The last time I did a theme reboot and changed my WordPress theme was back in August of 2013. I really didn’t have any plans of changing themes because I really liked the design and features of the Hot Topix WordPress theme. But if you’ve visited the blog the past week, then you know that I have already done a theme reboot.

So what made me change my mind and decide to do a theme reboot? The Hot Topix theme was great but the theme author has taken it down from ThemeForest. Meaning, it will no longer receive updates, and customers will not get any type of theme support.

With all the large scale attacks aimed at WordPress-powered sites, I wasn’t going to take a chance on a theme that hasn’t been updated the past 6-7 years. It might contain some deprecated code that could leave my site vulnerable.

For the new theme, I wanted something that was a bit more simple. A magazine-style WordPress theme that looked nice and neat, didn’t have too many features but still offered the essentials. After a little bit of browsing online, I finally found one that had all the things I was looking for in terms of design and features.

For the sake of those who are new to the blog and haven’t visited JaypeeOnline before, I’m posting screenshots of both the old theme and new theme for comparison.

OLD THEME

JaypeeOnline Old Theme

NEW THEME

JaypeeOnline New Theme

Like I normally do every time I install a new theme, I do an audit and cleanup of my blog. This includes uninstalling all WordPress plugins that are no longer needed. Some, because the functions they provide are already built-in into the theme or because I have replaced them with a better plugin.

UNINSTALLED PLUGINS

  • Chunk URLs for WordPress – used to keep long URLs posted in comments from breaking your site design. I uninstalled it because the new theme is already designed to deal with this issue.
  • Comment Email Reply – used to notify commenters if someone replied to their comment/s. This plugin hasn’t been updated for a long time and no longer works, so I replaced it with a different plugin.
  • Crayon Syntax Highlighter – is a syntax highlighting tool that allows users to display code in a more appealing way. I uninstalled it because it was no longer needed.
  • Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress – provides website visitors a fast, easy, and effective way to engage and share content straight from your website to their social media channels. I uninstalled it because the new theme uses a different social sharing plugin.
  • Float To Top – adds a sticky “go to top” button on blog posts and pages, making it easier for visitors to navigate the site. The new theme already had this built-in feature.
  • Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin – adds a checkbox below the comment form and prevents spam bots from leaving comments on the blog. I no longer needed this plugin because the one I installed to replace Comment Email Reply provided the same functionality.
  • Remove Query Strings From Static Resources – helps improve the speed of WordPress-powered sites by removing query string from static resources.
  • Theme Authenticity Checker – allows users to scan theme files for potentially malicious or unwanted code. I got this plugin a long time ago when I did a lot of WordPress theme reviews. I no longer need it so it had to go.

INSTALLED PLUGINS

  • AMP for WP – automatically adds Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMP Project) functionality to your WordPress site. AMP makes your website faster for Mobile visitors.
  • Asset CleanUp Pro: Page Speed Booster – prevent chosen scripts & styles from loading to reduce HTTP Requests and get faster page load | Add “async” & “defer” attributes to loaded JS | Combine/Minify CSS/JS files.
  • Contact Form by WPForms – allows users to create contact, feedback, subscription and other types of forms.
  • GDPR Cookie Consent – enables user to make website GDPR compliant.
  • WP Rocket – a caching and performance optimization plugin to improve the loading speed of WordPress websites.

NEW SITE FEATURES

  • Categories Widget – access to all blog categories via the sidebar widget.
  • Dark/Light Mode Switcher – one of the coolest features in this theme that allows visitors to switch between Dark and Light themes.
  • Email Subscription Widget – added a widget on the sidebar to make it easier for new readers/visitors to subscribe to the daily newsletter.
  • Google AMP Compatiblility – thanks to the new theme and AMP for WP plugin, JaypeeOnline is now AMP compatible.
  • Instagram Feed Widget – added an Instagram feed widget on the sidebar.

Like what I said earlier, JaypeeOnline has been rocking the new theme for about a week now. I didn’t announce and make it official yet because I’ve been busy making some tweaks here and there. Unlike previous theme reboots, I installed the new theme on a staging site before uploading and activating it on the live site. But in spite of that, there were still some things that I missed. Although I’m pretty sure I already got everything covered, there’s still a chance that I could’ve missed something so I would appreciate it if you can notify me about any site errors or issues you may encounter.

If you haven’t visited JaypeeOnline recently or you’ve only been reading the updates via RSS or Email, please drop by and check out the new look.

Please do share your comments, feedback, or suggestions regarding the new layout and theme by leaving a comment below or sending a message via the Contact page. Thank you for stopping by!

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Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

2 Comments

  • Faust, June 15, 2020 @ 11:16 PM

    Your previous theme was un-secured? this reminds me before I was using nulled themes back then only to realize there were backdoors present and spam injections and blackhat seo from hosting company pointing to my site. It’s great to invest and buy theme/s from a secure source

    • JP Habaradas, June 16, 2020 @ 9:51 AM

      Not per se. What I was saying is that the theme hasn’t been updated for a long time (6 years) so it might contain outdated code that could leave my site vulnerable to attacks. I wasn’t going to take that risk that’s why I decided to change my WordPress theme.

      Yes, I know of some folks who downloaded and installed premium WordPress themes that were being distributed by third-party sites and the themes contained stuff that you mentioned – spam links, malware, backdoors, etc. Agree, we have to be careful and invest in buying a theme from a reliable source.

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