Choosing the right WordPress theme is more difficult than it seems, especially when there are hundreds of different styles to choose from. WordPress themes often have several design options, and this can lead to a lot of indecision and confusion about which is the best choice for your site.
To help you out, we’ve decided to put together this list of things to consider when selecting your WordPress theme, so you can make sure you pick the best one possible!
1) Features vs. Looks
At first glance, it’s easy to think of selecting a WordPress theme as an aesthetic choice. After all, we are often enamoured by snazzy and shiny themes that grab our attention with cool graphics and animations. However, when it comes down to making your decision, features matter more than looks.
Look for themes that support your needs for mobile-friendly content, complex navigation, custom widgets or anything else you might want out of your website—and make sure it’s offered in multiple colour schemes so you can tweak how it looks from there. If a WordPress theme has everything you need but doesn’t look like much, then it might be time to consider hiring a designer to give your site its own unique style.
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Design is subjective and there are no hard-and-fast rules for what works best. However, popularity can be useful when you’re choosing an appropriate WordPress theme. WordPress themes with more installs (and higher ratings) may have features that you need and things that you want.
Not all sites are created equal, but themes aren’t either. Popularity doesn’t make a theme better, but it does give you insight into its features and how people use it in real life. If something goes wrong or if your site doesn’t perform as expected, you don’t want to be left without support from thousands of other users who could also be experiencing similar issues.
Make sure your WordPress theme has a healthy number of downloads before making your purchase decision. You can find out by searching on Google or checking WordPress directory listings like those on WpTuts+. Check these listings regularly as new themes come out every day. Popularity isn’t everything—but it’s important!
3) Support (Cost & Quality)
Businesses rarely think about how they’ll support their product after launch. Yet, customer support is an integral part of many businesses and should be considered early on in your decision-making process. If you’re considering creating a custom WordPress theme for your website, make sure that you talk with prospective designers about what kind of support they offer (i.e., phone calls, email, video conference) and how much it will cost you per month/year.
In some cases, it might be cheaper (and more efficient) to use a premade theme rather than pay for an expensive support package from a WordPress theme design agency. The quality of support can also play a role in determining which WordPress theme provider you choose—after all, you want to be able to rely on someone if issues arise.
Talk with other business owners who have used that company’s services before signing any contracts. Remember: You don’t have to stick with one designer forever; if things go south or costs become too high, there are plenty of other options out there!
4) Style & Layout Options
A number of different style options are available. These include boxed, full-width, or narrow layouts. Not only do these give you different ways to design your site and help it stand out, but they also affect other elements such as calls-to-action, text size and spacing, images and videos etc.
Don’t forget that every theme also has dozens of styling options that you can use (or ignore) to fine-tune your site even further. After all, there are over 40 styles in our themes alone! For example, changing just one thing like font colour can make your whole site feel different.
Some designers prefer certain styles while others may have preferences based on audience, content type or purpose. The choice is yours! Take some time to experiment with all of them to see what works best for you. In general, though, most people choose between full width vs boxed layout because of their own preferences rather than based on their audience’s needs.
The most obvious thing you should look for when choosing a theme is whether or not it’s responsive, and if it isn’t then you’ll want to stay far away. A responsive theme adapts to mobile devices and displays your content in an optimized way that works across all screen sizes.
It doesn’t matter how great your website looks on desktops; if people can’t access it because they have tiny screens, then what’s the point? If someone finds your site via Google on their iPhone, they deserve at least as good an experience as they would get from viewing your site in their browser on their desktop computer.
7) Ease of Customization
This is an often overlooked, but very important part of a theme. Some themes come with drag and drop builders, which makes customizing your site extremely easy. Other themes don’t offer that. Take into consideration how much time you’ll have to put into styling your website yourself in addition to all of the other responsibilities you have running your business.
If you don’t think it will be worth it in terms of cost, time spent, or whatever else you can think of then consider one that offers at least some level of customization so you aren’t forced to spend hours upon hours trying to get your site looking just right when you could be doing something else more profitable with your time.
8) Speed & Security
Speed and security are two of your most important considerations when you decide which theme you’re going to use. After all, what good is an awesome-looking theme if your site takes too long to load or leaves your users vulnerable? It’s important that you take these things into account before making a final decision.
If you’re not sure how to gauge speed, consider doing some performance testing with multiple themes. It may also be helpful for you to run through each one and see how easy it is for non-tech savvy users. Will they be able to easily figure out how everything works?
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As you can see, there are many different considerations that go into picking out a good theme. No matter what your skill level or needs, it’s possible to find something that will fit you perfectly. Above all else, do not rush.
Spend some time getting familiar with other themes on marketplaces like ThemeForest and Creative Market before settling on one—there are countless options available and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything if you don’t know where to start.
Once you have an idea of what looks appealing to you in general (such as flat design vs. skeuomorphic), choosing an item from a marketplace is quick work.
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