Updating A WordPress Theme Without Losing Customization

Individuals who own a WordPress based website should regularly update their theme whenever there is a new update available. Expert website designers and developers advise WordPress website owners to follow such a practice because it will help owners to make use of new features, security patches, and other handy add-ons. So, if you are using an old and outdated WordPress theme for your website, then it is best to update the theme as soon as possible.

However, several WordPress website owners are a bit hesitant to update their existing WordPress theme. This is mainly because updating an existing WordPress theme to its new version might wipe out all the customization that designers have made to their website. This is something most website designers wish to avoid because redoing the customization right from the scratch is not an easy task.

Things to Note

Several WordPress website designers particularly the ones who are new to the world of WordPress website customization and creation usually customize their website by pasting code snippets into the theme files directly. If you are following this simple website customization method, then you risk losing all these customizations when you update the theme to its latest version.

Also read: Things You Should Know About WordPress Child Themes

As a result, several amateur WordPress website designers often ask is there any way to update a WordPress theme without losing the website customizations that they have made. The good news is that there are plenty of simple ways through which you can update your existing WordPress theme without affecting the website customizations.

Automatically Update Themes

The WordPress dashboard will give you automatic notifications when a new version of the existing WordPress theme is available. So, if you see such a notification, then it is best to update the theme as soon as possible. You can easily do it by simply going to Appearance, Themes, and then clicking the Update Now button.

The WordPress platform has been enabling users to automatically update their WordPress theme, which is pretty awesome. If you wish to update your theme automatically, then you can easily do it by adding the below-mentioned snippet to the functions.php file. However, it is significant to note that the automatically update feature works only for the themes that are downloaded from the official theme directory of WordPress.

Using a WordPress Child Theme

It is true that automatically updating your existing WordPress theme is the simplest way to make use of the latest features and other components that are included in the new update. However, another simple yet effective method to achieve the same result is to incorporate the use of a WordPress child theme.

Also Read: Top Ten Genesis Child Themes of 2019

Website designers and developers who are using a WordPress child theme will be able to plenty of website customizations to their website without any worries.  An important point to remember is that making adjustments to the Parent WordPress theme is quite risky, as you may end up losing all the customizations. This is why it is best to use a child WordPress theme and make changes to it.

How To Preserve Changes When Not Using A Child Theme

Website designers and developers who are using a Parent theme particularly the ones who have made customizations to their parent theme often ask how do they preserve these tweaks. If you are stuck in such a confusing scenario, then it is best to copy all the tweaks that you have made and paste it directly to the updated version of your WordPress theme.

However, the downfall of this method is that identifying all the tweaks made to the Parent theme is not that easy. In fact, you will probably need to compare the existing version of your WordPress theme with the new one. This will help you to easily identify the changes. Once you have found the tweaks, copy them, and simple replicate these tweaks to the latest update of your WordPress theme.

How To Update A WordPress Theme By Preserving The Tweaks

The first thing you need to do is to download both the existing and new WordPress theme files to your desktop. You will have to incorporate the use of a plugin like WP File manager plugin to download the theme or else you will need FTP access to do the same.

Also Read: Top Ten Free WordPress Themes of 2019

If you have already downloaded both the theme files, then you must compare the existing version of your theme with the new one with the help of a file comparison software. All you now need to do is to simply compare the themes and copy the tweaks.


If you follow the above-mentioned instructions and have a clear knowledge on how to perform them, then we assure you that you will be able to easily update your current WordPress theme without losing the customizations. Nevertheless, it is best to take a backup of your website’s database and content. So, if something goes wrong you won’t lose any of your valuable contents. If you wish to know more on WordPress website customization, then consider reaching out to us, as our expert WordPress developers have dealt with different types of issues related to WordPress.

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