Where to Find Updated Theme Files
Themes purchased on FeastDesignCo.com can be found by logging into your account and visiting the downloads page.
Themes purchased at Studiopress.com will have their latest version available in their Studiopress account.
Updating your Theme
When performing any installations or updates – themes and plugins included – you should do this at the beginning of the day, before you make content changes. There is always a risk that updates and installations will crash your site, and you minimize the risk of losing data when you do this before making any changes to your site.
The way that all WordPress and Genesis themes work is that you must re-upload all the theme files, which means that updating or changing themes overwrites previous changes made to the theme files, and requires redoing any customization.
Updating your theme actually means installing a brand new copy of the newest version of the theme.
Navigate to Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme > Choose File > Install Now > Activate
Note: As of version 3.2.0, we now specify the version in the theme folder, which means you can have the new version installed alongside your current version, and switch between them as needed to see what changes and more easily copy over customizations. You no longer need to delete the previous version.
How often should I update?
We release themes incrementally, as features are built out or bug fixes are made. In an ideal world, you update your blog with every new version so that you stay on top of things.
In reality, this is a lot of work if you’ve made customizations. In the worst case scenario, you should update at minimum once per year, because our themes are updated to keep date with current versions of WordPress + Genesis + Plugins, and best practices.
It’s up to you to decide when you update, based on whether the updates will benefit you or not.
How to install new versions of the theme
Older versions lack updates, which is typically what causes issues. We do not offer support for theme versions over 1 year old.
- Step #1: create a backup of your website so that you can restore it if anything goes wrong.
- Step #2: create a backup of your website so that you can restore it if anything goes wrong.
- Step #3: create a backup of your website so that you can restore it if anything goes wrong.
- download the most recent theme file from your account (see below: where to find updated theme files)
- make a note of your current widget placements, and save a copy of your “Additional CSS”
- change to a different theme, like the twenty-fifteen theme (no longer required in 3.2.0+)
- delete your theme (no longer required in 3.2.0+)
- Note: If you get an error message, you’ll need to manually delete your theme folder via FTP
- upload and activate the updated theme file
- if necessary, go to widgets, and move your widgets from the “inactive widgets” at the bottom, into their widget areas
- check your blog’s homepage and posts to make sure everything settled back in
This is usually a good time to review our SEO practices for Food Bloggers and get your configurations up to date.
You’ll also want to copy the CSS in your Admin > Appearances > Customize > Additional CSS over to the new theme.
We can’t stress enough that you need to have either a (daily) backup copy of your site to restore to, or a staging version of your website from your webhost to work off of.
Note: Your widgets are saved at the bottom of the widget page under “inactive widgets”, so that you can easily re-add them to the widget areas after. Be sure to make a note of which widget goes in which widget area.
A Note About Caching
It’s not uncommon for styling to be out-of-whack when changing themes. This is typically because the previous theme’s stylesheet is still being loaded (or attempting to load, and not being found) by one of the caches – either browser, DNS (or CDN), plugin, or hosting.
This takes 24 hours to resolve on its own, on average. Sometimes, this can be resolved by manually flushing your plugin cache, and have your hosting provider manually flush your hosting cache. DNS or CDN will depend on configuration you have. For the browser, you’ll simply want to use a new incognito mode window to verify what new site visitors see. If you’ve done all these and still see an issue, give it 24 hours.
Best Practices for Food Bloggers
As a best practice, we recommend minimizing any changes to the theme files, and focusing instead on creating content.
Our themes are designed to work well out-of-the-box after following our tutorials. Most “changes” people make are not based on evidence that it’s better for their readers.
Don’t make any changes without a compelling reason (eg. “13 people emailed me to say that this layout doesn’t make sense so I absolutely need to move my social icons 9px up to improve conversions 10%).
You may be interested in our food blogger hosting package, which lets you select a new theme each year: https://feastdesignco.com/product/food-blogger-hosting/
Customizing Your Theme
If you absolutely need to make changes, make sure to use our Feast Customizations Plugin, which stores your customizations separate from our theme files and lets you update the theme files without worry.
Different themes contain different features and some are only available in certain themes. See our handy-dandy Theme Comparison Chart.
However, copying a features found in the new theme to an existing theme, is different than simply updating a theme. This is because adding a new feature to an existing theme risks breaking things that are already setup for hundreds or sometimes thousands of other bloggers using that existing theme.
Any time you “update” a theme to its newer version you are essentially re-installing all the files, which may require that you redo customizations anyway.
Q: Do I need to re-import my plugins and widgets?
No, all your plugins and their configuration will remain.
Your widgets will be moved to the bottom of the “widget” page under “inactive widgets”, or may be automatically re-arranged if the widget areas have been modified between your previous and new theme versions.
Q: What are the latest versions and their updates?
We’ve begun posting theme versions and their updates directly on the theme pages.