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Changing Your Theme?
Will changing your theme on your website affect your Google ranking and traffic? I really hadn’t given it much thought until I thought of making changes after seeing others change their themes pretty often. What I have found is a mixture of answers to this specific question. So I wondered have you noticed any changes when you changed the theme on your website or blog?
Here are some of the answers I found along the way:
It may cause the site to jump around in the SERPs temporarily, but if the on-page SEO is roughly the same or better than it was previously, it should come back or get higher than it was before.
I was actually just going to start a thread about this. I switched my theme and my rankings completely tanked. Ive switched back, its been a few days and the rankings still haven’t come back. I haven’t done anything to the site other then change the theme in weeks so I can’t really think it would be anything else.
What other factors affect the Google ranking that could be theme related?
- Fresh Images – Would changing the theme help this one? (a Panda update).
- Image Size - This is an upgrade to how we use the size of images as a ranking signal in Image Search. With this change, you’ll see more images with larger full-size versions.
- Fresh Content – Does changing the theme mean “fresh content? “
- Faster Mobile Browsing – If you changed to a responsive theme would that increase your Google ranking in the speed area? Or if you went from a responsive theme to a non-responsive theme would it hurt your Google ranking?
- Page Layouts – Content must be “above” the fold. If a theme made this better would it also help for page layouts?
- Browser Size Tool – This is how your blog will look under various browsers. If the new theme improves in this area wouldn’t it improve the rank and thus traffic?
I’d love to hear from those of you have changed your theme this past year and if it has affected your Google ranking or traffic in any way.
Those Nasty Plug-Ins!
There once was a plug-in so widely cherished by many. It was so highly recommended too. Installed it went right nicely into the theme. And by nightfall it all fell down just like Humpty Dumpty who sat on the wall.
Nasty Plug-Ins Almost Took Down The Site!
That’s what happened here. A plug-in almost took down the whole blog or a combination of nasty plug-ins with a theme. Thankfully I had learned previously to back up everything and vola it’s back together again!
What can you learn here from this experience?
- Always Back Up After Every Post.
- Only Install One Plug in at a Time (after doing a back-up of course).
- If Something Seems Wrong – Ditch the Plug-In (There are others and other ways to get around it with some coding).
- Use the Least Amount of Plug-Ins Possible.
- Never Use a Plug-In That Hasn’t Been Tested With an Upgraded Version of WordPress.
- Again, Always Back-Up!
- Don’t Panic – It Will NOT Help You.
- Be Sure Your Server can Handle Your Data- if not get more or another host and if you do get another server Wait until it’s fully Propagated* which can take 48-72 hours.
- Sign Up For FREE Services to let you know if your site does go down – BasicState.com is one and UptimeDog.com to name a few.
What is *Propagation? It is the process of distributing an index from a context index server to one or more web servers for the purpose of providing search. If you avoid making changes to your website during a transfer/propagation period, you will always have a consistent functional website available to your visitors. They won’t know that you have switched WHP’s because as far as they can tell, they are just browsing your website. They won’t realize that you are in a state of propagation and that from one minute to the next, they are potentially browsing your site from two different WHPs.
Does anyone else have stories of nasty plug-ins that almost took down their websites and can share which ones we should avoid?
Self Hosting Your Blog
It’s been a few days since I decided to dive into the self-hosted blogging world. I actually did transfer my other infectious disease blog from WordPress.com to self-hosting a few weeks ago and that switch was pretty easy. I went with Selby Media and Val there was wonderful getting me set up.
The switch from blogger to self-hosted WordPress was not so easy. Vanita did a wonderful job on the theme she created for me and her how to videos were wonderful to follow. The only thing I missed was step 4. Oops. Poor Vanita – I can’t tell you how many times I emailed her. I would recommend if you do make a switch to have someone else with you to check off each step as you go and be sure not to skip a step like I did! I bet I can soon do a post on what NOT to DO.
I had to find out for myself if it is all true about self-hosting. I wanted to learn more and no better way to learn than by just doing it. It has made me feel technically challenged this week. I have feed issues now. If anyone is a feed wizard please let me know.
But each day I do learn more. I’m getting familiar with the plug-ins. I am amazed at just how many they are – thousands! How do I choose plug-ins?
- Read others posts about their top choices for plug-ins like this one from Basic Blog Tips
- Read the reviews and ratings of each plug-in before use
- You can always unplug them – deactivate and delete!
So what made me switch? I have read so many things about how much better self-hosting is for your blog.
- More Options – With themes and layouts
- SEO – The blog is better optimized for SEO and you can be found more easily organically on search engines
- Advertising – You can have more ad options and advertisers willing to run ads on your site with a self-hosted site
- Professional – With the themes and plug-ins available your blog can look more professional
I still have more work to finish up the blog – adding pages that I had and other links. If you were on my blogroll and are missing just let me know! I have not been reading as many blogs as I have liked to with the transition so if I missed something good send me a tweet!
If you are not on a self-hosted blog are you considering the move over?
New Look For The Blog
Well, I took the plunge. New time change and all. N0 time like the present. I could not have done it without Vanita at AfterBedTimeBlog. She designed the theme for me and helped out tremendously along the way. If you need a new custom theme or are looking to build a new WordPress self-hosted site, Vanita is the gal for you! She has several affordable WordPress themes available for budget moms or for those that need more help with the technical stuff. I recommend that route.
I must also thank Val over at Selby Media who made it easy to get the self-hosting part of the move done quickly.
When it took longer than usual for the GoDaddy hosting to turn the switch for me to enter the WordPress Platform I sent out a Tweet and within 2 minutes GoDaddy took care of me! Unbelievable. They responded so fast on Twitter.
I must also thank many others for inspiring me to go this direction.
- The Four Legged Mom who always changes her blog themes as quickly as I change my underwear.
- Samatha from Freelance Writing Dreams for always encouraging me and takes the time to email too.
- Sonia from Logallot who featured me recently on her blog. I was shocked to find myself in her blogs to read for February.
- Paul from LA10DUH who inquired one day when I did not post if I was okay. Wow, someone reads my posts daily.
- Mayura for always being very good at commenting and very good with the technical end of things.
- Susan from EuroBeads who inspired me to start this blog in the beginning. She has a rocking beautiful beads for sale WordPress site you must visit.
- Rusell from My Life Blogs who started following and commenting from the beginning
- Candice from The New Modern Momma who also is there daily to retweet and comment and has taught me several things from the beginning
- Roseli – I have learned a lot from his blog EzyBlogger via Twitter and Google Plus.
- Twitter Friends and Followers – Thanks to all my Twitter followers too who encouraged me along the way too!