They say too much of anything is never good. While you are looking to set up your website in WordPress, you’ll come across hundreds of themes, many free, and some to be paid for. No doubt you’ll be overwhelmed and spoiled for choice. It won’t be that easy to get to the perfect theme right away, and this leads many bloggers to keep changing their website theme every now and them. This is not good for two reasons – branding and user experience.
Before thinking about the theme, you need to be clear in your mind why you are setting up your website anyway. Is it a small local business, a personal blog, or an e-commerce website? You have to determine your website needs and goals, and then choose a theme that will do complete justice to your website. To make your job easier, here, we’ll talk about all the things that you need to keep in mind when you pick a WordPress theme for your website. Once done, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision as to how your website should look and function.
Ask Yourself These Questions While Selecting a WordPress Theme
Do you need your website to be responsive?
How much content would you be posting?
Would you need any e-commerce functionality?
Are you selling any products that need to be featured?
Do you want a free or paid theme?
Do you need a theme that allows a lot of customization?
Do you need an SEO-ready theme?
Do you need a Social Media-friendly theme?
Do you need an extremely secure theme?
Once you are sure about what you want, you’ll need to choose a theme that matches up to your requirements. It is like finding a matching pair of shoes.
Important Considerations to Keep in Mind When Choosing a WordPress Theme
Design and Layout
This is the most important thing you need to consider while choosing a theme. The design should match your goal. You can’t go for a one-page theme if you are writing articles, nor can you choose a magazine theme if you are looking to sell products and services.
User experience is extremely important to gain more and more traffic. Check if the theme allows easy navigation. Even if your content is a lot, it should not get cluttered and confuse users. Navigations should be easy, and the layout should direct users exactly where you want them to go, or what you want them to do – like read articles, buy a product, make reservations, etc.
Different users will be using different browsers. Don’t assume that they will be viewing your website in the browser you use. The theme should be cross-browser compatible. Otherwise, it may look perfect in one browser, while seem broken and chaotic in another. The commonly-used browsers these days are Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
Well, this is really not an option anymore. As we speak, there are more wireless device users than desktop users on the Internet. So your theme has to be fully responsive to any device, because, again, you never know which user will be using what kind of device to view your website. Besides, a website that does not follow dos and don’ts for responsive web design is not one that search engines will prefer.
Here, you have a choice between free vs. premium WordPress themes. Earlier, one could say that a free theme was not as good as a paid one. But nowadays, there are numerous free themes too that rock. Broadly differentiating them, premium themes give more updates, more customization options, ongoing support, but also many unwanted features.
This is something that is very important for any business or website nowadays. A theme that has fully integrated social media widgets would do well. You shouldn’t underestimate the amount of traffic you would get on your website through social media sharing.
The power of any theme is boosted by the plugins it supports. Plugins let you do so many things with your website, like customization, call-to-actions, social media, statistics, and what not. You’d need a theme that comes with and support plugins suitable to your website needs.
Security & Bugs
This is just like buying a home for your family. You want the place to be safe and secure. Choose a theme created by a trustworthy developer. Read what other customers have to say about a theme you like. If any theme has a security problem or a few bugs, chances are, other users have already flagged it on some forum.
Many WordPress themes come in different languages. Even if you are setting yours in English, make sure it is translation-ready and has multilingual support. You never know who and where your potential users are from, and you don’t want to miss out on any user due to a language barrier.
Search Engine Optimization is something no website can do without, even if you are writing a personal blog. We all want our content, products, and services to reach out to the maximum number of users. Besides personal sharing and social media, search engines will help take your website to millions of users. Check if your theme is SEO-friendly.
Loading times and speed is extremely important as far as user experience is concerned. Most users will be put off by a website whose pages load slowly. Besides, speed also affects search engine rankings and conversion rates.
Support and Help
If you really have no idea about designing and customization, plugins, widgets, etc., you should go for a theme that has good support. Not all free themes will guarantee continued support; many do. But if you use a theme without any support, and get stuck down the line with regards to layout, design, plugins, etc., you’ll be left on your own.
So now that you know what all to consider while selecting a WordPress theme, go ahead and pick an amazing theme from CyberChimps’ WordPress Themes.