WordPress has hundreds of themes to choose from ranging from personal to business website templates. Although most of them are free, a lot of great themes cost a pretty penny. And if you have buyer’s remorse, buying a new theme can set you back a bit.
Luckily, we are taking you through our guide on the nine things to consider when choosing a theme so you can create the best and most professional website you’ve been looking for.
How to Choose a WordPress Theme
- How Much Do You Want to Pay for Your Theme?
- Do You Want a Theme That Needs Little Customization?
- How Responsive is My New Theme?
- Can I Test Drive the Theme?
- How User-Friendly are This Theme’s Settings?
- How Secure is This Theme?
- How Well Does The Theme Fit With Your Brand?
- Is it SEO Ready?
- Is The Theme Ready for Social Media?
1. How Much Do You Want to Pay for Your Theme?
One of the most significant things to consider when buying a WordPress theme is how much you’d like to spend. You need to make sure the amount you are spending on the theme will reflect how much you want to invest in your business. Keep in mind that a free theme is just as great as paid ones, and they are ideal for starting out in WordPress.
To give you a better idea of what free and premium themes offer, here is the main difference between the two:
Free WordPress themes offer simpler designs, and you obviously don’t need to pay for them. Aside from that, you have limited customization options. Support is also limited if a problem ever arises while designing your site, and many times there are poorly coded design flaws. Even though your website may look great, the work you put into it may not be entirely worth it especially if the template creator doesn’t update his designs. However, free themes are perfect for personal blogs that don’t need a lot of details.
Premium WordPress Themes are still relatively cheap. However, they offer a higher quality of standard especially since authors regularly update their designs and offer better site security. There are plenty of customization options, and most sites offer superb ratings with helpful reviews from previous customers. Be sure to check out WordPress sales, and you can save up to 50% off your purchases.
2. Do You Want a Theme That Needs Little Customization?
Not everyone is a technology wizard and creating the perfect website can take a lot of time and effort. An excellent way to see if a theme is worth all the time and effort it is to check out the reviews and see what other people say about it.
A great way to get your website to look great out of the box is using demo content. This way, you simply have to replace the content the author put in there, so it’ll take less work on your part. This method of replacing the dummy content is perfect for people with little to no knowledge of coding.
3. How Responsive is My New Theme?
Nowadays, people mostly browse websites on their phones and tablets. Therefore, it is crucial that your site in responsive. The less responsive it is, the more visitors you will lose over time. Especially if it’s an online store, this will result in less revenue, and that can seriously hurt your business.
It’s best to choose a simple theme with fewer features because more feature means that they may slow down the responsiveness of the site. Most theme makers offer refunds, so if you ever end up buying a theme that affects your website’s responsiveness, you know what to do. But make sure that the problem is not on your part (bad coding, for example) before requesting a refund!
4. Can I Test Drive the Theme?
Every good theme has a demo version that you can test with. Go to the theme’s sales page, and there is typically a demo (or live preview) button to launch the theme in a new window. You should also be able to see the different features available. Make sure you evaluate and test every option that is important to your website. Some items to check:
- Menu – What options do you have to customize the menu?
- Social icons – Are they in a clear and relevant location?
- Landing Pages – Is there any option to create a landing page?
- Homepage – How do the homepage and blog posts look?
- What layouts are available?
5. How User-Friendly are This Theme’s Settings?
In all likelihood, you are not an expert web developer. Therefore, you will want to choose a WordPress theme that is easy to customize and setup. Before settling on a theme, determine how the settings are organized and how easy they will be to adjust and maintain in the future. Ideally, all the settings will be in one central location. However, there are some developers that scatter them throughout the site, so beware of this.
6. How Secure is This Theme?
Most people overlook security when setting up their WordPress website, but it is one of the most important factors you should take into consideration. One of the best ways to determine how safe a theme is by reading customer reviews. In general, you should stay away from themes that have few to no reviews or downloads. Customers are usually quick to pick up security lapses, which means that you can learn from other’s experiences and find a safe WordPress theme.
7. How Well Does The Theme Fit With Your Brand?
There are tons of beautiful WordPress themes out there, but finding the right theme is about more than just looks. You need to choose a theme that fits your business and your brand. Most themes are categorized by industry to aid in this process. It can also be helpful to make a list of all the theme features that are important to you and use that to find the ideal theme.
8. Is it SEO Ready?
There are certain plugins that you can install on your WordPress site to assist with SEO. However, not all themes support these plugins. Be on the lookout to see if SEO is mentioned in the features list.
You may also have to do some of your own testings. Look at the theme demos and see if it supports SEO plugins and has HTML tags. Also check how quickly the page loads, as slow pages are not good for SEO purposes.
9. Is The Theme Ready for Social Media?
Social media is incredibly important for businesses these days, so it will naturally be an important consideration when choosing your WordPress theme. Try to find a theme that has fully integrated social media widgets. This will make it easier for your audience to share posts and interact with your social media pages.
This is a guest post from James. He is the owner of WP Clipboard, the fastest growing WordPress content aggregator.