Does Changing WordPress themes affect SEO and Traffic?


The most common question for every bloggers and author, who are running WordPress sites is “Does changing WordPress themes affect SEO and traffics?” Well, there is no particular answer, but it depends on the theme you are using and you are going to use. But if we look in general prospective way, some fundamental things should be known.

Most of the WordPress themes come with the configuration of built-in SEO options. If you are using a theme with this configuration, then the chances are very high to affect your SEO ranking. If you are maintaining your site with SEO plug-ins to retain your SEO rank, then the theme you are changing must be SEO optimized.

Some ways are discussed below, which affect your SEO ranks and organic traffics when you change WordPress themes.


The order of your HTML:

Your website HTML codes are always read by search engines in a linear manner. The orders are not same in every theme. Each theme has different types of content boxes and tables to represent the contents of your website. Each theme is also configured with different HTML source codes. Suppose, you are changing a theme which has a right-hand sidebar, but your previous theme was with a left-hand sidebar. Then, the spider will always search for the sidebar type used before and the format of texts was used before. It will surely affect your SEO rank and thus your organic traffic.

So care should be taken before you change your WordPress theme. The order of your page coding should be checked before you change your theme. Check the placement of sidebars in your new theme as it is very important. If the HTML code of your new theme won’t match with your website source code, it will affect your SEO as the search spider can’t recognize.



Metadata is one of the important factors for your website in SEO ranking. Suppose, currently you are using the theme with Yoast WordPress SEO plug-ins, be sure to use this same plug-in on your next theme, which you want to use. Using different SEO plug-ins may hamper your SEO rank as well as web traffics. The metadata description and the title tags must be identical and same as the metadata description of your website’s HTML header. A little change may down-rank your website in search engines, which lead you to lose web traffics.


Changing Permalinks:


Permalinks play a vital role in your website in SEO optimization. The permalink of your new theme should be same as your older one. If the permalink of your new theme will be different from your older one, it will affect your SEO very badly and down-rank your website in search engines. If the permalinks will not be same, then Google will drop your pages and posts from its search engine for the keywords those were listed. If you are unable to create the same permalink, then create a 301 redirect to the original permalink, in order to avoid 404 errors.



Maintaining all existing links:

Besides permalink, the most important factor for SEO optimization is all links to your WordPress site. All links to your website must be same on your new theme. Google algorithm calculate your site’s rank based on all the links on your website. Tag links of archives, graphics must be maintained properly. When you are changing a new theme, care should be taken to check all links are working properly or not. Do not only take into account the links of your website body, but also give the same importance to the links of widgets you are using on your website. Also, keep your mark on the links of adverts you are using on your website. Sidebars of your website link must be same as your old theme link. Any mismatch in links with older one will lead to SEO down-rank and lose your organic traffic.




Above technical features should be taken into account while you are changing a new theme of your WordPress sites. A little mistake may lead your website down-rank in search engines. If you are a new WordPress blogger then take help of WordPress SEO experts or else your website will not be visible to many readers. In our point of view, you can take help of Hopinfirst firm. This is a US-based firm and has employed many SEO experts. They can fix all your issues when you want to change a new theme retaining your rank in search engines. Hope, above techniques, will help you to retain your rank when you change a new theme.


Author Bio:- James Tredwell is a Technical SEO at who works with unique problems and advanced search situations. He helps clients improve organic traffic through a deep understanding of Google’s algorithm and Web technology.



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