How Changing WordPress Themes Affect Website SEO

One of the most attractive features of WordPress is its amazing SEO capabilities. Users can easily optimize titles or metadata besides altering the permalink structure. These conveniences encourage people to convert HTML to WordPress or migrate from other formats to the platform. Themes are another useful feature that helps create beautiful and productive interfaces. Many owners are in the habit of changing the templates of their websites. They are unaware that WordPress themes affect website SEO and can easily lose gains made with the previous template. Let’s take a look at how changing themes can affect website rankings.

1. Custom Theme Settings Are Lost

Switching templates without knowing their performance capabilities can result in a loss of custom theme settings. Each theme is coded differently and may not contain the features of the previous one. The loss of a useful functionality of the earlier template may hamper the productivity of the website. Visitors may leave the interface on not finding the desired feature which had attracted them to the interface. This will have direct consequences on the search results rankings of the website. In order to avoid this issue, experts must be engaged to get a template that has features similar to the current theme.

2. New HTML Order Will Affect The Rankings

Google reads the HTML of an interface in a linear manner and interprets content boxes and tables differently. In addition to this, the search engine uses different methods to see a website’s content. For instance, a user installs a new theme which results in the sidebar switching from right to left. This means that the search engine will see the content in the sidebar first. Earlier it was seeing the content of the body before reading anything else. This will reduce the value of the main text and will hamper the rankings. Keywords are an important aspect of SEO and their placement in the content is vital for maximizing their potential. In case of tables, the text within them will be read after the search engine has read the outside text. Even if the content is of very high quality and keywords are placed perfectly in it, the above-mentioned factors will hamper the rankings. It will be sensible to check the page coding order in the page source to know the HTML order.

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3. Metadata May Change With The New Theme

Metadata is an important factor for improving the visibility of an interface. When a new template is employes, the title tags and meta descriptions can change. The tags for which the post titles are hyperlinked may be lost when the switch was made. This can have a huge negative impact on the online visibility of a website. The same plugins and widgets which were being used earlier must be continued with to avoid any serious harm.

4. New Permalink Structure Can Have A Damaging Effect

An efficient permalink structure not only acts as an able guide for users but also benefits the website’s SEO. Switching templates can lead to the creation of new URLs resulting in the loss of the old URL structure. This can be damaging for the website and its search engine rankings can plummet significantly. It must be ensured the links to the posts and pages remain the same. Users will have to manually check that the valuable URLs are the same as before. It is a lot of hard work but necessary to maintain the visibility of an interface. It is one of the most significant ways WordPress themes affect website SEO. Another good way to solve the issue is to set up redirects. Generating 301 redirects for all posts to the old permalink URLs will prevent 404 errors and maintain the rankings.

5. Loading Speed Of The New Theme

Themes are one of the most user-friendly features that motivate people to convert website to WordPress. There are some factors though that must be considered while choosing a template such as their loading speed. No two themes can take the same time to load completely and this can impact a website. The order in which an interface load depends on the template. Some themes will load the main body first and then the rest of the areas while another may load the sidebar before anything else. If the new theme takes longer to load then it is bound to negatively impact the SEO.


Owners must understand that WordPress themes affect website SEO and therefore must be extremely careful while switching templates to maintain their search results rankings.

Lisa Martin

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