll have to create a folder with the same name as the parent WordPress theme you want to customize. Inside that folder create a file named style.css and add the following code at the beginning of the file.
/* Theme Name: Child Theme Theme URI: http://example.com/ Description: Child Theme Author: Your Name Author URI: http://example.com/ Template: parent-theme-name Version: 1.0 */
After that, paste the same information on the parent theme with two exceptions: Template and Version. Both should match the name and version of the parent WordPress theme.
Once the child theme is created, you can add the custom code snippets and move the files you want to customize to the child theme. Afterwards, you can update the parent theme without worrying about losing any customization changes.
Backup Your Theme
It’s always a good practice to backup your WordPress theme before you attempt to update it. The backup can be quickly done from the WordPress dashboard. Go to Appearance > Themes and click on the Theme Details of the theme version you want to save. On the bottom of the page, click Backup to save the version of the WordPress theme before the update.
In conclusion, updating a WordPress theme is a straightforward process that can be done from the admin section. However, it’s important to pay attention to the customization changes to avoid losing them during the update. A good way to make sure the customization won’t be lost is to use a child theme, while backups are essential in case anything goes wrong with the update.
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