If you have recently decided to launch a new WordPress website, your first challenge will be to choose a suitable theme which caters to your needs. It is obvious that you may get perplexed in selecting a WordPress theme from plenty of options you have. You may think which one will work better for your website, whether you should choose from Multi-purpose and specialized themes, or from frameworks and custom themes. There are many websites which are still inaccessible because of heavy or sluggish themes and incompatible with many devices.
To make your website responsive, user-friendly and mobile friendly, you need to be careful in selecting the perfect theme. You are provided here with six important ways, through which you can make a right choice:
1. Which One is Better: Premium or Free?
Amongst thousands of free and paid options of WordPress themes, it is quite obvious that you will get puzzled. A Premium theme is one which is designed by professionals in a unique way, but you will have to pay for them. You can get modifications according to your preferences. While the free theme is a theme, which is available for everyone without any cost.
You may think that higher the price of a theme better will be its quality. But this is not the right way to choose a better theme. Although Premium themes have the features like regular updates, unique design, better documentation, ongoing supports like live chat etc. but there are many great free themes created by developers that can help you to create an elegant and SEO friendly WordPress website.
Although neither can be regarded as the conclusive winner yet quality oriented themes, themes having better rating and reviews from the customers and the themes which have the instant response from the developers’ side are the factors that will assist you to choose between them.
2. Functional Theme with Required Flexibility:
Consider the famous line of Shakespeare, ‘All that glitters is not Gold’ i.e. the front view of a theme may look attractive, but it is not necessary that you are looking up the right theme. You may select a random theme to avoid an exhaustive research and start adding content to your website. You need not worry till you make the first update and try some modifications. You suddenly realize that your website does not accept any changes. Now you search for Google help, but you could have prevented yourself from facing such situations.
While making the right selection of a theme, you can check the following functionality and ease of use:
It should have a customization dashboard to make changes in style sheets directly
Plugins such as Visual Page Editor to create complex page structures
Theme options must have the ability that you want to change: like the site logo, link colors etc.
Prefer the themes that have custom styles for that plugin built in
3. Choose Theme that Relates to Your Website’s Contents:
What type of business you are running, whether it is a blog or a magazine site; or you want to add content for a real estate agency, spa or a construction company. There might be the options to choose from a classic look, vintage style, ‘techie’ feel etc. Just think all the elements and the features you need to have in your website’s theme. Then imagine the look or design that can attract the users of your site and choose accordingly because your theme must complement the contents to your website.
4. Users’ Friendly Design:
Is it worth mentioning that your foremost goal is to promote your brand in the best possible way and make money? To achieve your goal you should select the design that people feel easy to handle and have a long visit on your website.
The design of your website should not be overly complicated and lay stress on usability and simplicity. Its primary function is to help users provide information and give several options they may need and also give the site owners a chance to accomplish their goals. Hence you should look for such websites where the themes are designed by the best developers. You can select from popular websites such as : ThemeForest, StudioPress and Elegant Themes.
5. A Theme optimized for top search engines:
Its loading speed should be fast, which is not only necessary for better user experience but also improves the rankings in search engines, maximizes the conversion rates and increases gross revenue. Stay away from those themes which use a lot of full-width images, background videos as it may lower the speed of your website. You can also go through Pingdom Website Speed Test, and see how much time it takes to load. The number of HTTP requests made can tell you whether it will run optimally or not. The more HTTP requests it will make, the more time it will take to load.
Always check, whether the theme was recently updated or not. If it is not updated since a long time, it results in the poor coding which has a bad impact on your website’s performance.
6. Must support necessary plugins:
Ensure, whether your premium or free theme can work with all popular plugins because these plugins make your website able to do whatever you want from your website. Geavity Forms, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache are such must-have plugins for your website’s theme.
Other necessary plugins include Page builders that allow you to create page layouts. Many premium WordPress themes have Page builders pre-installed but they may not allow you to change over other themes. Hence you are left with two options, either choose such themes that are compatible with widely used Page builder plugins or you can buy these Page-builders separately if you want them to work with a new theme.
Define your needs, craft your plans before choosing an appropriate theme for your business. It is likely that you may get distracted from the beauty of the themes and forget your primary goal of getting new business or subscribers. To make the process of elimination much easier, ensure whether it is well coded, SEO-friendly and includes cross-browser compatibility? You can check the theme on different browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera etc. Also, check whether it works on mobile internet browsers or not.
Although no theme is perfect and you must be ready to make some compromises, yet ratings and reviews provided by their users, the reputation of the person or company who made it, help you a lot in picking up the right theme that can give your site a more natural flow and find users their way around your website. Just focus on your needs and desires and let the above-mentioned factors guide you in making a good business choice.