“Will changing WordPress themes affect SEO?” We guess the answer to the question will always remain dynamic because it completely depends on the situation. Changing the WordPress theme may have an effect on the SEO score. But whether it is positive or negative, depends on the process.
The effect on SEO can be diverted because of a particular theme or plugin. There are various WordPress themes and plugins that have different SEO effects. You just need to make sure that the theme does not change the internal things of your WordPress site that are directly related to SEO. Otherwise, you have to deal with a great loss.
In this article, we will discuss whether changing WordPress themes affect SEO or not. We expect your full attention, so don’t go anywhere.
How Changing WordPress Theme Can Affect SEO?
Before we begin, we like to mention that there is no guarantee that changing the WordPress theme will harm the SEO score of your website. It can do the opposite by improving your current SEO score. It is not certain.
With that said, a change in the WordPress theme may have the following effects, which can lead to your website’s SEO performance.
Settings Loss in Custom Theme
If you switch to a new theme without knowing its true SEO performance, you may end up losing your precious custom theme settings. Make sure the new theme contains all the features of the previous theme. While it may not be possible to cover almost all the features, try installing a theme that has the most.
The difference between the old theme and the new theme can be detected by observing the order of loading. Not all themes will load according to the same order. It depends on the code structure of the theme. For example, one theme may load the sidebar first followed by the body, and the posts. Where other themes can load body first then sidebar and other content.
The question is, how are the different contents of a web page related to page loading? If the new theme slows down the web pages, then it might have a negative impact on the SEO score. So before finally switching to a new theme, make sure to check its performance.
Changes Will Come to Heading Tags
When you suddenly change your WordPress theme, there can be changes in the heading tags of some posts. Especially, the post titles may change and that can have a great impact on the overall SEO performance of your website. And it is hard to identify whether or not the new theme will actually change heading tags. Therefore, you should do hard research on this or get expert feedback on which theme would be best for SEO. A good theme will hardly change any heading tag.
The WordPress Theme Should be SEO Friendly
Like we said earlier, you should get expert feedback to find an SEO-friendly WordPress theme. There are tons of beautiful themes in the WordPress marketplace that can be installed for free. They may seem attractive but it is not certain that they are SEO-friendly. Then again, some themes offer sophisticated design and mind-blowing features but lack SEO functionality due to poor coding.
So, how do you find an SEO-friendly theme?
Well, there is no specific answer. You can google or read different forums to get suggestions. Most of the time, an SEO-friendly theme (like Astra) contains built-in features to enhance your website’s ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Again, it is better to go for a lightweight theme (i.e. GeneratePress) since they are able to increase the page loading speed. And better page loading speed means improved SEO performance. Also, check if the theme gets updated frequently. If the theme hasn’t been updated for a long time, it may not be compatible with the current WordPress version. This is detrimental to both SEO and the performance of your website.
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Keeping a Backup is a Great Option
Keeping a backup is like creating a restore point for yourself. You may have installed a theme on your WordPress website thinking it was SEO-friendly, but later found out that it doesn’t work either. Then, having a backup of your WordPress site may help you to roll back. As a result, you will not lose your precious settings. Moreover, it will help you quickly recover from losing your SEO performance. Although you may notice some fluctuations in the SEO ranking, it won’t affect your SEO results completely.
Use an SEO Plugin
Most likely, even after changing the WordPress theme, the SEO performance of your website is not improving because you are not implementing proper SEO strategies. There are plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math that will help you create outstanding blogs and articles to boost your website rank.
These plugins can help you to improve your website’s Domain Authority and Page Authority by suggesting useful backlinks (only available in the premium versions). And you don’t have to worry about losing meta descriptions, SEO titles, or schema data after changing the WordPress theme.
Don’t Change the Perfect Theme
If you have found the perfect theme for your website, it is better not to change it. In general, as long as your new theme is SEO-friendly and you have done the right optimization, you will be able to avoid any long-term obstacles though there is always a risk of short-term problems.
Changing the WordPress theme frequently affects your SEO inherently as it fundamentally changes all the search engine indexed pages from your site. With that in mind, it is better to stick to the right theme for a long time. As long as your new theme suits your brand and it improves your SEO performance, you don’t need to think about changing it.
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Final Words on Changing WordPress Themes Affect SEO
So, will changing WordPress themes affect SEO? The answer is ‘Yes’. But that is not the end of the World. You can always improve your SEO score by applying the methods that we have discussed above. You just need to be a little smart on this and everything will be fine. Also, select a good WordPress theme that improves your SEO. If necessary, get an expert’s suggestion to find an SEO-friendly WordPress theme.
If nothing works out, we recommend hiring an SEO professional and fixing things for you. Because the problem with SEO can be dynamic and it can be hard to detect the real reason for decreasing SEO scores. Thanks for staying with us, we hope we were able to teach you something useful.