At first glance, choosing a WordPress theme can seem like a daunting task because of the thousands of available themes on the Internet. However, it is in your best interest to find the right theme for your website to avoid problems in the long run. Spending some time to narrow down exactly what you are looking for can help you to weed out the themes that are not a good fit for your site. In addition, carefully reviewing themes that you are interested in can also help you to make the right decision.
What is The Purpose of Your Website
The first thing you need to do before you start looking at any WordPress theme is to clearly define the type of website you want to create. For example, if you want to build an e-commerce website to sell designer jeans, you need a WordPress theme that can support a shopping cart with payment integration. Similarly, a plain business WordPress theme is not the best choice for a video-sharing website. Knowing the exact purpose of your website is one of the most important factors in picking the best theme.
Free versus Premium
With the proliferation of readily available free themes, it is tempting to use one for your website. While there are many free themes that offer a host of features, most don’t offer many customization options. A free theme is great for a starter website, a small blog or informational site. However, a free theme is not usually supported by the developer, has attribution links and poor documentation. If you need serious customization options, ongoing support and a less recognizable design, consider using a premium theme. Although you have to invest in a premium theme, it is a good option for anyone that needs to create a professional website.
Theme Developer’s Reputation
Another way to pick a great theme is to use a reputable theme developer. Most developers have a transparent blog or forum that is dedicated to customer feedback. Review the customer comments on the applicable platform to determine if the developer creates quality themes that are regularly updated. In addition, there are many groups on social media websites, such as Facebook, that are dedicated to reviewing WordPress themes and developers. You should avoid using a theme from any developer who has multiple negative comments, a poorly constructed demo website or a hidden forum.
In order for your website to be successful, it must show up on the search engine results pages. Unless you intend to generate traffic to your website using another method, such as a paid traffic service, you need to make sure the theme is search engine optimized. A theme that is not SEO optimized will have SEO mistakes, such as dynamic URL errors, which will push the website down in the SERPS. Before picking a theme, make sure one of its features is “SEO Ready.”
Although one of the main purposes of a theme is to create an attractive website, it also has to provide an excellent user experience. If the theme is not easy to navigate, the average user will not stay long on the website, which defeats the purpose of having an online presence. Before you commit to a new theme, spend some time browsing its demo version. If the theme seems clunky, unexciting or badly shaded, you need to find another theme.
Similar to choosing the right hosting for your WordPress website, the ability to customize your site is a very important option in any WordPress theme. As a result, many themes have a built-in customization dashboard. The dashboard makes it possible to change the look and feel of a theme without editing its style sheets. For example, an applicable dashboard has options to add a custom logo, change the theme’s colors and its layout. A dashboard is especially useful to users who are not comfortable editing code. Choose a theme that has a dashboard or administration panel that features the options you need to customize.
A large percentage of all Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. As a result, an effective WordPress theme must be mobile-friendly in order to render properly on the average mobile device’s screen. If you use a nonresponsive theme, your website will not display properly on a mobile screen. If a theme’s feature list does not include responsiveness, view the theme’s demo on a mobile device.
After you pick the perfect theme that has all the features you need, you still need to make sure that the theme’s security is excellent. If a theme has a security loophole, it can cause serious problems for your website’s credibility. This is especially true if your website has a database of sensitive personal information. You can check a theme’s security using a free plugin, such as Theme Authenticity Checker or Sucuri. In addition, you can also check community websites that feature WordPress theme reviews to determine if a theme is safe.
Although there isn’t a perfect theme, you can make the best choice by performing some due diligence. Creating a plan of action that lists the features you need will go a long way to help you pick out the best theme. In addition, taking the necessary time to choose the right theme, similar to choosing the right hosting for your WordPress website, is the best way to create a website that will deliver years of utility.