How to Switch from a Genesis Theme to Kadence

Are you currently on a Genesis child theme and are switching to one of our new Kadence child themes? Here are some important tips!

Things to Do & Know Before Switching

01. Set Up a Staging Site / Coming Soon

For established sites:

I recommend setting up a staging site if you have a large & established site. A staging site is essentially a clone of your current website that your visitors can't see. This will allow you to install the new Kadence theme and plugins, customize and edit to your liking, and test your website without modifying the content your visitors see on the current live site. Once you're happy with how the staging site looks and you're ready to re-launch your website, you can push the staging site content to your live site!

Your hosting (Siteground, Bluehost, WP Engine, etc) should have instructions on how to set up a staging site. If you need help, get in touch with your host's support team or submit a support ticket to let them know you want to set up a staging site because you're getting ready to switch to a new theme. They should be able to help you set things up!

For newer sites, simple blogs, or sites with not much content: 

Even though I do recommend a staging site, you probably don't need it if you don't have a lot of content on your website. 

02. Header or Footer Scripts

Genesis themes have a built-in Header and Footer scripts section in Appearance > Customize > Header and Footer Scripts. Any codes you have placed here (Google Analytics tag, pop-up codes, ad scripts, etc) will NOT transfer over.

Download and activate the Insert Header and Footer Scripts plugin (or search for it on the plugins page). After activating, navigate to Settings > Insert Headers and Footers. Copy & paste your codes in here before activating your new theme so you don't lose them!

03. Custom CSS

If you or a designer has added custom CSS that apply to plugins you're using in Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS, make sure you copy this content and paste it into a Notes app or Google doc. Then after activating your new Kadence child theme you can paste it back.

04. Genesis Plugins

Genesis has a lot of add-on plugins that you might have installed on your site. I am not 100% sure if all of their plugins are compatible with Kadence. I do know that Simple Social Icons and Genesis eNews Extended are compatible. If you run into errors or issues after installing your new theme, I would deactivate other Genesis plugins as they might be the cause. 

If you have a WooCommerce shop on a Genesis theme, you most likely use the Genesis Connect WooCommerce plugin to make WooCommerce compatible with Genesis. You most definitely want to deactivate this plugin to prevent any WooCommerce issues. This plugin is not needed for a Kadence child theme.

05. Widgets

Because different themes have different widget areas, your widgets will most likely be rearranged & some widgets moved to the "Inactive Widget Area". After activating your new theme and installing the demo content, you can move the widgets from the Inactive Widget Area back to the new widget areas and rearrange them how you wish. 

As of WordPress 5.8, widgets are now block-based and you can use the block editor to edit your sidebars other widget areas. By default, Genesis has turned off this new WordPress feature. On Kadence, this feature is enabled, so you will have the new block-based widget editor when you switch to your new Kadence child theme. Click here to learn more!

06. Block Editor

Make sure you do not have the "Classic Editor" plugin installed and activated. Our Kadence child themes use the block editor to build all of the pages. You will not be able to edit your homepage or any page templates using the classic editor. This goes for anyone (not just Genesis users) switching to one of our themes.

I have also had customers come to me with issues with the "TinyMCE" plugin. I do not recommend this plugin either, and it will most likely cause issues when editing pages.

07. WordPress Version

Our themes were built on WordPress version 5.8+. Please make sure your WordPress is up to date before switching to a new theme. WordPress should always be updated for security reasons, anyway! This again goes for anyone (not just Genesis users) switching to one of our themes!


What happens to my current content after I switch to your theme?

Your customizer options and the overall design of your website will be different because you now have a new theme design. Your existing website content (blog posts, media, pages, menus, categories, etc) is 100% safe when you switch to a new theme – none of this content will be deleted.

Some of your widgets will most likely be moved to the Inactive Widget area because different themes have different widget areas. You can place them back to the new widget areas after installing your new theme.

Your menus will be replaced with the demo menus, but you can set your menus back by going to Appearance > Menus. Select your menu(s) and assign it to one of the new menu locations.