How a website looks and works decide its success to a great deal. What decides the UI and UX of a website is its theme. WordPress offers a ton of themes for every website of any industry under the sun. There are free themes, paid themes, premium themes, responsive themes, SEO-friendly themes, customizable and non-customizable themes…the list can go on.
With so much variety at hand, choosing the most appropriate theme for your website can seem like a daunting task; but it doesn’t need to be. The key is to know what you need so that you choose which theme you want. Let’s take a look at the 10 things you need to consider before selecting your WordPress theme.
First of all, what are you going to create? Are you launching an e-Commerce business? Or are you developing a blog? Or do you provide some sort of service that requires you to display your work in a particular way? The first thing to consider when choosing a theme is the type of website you want to create. For instance, some types of websites are blogs, portfolios, corporate websites, e-Commerce sites, e-Learning sites, etc.
As mentioned before, WordPress offers a variety of themes that are free and paid. Premium and paid themes tend to offer more features and functionalities than their free counterparts. However, free themes also have many useful features and functionalities. You should prepare a budget alongside a list of the features that you want, and then choose a theme that offers closest to both.
Website Content and Personality
Commonly, people tend to first choose a theme that they like and then create content around the theme’s appearance. However, it is always good practice to go the other way around. You should first create your content and the overall vibe that you want your website to exude and then select the most appropriate looking theme.
Responsiveness and Speed
In today’s day and age, having a website that adapts seamlessly to a mobile or tablet screen is a basic necessity. Hence, it is important to choose a theme that is responsive, or ‘mobile-ready’. Also, if your website is graphically heavy, try to choose a theme that is lightweight. A heavy theme takes up a lot of space and a lot of time to load. A website that adapts to a mobile without losing out on the UX and UI and loads fast is sure to have better audience engagement.
Documentation and Support
The perfect theme has proper documentation and a strong support. Developers often keep making changes to their themes and come up with updates on a regular basis. A good theme records all these updates regularly in its documentation for its customers to use. Similarly, support is very important for users who are not very adept with WordPress and may face issues or difficulties while using the theme. Read up on reviews and check out the updates, documentation, and support before opting for a theme.
A website takes a long time to crawl and rank on a search engine. As is common knowledge, SEO is a very important part of digital marketing, and your site’s ranking greatly depends on the keywords and search terms that you populate it with. WordPress offers many themes that are SEO-ready. This is helpful because when you are starting out, creating the website takes up more time and hence SEO becomes secondary. An SEO-ready theme helps get you started with some basic optimization until you are ready to take over.
Here you need to check your theme for the following compatibilities –
There are themes that don’t work well with certain browsers and then there are themes that work well with all browsers. Similarly, a theme may not be entirely compatible with a plugin that you want to install, leading a malfunctioning plugin. You also need to check for themes that are compatible with WordPress extensions like WooCommerce, BuddyPress, LMSs, etc. All this depends on the type of website; browsers, plugins, and extensions will differ accordingly.
If your website is intended towards a global audience, then it’s important to pick a theme that comes with translation-readiness. The number of languages that a theme can translate will differ according to the features and pricing. Sometimes it may so happen that a theme may have only some of the languages that you want, or have extra languages along with the ones you want. The latter is always better since you have scope to widen your audience base along with having the languages that you wish to transfer to.
Social Media Integration
Social media is at the crux of every business’s virtual marketing strategy these days. Hence, it is pertinent to choose a theme that either offers social media integration options built-in or is compatible with all the essential social media plugins. Some themes come with social sharing buttons on post pages that can be linked to various SM accounts. Other themes offer scope for downloading these plugins. Whichever way you want to go, list out the pros and cons before making a choice. Never compromise on social media integration.
Ease of Customization
This is one of the most basic requirements when choosing a theme. Although it is unlikely that you will keep altering your entire website’s appearance, there will be times when you need to add or modify elements on the page and change their color, font, size, placement, etc. A theme that is customization friendly allows you to make changes to page elements easily.
For example, if you are running a marketing campaign, then it will naturally be displayed on your website for a certain time period. Also, to make it visually striking, it will need to stand out from the rest of the web page. To make this possible, your theme needs to be customizable.
When it comes to choosing the right theme for your WordPress website, be rest assured that you will be spoilt for choice. Hence, to save yourself the bafflement that accompanies too many options, it is best to make the aforementioned list of considerations beforehand. When you know what you need, it becomes a whole lot easier to choose what you want.