Easily change WordPress theme for your website with these simple steps

Easily change WordPress theme for your website with these simple steps

WordPress themes give a personality to your website, based on the business you host. Modifying the look and feel of your WordPress site is often required for website owners.

At the same time, you can’t help worrying if a theme change would end up breaking your site. Some themes may not be compatible with your site, causing the site to be slow or end up with broken links.

How to change WordPress theme from Dashboard

WordPress administrators can easily change WordPress theme from the ‘Admin Dashboard -> Themes‘ section. New themes can be chosen and installed from this interface:

change wordpress theme database

Install new WordPress theme

Once a theme is installed, you can activate the theme from the ‘Dashboard -> Appearance -> Themes‘ option:

change wordpress theme activate

Activate WordPress theme

Whenever you go for a make-over of your website by changing its theme, make sure that you take proper backups of the website so that it can be restored if something goes wrong.

The ‘Preview’ button along with the theme helps to see how your website would look when the theme is applied. Its always advisable to check the Preview before installing the theme.

Risks of changing WordPress themes

At times, this theme change can get messed up and some themes end up giving a blank page for your website. Broken links due to improperly coded themes are also common.

Other commonly encountered issues due to improper themes are website giving errors, admin dashboard inaccessible, database corruption, etc.

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You may find it difficult to revert this change from the front-end. In such cases, you would have to change the WordPress theme of your website from the back-end, in the database for the site. Here’s how to do it:

How to change WordPress theme from database

1. Every WordPress site has an associated database with it. So firstly, identify the database name of the WordPress site from the ‘wp-config.php’ file inside the document root of the website. This is the WordPress configuration file.

2. Take a backup of this database as a precaution, to restore in case something goes wrong. Backups can be done using the ‘mysqldump‘ utliity.

3. Connect to the MySQL server using ‘mysql’ command. Select the database using the command ‘use databasename‘ in the SQL prompt.

4. Check the themes installed for the website in the table ‘wp_options’ using ‘select’ command. The fields to check are ‘template’ and ‘stylesheet’ and the command is:

SELECT * FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = ‘template’ OR option_name = ‘stylesheet’ OR option_name = ‘current_theme’;

change wordpress theme database

Select current WordPress theme from the database

5. We can see that the current theme is ‘twentysixteen’. To change the theme to a different one, use the ‘update’ command as follows:

update wp_options set option_value= 'new_theme' where option_name='stylesheet';
update wp_options set option_value= 'new_theme' where option_name='template';

6. The new theme would be now applied to the WordPress website. You can now quit the MySQL prompt and refresh the website to see the new theme loaded.

7. To upload a new theme for the WordPress, you can use the File Manager or FTP utilities. The folder ‘/wp-content/themes/’ in the website document root contains the theme files for the WordPress.

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