How to Choose a WordPress Theme: 10 + Things to Consider
If you want to succeed in the modern marketplace, a compelling website is a must and that implies knowing how to choose a WordPress theme. There’s just no better way to reach a worldwide audience! Sure, you can set up accounts on social media, but that will simply not suffice. In order to be a true professional, you definitely need a website that will digitally reflect your business and your values. There are several platforms that can help you set it up, but surely the most popular one is WordPress.
Statistics show that over 75 million websites have been built using this favorite CMS. You may wonder as to why it’s been so widely used, and there’s a whole bunch of reasons for that. However, the biggest one may be the fact that it boasts tens of thousands of both free and premium WordPress themes for users to choose from. That brings us to another important question. With so many of them out there, how on Earth can you choose the perfect WordPress theme?
You’d need a helping hand from professionals to tell good theme from bad, and that’s why we’re here. We’ll share some tips here so you can make better choices when deciding which theme to go with. Read through our checklist where we’ll cover the following:
There are many authors in the market and a literal ocean of themes to choose from. Some are premium, others are free. But the thing is, not all are good, and the price, as ever, doesn’t necessarily dictate quality.
When it comes to free WordPress themes, you should be vary of the fact that in most cases they don’t include updates nor customer support. Basically, if you need it for something simple, say writing about your trips and things alike, you can go with free themes.
However, if you’d like to build a serious website for your business, our advice would be to go with premium themes. They are easily customizable, and of course, regularly updated. You want your theme to be compatible with the latest versions of WordPress and to include the newest features. Furthermore, premium themes come with excellent support, so there’s always someone to contact should you run into some issues. Also, our advice would be to purchase themes from trusted and reputable developers. There’s a reason why they’ve become popular and are trusted by many.You also need to know what are the best WordPress themes sites to buy a perfect theme, as looking for the right theme in the wrong place could eat too much of your time.
As for the nulled themes, however appealing is the idea to get a premium WP template for free, this kind of theme can cause you serious headaches simply because it can never be safe, and you can never be quite sure what you got yourself into. If you can’t afford to purchase a premium theme, it is better to invest some time in finding some highly recommended free WP theme than to step into the shady area of nulled themes.
Now, you certainly wouldn’t want to make the final decision about your theme on a whim, so to ease this process for you, we listed the essential pros and cons for either option:
Free WordPress Themes: Pros of Use
If you search for the theme that will perfectly fit your business, free WordPress themes can be the best place to start. Why? The reasons are numerous.
- Free themes are ideal for website newbies, who are constantly experimenting or haven’t yet defined their online identity. WordPress premium themes require payment, plus some theme sellers don’t accept returns. In case you don’t like the theme you bought, you will either have to use it or buy another. With free themes you don’t have this risk.
- Free themes you can find on WordPress are a reliable choice since they are officially approved through a strict, multi-step process.
- If you fancy a minimalist design, free WP themes could be an ideal choice. Due to their lack of premium features and widgets, these themes are perfect for everyone who wants a basic, yet a stylish website.
- Made with beginners in mind, free themes are easy to use so everyone can create a website with no effort. You don’t need a coding knowledge or help of developers in order to install and use these themes.
- These free themes are also usually compatible with most WordPress plugins, in a case you need more cutting-edge options on your website.
Free WordPress Themes: Cons
Using a free WordPress themes has great advantages, but it’s not all roses. There are several concerns you should have in mind before deciding to use one of them.
- If you plan to start a website that has many functions and requires a lot of features, a free theme may not be the right choice. Most of the free themes have limited options, so you better skip them, if you need a more advanced website.
- Only the unique website look will help you stand out from the crowd. But, since millions around the world already use the same or similar free themes, your website maybe won’t get noticed. Plus, customization options on free themes are not so numerous, which means you may have problems adjusting a theme to your needs.
- Professional support is important especially if you don’t have knowledge to solve some bugs. With free themes, the support team is no available, so you need to rely on third-party help such as forums, Facebook groups, etc.
- When you decide to search for free themes away from official theme depository, have in mind that most of them are poorly coded so you may face website bugs.
Premium WordPress Themes: Pros
The first thing your visitors will notice is your website’s look and feel. Beautiful design and tons of features created to cover all your need are the reasons you should consider premium WordPress themes for your website.
- There is a good reason why premium themes have premium prices. Besides, carefully designed homepages, premium themes include a wide array of elements and plugins that can help you make the most of your website.
- Most of the premium themes are known for their pro support. This means you will get fast assistance from WordPress experts.
- With premium WordPress themes you will get frequent updates which means your website will be more secure.
- Besides modern design and a large set of templates, premium WordPress themes are fully-responsive which means your website will look amazing on any device type or screen size.
- A large number of options and functionalities allow you to easily customize each element without coding knowledge.
- Created by professionals, these themes are compatible across different browsers.
Premium WordPress Themes: Cons
- You have to invest some time to know the theme’s market in order to be able to estimate how realistic the price is. Make sure to check the demo and features, since in most cases it is not possible to get a refund if you are not satisfied. All of this requires a bit of research and experience, and most of us are short on that.
- Advanced features require more learning. Although it sounds great to have a feature-rich theme, if you are a WP beginner, this means you’ll have to learn a lot to take maximum advantage of your theme. There are plenty of tutorials out there, but sometimes nothing can replace real experience.
It’s of utmost importance to define goals and objectives of your website. That should definitely be your starting point when it comes to deciding which WordPress theme to pick. Whether you’re an artist that would like to showcase its works, or you want to launch an online shop, there’s a theme out there that fulfills your requirements. Whatever your aim may be, WordPress has you covered with a plethora of niche-specific themes literally for everything.
Depending on what business they’re intended for, themes come with the adequate set of features and functionalities. For instance, portfolio themes feature a variety of portfolio shortcodes whereas shop themes come with elements perfect for every online store. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t go with a shop theme to make a portfolio website. By all means, if you like the design, go for it but only after making sure the theme’s portfolio features fit your needs.
Design surely is important but it definitely shouldn’t be what matters the most.
When we browse a theme we may easily be captivated by its overall look and style. After all, a designer’s job is to make everything visually appealing! However, you should keep in mind the fact that you’ll use different images on your website. Try to picture how it’d look with your content. What matters in the end are functionalities! You’ll surely alter the demo content depending on your requirements, so make sure the theme includes the elements your business needs.
You want to be able to showcase what your brand is about, so pay attention to features, shortcodes, and practical options that come with the theme.
Your website should look and feel amazing on all devices, regardless of the resolution and screen size. Nowadays people browse the web on mobile phones and other non-desktop devices, which is why a fully responsive theme is a must! No glitches are tolerated, and if the theme doesn’t look equally amazing on all devices, consider asking for a refund! You surely don’t want to leave a bad impression on your visitors, do you? Don’t settle for average, there are themes that definitely tick all your boxes!
To enhance the functionality of your website you might want to consider adding some plugins as well. It’s surely not necessary to clutter it with too many of them, as it can cause a misfortunate plugin and theme conflict. However, it’s important for a theme to support the most common ones!
Do a bit of research and see which plugins are popular for your business category. If you’re unsure as to how a certain plugin works, don’t hesitate to contact plugin developers about it!
WordPress surely is a powerful platform per se. Nevertheless, you might want to obtain some ulterior customization options for your website. In that case you should consider installing one of the top page builders.
Some premium WordPress themes though already have page builders pre-installed. Just make sure yours comes with a widely used one, as to prevent having to deal with unwanted code that some builders produce. On the other hand, you could obtain a page builder separately. That way you’d be able to use it on other themes, so you should definitely consider this option as well!
Similar to responsiveness, you should ensure that your website works well on all browsers. Try them all, from Chrome, Explorer, to Firefox, Opera, Safari, and others. Test the theme to ensure an impeccable browsing experience for your visitors.
To get noticed and to truly make it, your website must appear in search engines. Therefore, before downloading a theme, make sure it uses an SEO framework. You want it to support plugins such as Yoast, which is the most popular plugin for SEO, but there’s a bunch of other great SEO plugins you could use as well!
Many modern themes come bundled with this feature. If you want to be able to translate your theme to any language you need, simply check if the theme of your choice supports this functionality. The chances are it does, and in case it doesn’t, there are translation plugins like WPML that can perfectly answer the needs of this kind.
How frequent updates does it require? Be careful not to choose a theme whose authors lost track of its updates and don’t keep up with the latest WP improvements and plugins as this can result in poor website performance. We can’t stress enough how important the updates are if you want your site to run smoothly.
When you have a basic understanding of how to choose a WordPress theme, it is much easier to make the final decision. These are some of the most important tips you should follow in order to make the best choice. Make sure the theme has got what it takes to fully reflect your vision, values, skillset and every aspect of your business. Read user reviews, and don’t hesitate to contact developers, in order to find out if a specific theme is the right one for you!
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!