Choosing a theme isn’t as simple as grabbing a pair of shoes. You don’t just go around looking for a fancy pair then settle for the right size and expect to be done with it.
Ever tried purchasing a premium WordPress theme? You shell out your hard-earned cash for a theme, but upon installing it on your website, it hits you that it hardly works for you.
It could be due to the whacky fonts or a poor design that fails to represent your company well enough. Or maybe you needed some space at the top to capture emails or an awe-inspiring blogroll to feature your blog content in the most attention-grabbing way possible.
Worse is when it turns out the theme you chose isn’t responsive enough to properly load up on mobile devices.
Suffice it to say, the theme you choose is one of the most important piece of the puzzle you’re trying to crack, and which could either make or break your business.
In addition to determining your site’s aesthetics and style, the theme you choose is also responsible for much if its functionality. Which is to say, choosing the right one is NOT among the decisions you make lightly.
First, you have to weigh the options before you to decide which theme best matches your business and every single one of your online needs.
Luckily for you, this post is meant to guide you through the steps to follow to choose the right theme for your business:
Decide if You Need a Free or Premium Theme
Before you even think of picking a theme it’s important that you look at your budget. How much are you willing to folk over for a theme?
You option stretch from spending absolutely nothing to shelling out a few thousand dollars for a customized theme. If you have zero cash to spend, then your options are limited to the free themes floating around the web.
While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a free theme, ask yourself if the option is flexible enough to support all your online needs. Does it feature all the features and functionalities you wish to see on your website?
Benefits of Choosing a Free Theme:
. – Minimalistic designs.
. – Available for free. You won’t be paying for anything.
. – Easy to find
Disadvantages of Free Themes
. – Limited Options
. – No support
. – Limited Options
. – Security risk because they are rarely updated.
. – Some tend to be super-clunky as they’re poorly coded.
Advantages of Premium Themes
. – They’re relatively cheap; mostly costing between $20 to about $100.
. – Better quality compared to free themes. That’s because the theme authors are motivated to update it and check on bugs to avoid attracting negative comments from dissatisfied customers.
. – Better support considering most of them are offered and managed by companies as opposed to individuals as with free themes.
. – Easy to customize. Companies invest a great deal of their time trying to come up with easy-to-customize themes for sale. Better, they try to simplify the customization process so it’s simple enough for beginners and aspiring developers with zero coding skills to make all the necessary changes.
. – Premium themes do feature seller ratings. They also tend to be heavily reviewed, besides featuring active forums that serve as reference point in case you’re stuck.
. – They’re super-complex in design. That’s because they’re heavily endowed with extra features and functionalities that you can always manipulate for something entirely unique.
. – They’re NOT free. They’re cheap, but not free – considering you’ll have to shell a few of your hard-earned cash to acquire one.
. – Choosing the right theme among the many options you have can be challenging.
Free or Premium: Which one is better?
When it comes to deciding on whether to go for a premium theme or a free one, then it’s always best to start by analysing what your site or business needs.
If you’re looking for a simple minimalistic site, with stripped down functionalities, then you’re better off trying out a free theme. Just make sure the theme author updates it on a regular basis, and you’re good to go.
Goes without mentioning that free themes work better with personal blogs and websites.
However, if you’re looking to create a website for your business, then it’s important that you at least be willing to invest in a suitable theme for it. Fortunately for you, premium themes aren’t expensive – speaking of which, majority of them go for about $50. Plus you’re guaranteed free support and regular updates.
This option is actually better, considering majority of the themes can be customized for an entirely unique look. Back then, to create a customized theme, the only option you had was to contact an experienced web developer to pull one from scratch for you. This meant spending a few thousand dollars for a unique website.
However, things have significantly changed to a point that you can easily achieve a unique look with less than $100. All you need to do is find a premium theme befitting your online needs and you’re good to go.
Things to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme
If you have a mountain of cash to invest in your online presence, then odds are you don’t really care about wasting some $50 for a theme you wouldn’t mind dropping just in case it fails to meet your standards. But for a great majority of aspiring web owners, this isn’t the wisest business decision they can afford to make.
To avoid wasting your money on a useless theme or shelling your hard-earned cash for a theme you’d be using for obvious reasons, here’s a list of all the things to consider while choosing the theme:
Are You Better off with a Standalone Theme or Framework?
Standalone themes are designed to work based on the most basic of the WordPress technology. They have limited features and stripped down functionalities.
Most of the items it features are also hard-coded. Meaning it’s extremely difficult to make changes on the design and alter its core functionalities.
For premium version, it’s easy to request for support. They also feature online communities that can prove to be really useful to a beginner. Examples include elegant and Meridian Themes to name a few.
For frameworks, this ones work off parent themes that control child themes. Meaning you’ll be required to install the two.
They also don’t require you to understand crude coding to be able make necessary modifications to them, as most of them can be done with only a few clicks. Some even feature a front-end drag-and-drop editor that allows you to customize your site in any way you see fit.
They also have an active community that you can always turn to for support. Examples include the Genesis, Betheme, Divi, Wooframework, Gantry, Bridge, and Thesis and so forth.
Other than that, it’s also important that you try to make sure the theme you choose is:
. – Well organized and easy to use.
. – Responsive enough to properly load on any device including mobile phones and iPads.
. – Optimized for SEO. What has the company done to optimize their theme for search engines? Does the theme come integrated with Yoast? If not, try finding a theme whose author stepped out of their way to optimize it for the search engines. Otherwise you should be thinking about installing Yoast yourself.
. – Font and Colour. Does the theme allow you to customize your site to the desired colour pattern? Can the fonts be changed? If so, what are your options?
. – Lastly, does the theme match your brand? And in the event that it fails, can it be customized to?
It’s a Wrap
There goes our comprehensive guide on how to choose the most suitable WordPress theme for your website or blog.
In case you have any questions regarding any them, feel free to contact MediaOne today for help or free SEO consultation.