How to Change WordPress Theme Without Going Live? [5 Best Ways]

Changing a WordPress theme is an easy process. If you want to revamp your website, changing the current theme might help. 

But changing a theme can break apart your site sometimes. This is because the design structures are not the same on each WordPress theme, so that the whole system will change after changing a piece. 

The themes feature tightly integrates with your website’s functionality, and they can break the design structure on your site if you install another theme. 

You might want to experiment with some other themes for your website. But you don’t want your site to crash or lose the current design. You want to keep it as it is and work on the new theme and design. You want to keep the contemporary design untouched until the new design finishes. 

In this article, we are going to cover how to change the WordPress theme without going live. 

You can run an experiment with some of the best WordPress themes available. WordPress store provides you with some WordPress themes free downloads. You can also try them out. 

How to Change WordPress Theme Without Going Live?

There are several ways to change WordPress themes without going live. Here are the five best ways you can use during site maintenance. 

1. Using The Live Demo Feature:

Live Demo is the best and easy one among all other ways. All the WordPress themes come with this live demo feature. It helps you to see the preview of your website in various themes without changing them. 

The web contents remain the same. The live preview shows you how your website will look, keeping all the available content. 

When you upload a theme to your WordPress dashboard, you will see two options – Activate and Live Preview. You can skim through the pages by selecting Live Preview. 

If everything looks perfect, you can activate the theme. It will replace the previous one on your site. 

If you are a beginner and don’t know how to navigate the themes page, then follow this.:

Log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance, then select Themes. Here you will find all the available themes on your site. You can also search and install another one if you want. You can upload one from a computer with the Add New button on the top. 

2. Testing The Site in a Local WordPress Environment:

Another way is setting up a local WordPress development environment. This method will help you to import your live design to your computer.

You can install a local WordPress environment app onto your computer. Your computer will work as a server. 

You can use some WordPress testing environments, such as some desktop server app or some websites like pantheon or flywheel, which will enable you to create and test WordPress sites.

To migrate your WordPress site, you will need a plugin called All in One WP Migration. You can use this Plugin to export your whole website to a local environment. 

Once you have the site on your local server, you can make changes to the site and experiment with some new design elements. 

Once you finish designing on your local server, you can again import the design to your existing website using the All in One WP Migration plugin. 

You can easily migrate your website with this tool and replace the design when you finish with the new one. 

3. Making a Backup of your site:

You can always back up your site to your computer. For that, you can follow almost the same procedure we followed to create WordPress Local Environment.

You have to install the All in One WP Migration plugin on your site. After that, you have to select the backup option instead of export. Then press CREATE BACKUP, and you will be able to download the website and store it as a backup on the computer. 

4. Maintenance Mode: 

If you want to let your visitor know that the website is under maintenance, a maintenance notification would be excellent for them. 

Let’s assume that you want to make the site live after finishing the whole design. You don’t want your visitor to see any temporary changes. 

for that, you can easily create a coming soon page by keeping the audience notified that the website is launching very soon. You can also generate leads by collecting their emails in this process. In addition, there are several Plugins for creating maintenance mode or showing the coming soon page.  

5. Create a Staging Environment:

You can create a staging environment for your website during site maintenance. 

So, what is a staging environment?

Staging is a clone of your live website on your domain. A staging environment creates a secure system for you to experiment with the design and make any changes without going live. 

You can create a staging website with Plugins like Duplicator, WP Staging. So making a staging website is easy. 

The staging environment keeps the changes away from going to the live website. 

Final Words:

The theme is the main element for a WordPress website. Without a Theme, it is not possible to create a website structure in WordPress. 

Each content and section of a site integrates with a theme, so changing the theme is a delicate process, and it may break your site apart. 

Making changes without going live is an excellent option for you while your site is under maintenance. Hoping you have benefited from our how-to change WordPress Theme without going live guidance. 

Visitors come to a website to gather their desire information. If they go and see the broken site, it will create a wrong impression about the firm or company. So changing without going live is a professional approach.