Does Changing Your Website’s Theme Affect SEO?

Does Changing Your Website’s Theme Affect SEO?

Sometimes website themes need to be changed. New developments, styles, and trends make it hard for you to keep your old theme. Other times, you want to shake things up with a new look for your site.

Does changing theme affect SEO? Yes, but not always in a negative way.

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Read on to learn how changing your website’s theme can affect your SEO performance, and how to safely change themes.

How Changing Themes Can Affect SEO 

When you change your theme, you can make sweeping changes to your whole website. These can cause some large and distinct results to your SEO. Here are some things to watch out for when you try a new theme. They are most likely to affect your experience. 



Some themes create the metadata for your webpages. You may not even be aware of how the theme is doing this. When you change your theme, you may lose all this metadata. 

One way to avoid this problem is to use a plugin to maximize your metadata. Your metadata will stay the same when you change themes, as long as you keep the plugin. SEO plugins like Yoast or RankMath come highly recommended, and they’ll maintain your meta data when you switch themes.


Changes in Format 

Sometimes a new theme will change the way your posts are formatted. Small changes like font may not be an issue.

However, any theme that changes the headings of your page can cause trouble. Out of order heading sizes can cause havoc with your SEO. Some theme changes can cause even more significant formatting issues that could make website pages difficult or impossible to read.


Page Speed 

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Some themes are very complex. It may make your site look amazing, but it also causes it to load much slower. If your page takes a long time to load, it can make your SEO worse. 

If you choose a streamlined theme that loads swiftly, it can raise your SEO. You have to take page speed into account when you change your theme. 


User Experience 

A bad user experience will cause you to lose SEO ranking, and a good one will let you gain SEO ranking. No matter how cool the page looks or how much useful info it has, it will hurt SEO if your web page is hard to use, navigate, or read. 

If users find a website difficult, they are likely to leave. Google tracks how long users stay on a given page, so a high bounce rate can hurt your SEO. The more people leave your website, the more Google will assume that your pages do not provide the information those users are looking for.

Any change to the user experience can affect your SEO, so try to pick themes that present your information in an easy-to-access way. 


How Change Themes Without Hurting SEO Rankings

When you plan on changing your theme, there are things that you can do to minimize adverse effects on your SEO and ensure only positive changes. 


Test and Check a New Theme

You can test the new theme and check how it looks. Look for changes in heading and formatting. See how long it takes for things to load.

Also, have other people try out the new theme and give their opinion on the experience. Sometimes they notice changes you don’t. 


Use a Highly Rated, SEO Friendly Theme

There is usually a ton of feedback about themes. Read what they say and find ones that mention positive changes to the site and SEO. Remember to keep in mind the things that can change your SEO.


Use Plug-ins to Maintain Structured Data

To maintain your current meta data and structured data on your site, consider using one of the plugins mentioned above. That way, when you switch themes, important data for SEO stays in place. This should minimize the effect on your rankings.


Final Thoughts

Does changing your theme affect SEO? Yes, changing your website’s theme can be a lot of fun. It can make your site work better.

Saving a copy of your old website can be helpful. You can revert if the change doesn’t go well.

Finding a functional theme can help breathe new life into your webpage. Check out our favorite WordPress themes for SEO and overall performance to find your next theme!

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