Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a WordPress Theme

 
06 Jul '15
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Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a WordPress Theme

When you have thousands of options, it becomes very difficult to make a decision. Similarly, choosing a WordPress theme has become more difficult than before due to the fact that a huge number of WordPress themes are available today.

In this blog post, I am going to take you through the best tips for choosing a WordPress theme, mentioning some well-known themes and useful tools.

Know your requirements and choices
First of all, you have to be clear about your requirements and choices. Based on what type of website you’re running, you may have a unique set of requirements and preferences that may be different from others. So before choosing a WordPress theme, check whether it meets your requirements or not.

Premium vs. free themes
Unlike old days, there are many high-quality free themes available on the Internet. But you may go with the premium ones as well, because the premium themes have always some extra benefits such as better support from the developers, frequent updates, helpful user guides and manuals, no requirement to include attribution links, and so on.

Popular free themes: Longform, TA Dailyblog, Arcade, Twenty Fifteen, Customizr, Storefront, ColorWay, Omega, Spacious, Sydney, GeneratePress, Make, onetone.

Popular premium themes: Avada, Enfold, Bridge, BeTheme, The7, Newspaper, Salient, Jupiter, Unicon.

Use a theme having fast page-load speed
If your website is slow, you are surely losing potential visitors every day, because people don’t want to wait when they’re using the Internet. They want everything instantly. So before selecting a WordPress theme, check whether the theme has a fast page-load speed or whether it’s slow due to unnecessary features or poor coding. Remember that if your website is lightening fast, your visitors are going to love your site. Additionally, fast websites have better search engine rankings.

Speed test tools: wpspeedster, Pingdom Website Speed Test, Google PageSpeed Insights.

Get a responsive theme
A responsive website fits in the screens of any devices – mobile, tablet and PC.
Although most of the themes are responsive nowadays, it is worth checking, because responsive sites are good to Google’s eyes, and also because they provide an excellent user experience on any devices. As mobile and tablet devices are becoming increasingly popular, it has become a must for any website to be responsive these days.

Responsiveness test tools: responsive test, resposive design checker, mattkersley, BrowserStack, isResponsive, Screenfly.

Go for unique design
Before getting a WordPress theme, check whether the design is unique enough or not. Because there are many WordPress themes that have duplicate designs. A unique design is always better for the reputation of your website. It also has some positive effects on the brand value.

Choose simplicity
There is power in simplicity as Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. A simple looking website is easy to use. If your website looks simple, it will not take much time for your visitors to learn how to use the site.

Select an SEO-friendly theme
Although most of the WordPress themes are SEO-friendly nowadays, it is worth checking whether all the minor and major SEO principles are implemented in the theme. For example, the developers may not have done on-site SEO properly.

Chrome extensions to check SEO: SEO Site Tools, MozBar, META SEO inspector, SEOquake, Open SEO Stats.

Can you set it up?
Before choosing a WordPress theme, ask yourself. “Can I set it up myself?” There are themes that have difficult setup and configuration processes while others are easy to set up. Always look for the themes that are easy to set up.

Can you customize the theme?
Ask yourself. “Can I customize the theme myself?” The theme should be easy to customize. Because if the theme is very customizable, you can always change things according to your needs.

Security features
Security of a website is very important, because if security issues exist, there is a possibility that all your hard work may be stolen or destroyed someday. So always look for the themes that have good security features.

Security checking tools for WordPress themes: Theme Authenticity Checker, Theme Check.

Read customer reviews
One of the best things to do is to listen to what others are saying. If people are giving negative reviews for a theme then it’s better to avoid it.

Useful review site: themeforest.net

Other things to consider
You may also consider other aspects such as good layout, easy navigation, availability of custom widgets, good support from the development team, browser compatibility, auto upgrades, extra features, and so on.

To Learn more, please contact our specialists at 713-805-5888.

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