Is it time to change your WordPress theme?

I heard from a few people last week concerned that my site was offline (under maintenance) – it was nice to know I was missed!

Brollymedia.ca was ‘re-themed’ – you may not notice a huge change visually, it’s different but still the same in alot of ways – but behind the scenes the new site is vastly improved.

You might be wondering why did I feel the need to change my WordPress theme? What was wrong with the old one? And should you be looking at changing your own theme?

Here are the top 3 reasons I updated my WordPress theme:

  1. My theme was no longer being supported
  2. My theme was not responsive
  3. My theme was dated 

My theme was no longer being supported

The creative team from Themezilla, who built my former portfolio theme, have designed and developed many beautiful and simple themes for creatives over the years. Unfortunately for us they have decided to move onto some new ventures and close up shop as Themezilla. The official date of their closing was September 2017 – but it came as no surprise to me that they were moving onto other things. The theme has had virtually no updates over the last few years – a telltale sign that your theme is no longer on the front burner for a developer. Tip: If you are not getting prompted to update your theme fairly regularly you may want to start considering a replacement.

My theme was not responsive

Nowadays having a mobile friendly website is no longer on optional ‘feature’. It’s crucial to have your site readable on all devices – cell phones, tablets, laptops and large monitors, in-fact you can assume that about half your visitors are now using a cell phone or tablet to view your site. I’m a little embarrassed to have failed meeting this basic criteria for so long on my own site! When my theme was developed, responsive themes were in their infancy, in those days a separate mobile site would have been developed alongside the standard site with a script that would detect and deliver the correct version. But I liked my theme – alot. I hadn’t been able to find a replacement that really grabbed me and would let me customize it the way I liked. Tip: If you’re site does not format itself to fit other devices (layout, font size, images) you need a new site.

My theme was dated

Ok, you already figured out my theme was dated! But there were other things too – when a theme is not being updated you start noticing little things. Older themes that are not maintained start to get buggy – little things like image problems, scrolling issues, elements disappearing or browser compatibility problems – and most importantly security issues. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. While this does means loads of great themes, plug-ins and support it also means you have a prime target for hackers. The best way to avoid being hacked is to keep WordPress, theme files and all plug-ins up to date. (You should also invest in quality hosting and run a security plug-in on your site and/or server – that’s a topic for another post!) Tip: If you have no easy way to incorporate ‘current’ features, like an instagram feed or social sharing without adding loads of plug-ins or if you have not seen a new release of your theme for over a year, you may want to consider a change. If you’re unsure contact your web developer or theme developer and ask about theme updates.

I’m happy to have the new Brolly site up and running under a fantastic new theme by Laborator Creative.  I’ll be adding some new content and work samples over the next few months and sharing some more tips and insights with you in the blog. See you soon!

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