Changing of theme in Wordpress

Hi users!

My problem/issue in short: I had a webdesigner redesign and set up my website recently (about 4 months ago). My old website have been running since 2014 and it is about køberrådgivning (a specific Danish culture around buying property) and I think it was performing okay traffic wise. Now, this webdesigner approached me and convinced me that I needed a redesign as the old website was “not up to date”. Long story short, I accepted his offer of redesigning it as he promised me it was only a “design matter”. He got paid 50 % up front and was to receive the last 50 % when it was done and up and running. Everything seemed fine.

Now after it is live, it has become obvious to me that a lot of my old content is gone, the structure of the site does not really make sense anymore for visitors I think and traffic has gone down! He told me, that this is what happens when changing a theme and redesigning it. That not all content goes through to the new theme. Can this be correct? Then I would never have changed theme. I have asked him to put it back to the old version but his reply was that it is not possible. Since then I have not been able to get in contact with him :frowning: . There is no back up. Is it possible somehow to recreate the old website without a back up (like CTRL Z in windows programs). Furthermore he changed the URL from Danish letters (ø, æ, å) to international letters/version (from Købersmægler to Koebersmaegler) which no one in Denmark understands. This I would like to have “undone” also. See Købersmægler køberrådgivning [] for details. It used to be with Danish letters ø and æ but now if you enter that in your browser you are pointed to the site with oe and ae.

Are these things something that is doable for another webdesigner or do I need to start all over and build the old website again?

Thanks in advance for your input.


I don’t work with WordPress, but I would have thought he should have taken a site backup before making changes.

It might be worth contacting your hosting company, as some do automatic backups and they may be able to restore the old site from a backup.

Good point with the hosting company! I will do that. He did not take a back up, he has confirmed that. He says it was not something that we agreed upon. There is now radio silence from him.

If he just changed the theme and is using the same database, then your content should still be there, but just not displaying. So all is not lost. If you do get a new developer to fix things for you, make sure you find one that will keep you in the loop during the entire process. You should not have any surprises at the end. At each stage you should be able to give feedback and approval of the stage before they move on.


Yes, that makes sense. Some of the former menu points are missing, but I can find the old content by using the old direct URL. I hope you are right, and I think I just need to “find the stuff again”. Thank you for your input!

It’s been a while since I’ve touched WordPress but I have had a problem because of changing themes.

IIRC it involved having a different number of columns in the layouts and the number of posts / comments in pagination.

The relative good news is that data was not lost. I didn’t need to dig into the code and was able to fix things by going into the ACP. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the specifics but hopefully you can find the settings you need to change in the ACP without too much trouble.

If that isn’t your problem you may need to look at and compare the template files. For example, if the previous template displayed comment dates and the current one doesn’t, it is most likely because the current template file doesn’t have the code needed to get that from the database and display it.

If you like the previous theme you could simply use it again. If you like the current theme then IMHO you should look into creating a child theme for it so you won’t lose customization when you update the theme.

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Sorry to hear that the guy didn’t think of offering you a complete backup of the site to a DVD before he made any changes. He could have charged extra for that.

Now, changing the theme does not necessary mean that the missing content is gone. Try to manually check the site’s directories for missing content.

With a bit of luck you might find some missing content of your site at the Internet Archive, though it seldom has a complete site copy.
Your site archive:*/

The Internet Archive also mentions some services that offer to try rebuild sites using the archive:

Note: You can also use the archive to save a copy of any web page you want for future visit. So using that you could also save your site page by page by submitting them to the archive:

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