Most beginners are feel daunted when it comes to selecting a theme for their WordPress blog. Getting a theme for your webpage is a time-consuming task, but it must be the first and most important step after acquiring a domain name.
There are thousands of both free and paid options. To the rest, each theme appears to be outstanding. What factors should you consider before selecting the best WordPress theme?
If you’re building an e-commerce site, you’ll need a more flexible theme that’s also e-commerce plugin-friendly.
Of course, additional factors must be taken into account.
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Users can download a WordPress theme that appears to be a good fit for their use from the hundreds of themes on offer. Instead of being mired down by the huge array of choices and being bogged down by the fear of committing to a wrong theme which could cost weeks to replace and reinstall, it’s better to have a clear plan which we will discuss here.
Devise a Strategy for Choosing the Best Theme for Your Website Niche
To begin, you need to be mindful that some WordPress themes are designed for particular niches. Portfolios, industry, professional, blogging, exhibits, events, e-commerce, and so on are examples of such niches. They are designed with specifics for this kind of niches in mind.
Before you start filtering down your options, you must have a good notion of a pattern that will be reflected in your web design. Should you seek out trendy blogger themes, sports-related blogging themes, or B2C e-commerce themes? Do you want to talk to your readers in a corporate, friendly, informal, or review-style tone?
Let’s begin by acquainted with some often-used terms in reference to WordPress themes
While WordPress is really simple to use, the terminology can quickly become perplexing. If you’re new to WordPress, you should be familiar with the following theme-related terms:
Themes are skins that determine how your WordPress website appears. A theme directs the layout, colours, and other design elements of your website.
All WordPress themes, whether free or premium, fall into three categories: parent themes, child themes, and theme frameworks.
Parents and child themes
You could have some queries regarding this. What exactly is a child theme, and why would you want to use one? How do they alter the appearance of a WordPress website? And how should you proceed with updating a child theme so that all of your modifications are preserved even if the theme is updated?
Child themes also allow users to alter a parent theme without affecting any main files, which protects those customisations when the parent theme is updated. Nevertheless, for the reasons stated above, child themes are becoming extremely prevalent in theme shops.
Almost all WordPress themes are parent themes by default. You can make a child theme by extending or modifying the design of the parent theme. You’ll also need the parent theme installed in addition to the child theme.
Frameworks are used by theme creators. They provide a set of guidelines for creators to follow while developing their own templates. They are a collection of processes designed to assist progression.
A theme framework is a code library that supports the building of themes. A framework of this type can be either a parent theme or a separate piece of code provided with the parent theme. Genesis is a well-known theme framework.
WordPress Add-on and Plugin
A WordPress add-on is a code that you literally put on your website to offer innovative features or functionalities.
Meanwhile, a plugin, for example, can include an option that enables you to post blog articles on social media websites.
Builders of web pages
Page builders are developed using WordPress plugins. These plugins enable you to generate pages by dragging and dropping elements into place.
While more plugins exist, the most prominent are Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, and Elementor.
15 questions to ask while selecting the finest WordPress themes
There is no theme that is comprehensive in and of itself. A child theme will be required to alter or expand. Some functionalities may also necessitate the use of plugins.
Selecting the right theme, on the other hand, might help you spare both time & expense. Here is a 15-point guide to assist you in selecting the finest WordPress theme for your website.
Is the theme appropriate for the purpose of your website?
Each website’s objective is distinct. A website might be as straightforward as a blog or as complex as an e-commerce site. The theme you select must be adequate.
A blog, for example, necessitates a theme with increased usability and enticing font. A theme that shows images in an engaging way is required for a portfolio. An e-commerce site, on the other hand, will require a theme that promotes shopping.
There are also a few themes that can be used for many purposes. Such themes, however, are typically bloated and can cause your pages to load slowly.
Is it relevant to the niche of your website?
Every theme has its own individuality. And, similarly to purpose, you should choose a theme that corresponds to the niche that you are in.
For example, if you’re creating a casual and enjoyable blog, you don’t want a corporate-looking theme. For example, if you’re creating a website for your football team, you don’t want a theme with a delicate style that’s more suited for feminine websites.
Is the theme within your price range?
Whether you like it or not, your budget will have a major effect on the theme you choose. WordPress themes are accessible at various price points.
A basic free theme can be obtained through WordPress.org or from theme providers that provide premium themes. You can also purchase themes that are quite expensive.
Before you begin to look for a theme, set a budget. Then, choose a theme that is within your price range.
Is the theme mobile-friendly?
Mobile devices now account for over half of all traffic, according to Google. Google introduced mobile site speed as a ranking criterion in search results in 2018. It suffices to say that your website should look and work appropriately on all mediums.
As previously said, your theme influences the appearance of your website. You must utilise a flexible WordPress theme if you want visitors to visit your website.
Is the theme compatible with all browsers?
Aside from devices, your website must look and function properly across browsers. While it is not necessary to support browsers as old as Internet Explorer 6, you must ensure that the theme functions well with all major browsers.
Is the theme compatible with common plugins?
It is extremely unlikely that your WordPress site will be devoid of plugins. Plugins like SEO, backup, social sharing, contact forms, and adding WordPress Privacy & Terms Generator Plugin – WP Legal Pages to your website are all commonly utilised.
The theme you choose should not conflict with any of these popular plugins. When your theme specifies or includes the same code as these popular plugins, conflicts can develop. The majority of good themes will also include default styling for these plugins. Your theme should as well.
Is the theme compatible with page builders?
A page builder, as previously explained, allows you to simply design a page using a drag-and-drop interface. To construct special pages on your website, such as a landing page, you’ll need a page builder.
The most popular page builders today are Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, and Elementor. Ensure that the theme has support for these page builder plugins.
Is the theme lightweight and quick to load?
One of the most essential search ranking variables is site speed. A survey found that visitors abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. You’ll need a theme that’s quick to load and easy on the browser.
To accomplish this feat, the theme you choose must send a minimum amount of server queries and make use of browser caching by pre-connecting with server resources.
- Is it simple to set up and use?
It’s likely that you’ll need to modify your theme. Most good themes include enough modification options to allow you to personalise the theme. However, some themes provide either too few or too many customising choices.
You don’t want too few or too many customisability possibilities. If you have too few, you will feel helpless. If you have too many, you’ll feel as if you need a degree in website design.
Furthermore, websites with too many options tend to slow down. You should ideally go for a theme that lets you to change the branding, navigation, colours, and font.
Can it be extended?
Basic customisation options aren’t always enough. You need to do more than just change the colours and fonts.
In such cases, you will require a theme that may be extended by developing a child theme. Child themes allow you to go beyond basic customisation and enhance the design of your parent theme.
Is the theme updated on a regular basis?
WordPress, like any other open-source software, is often updated. You want your theme to keep up with the changes. Alternatively, you may wind up with a broken website.
Examine how frequently the theme developer updates the theme to resolve bugs or provide compatibility for a newer WordPress version.
Is it possible to translate the theme?
This functionality will not be important to everyone. However, if you want to operate a bilingual website, you’ll need a theme that supports translations.
Is there a money-back guarantee with the theme?
Even if you take every precaution, your theme may still not function for you. In such cases, you should be able to return the theme and receive a refund.
Check to see if the theme shop from whence you purchased the theme offers a money-back guarantee.
Is the theme search engine optimised?
One of the pillars of SEO is on-page optimisation. This includes the following output:
- HTML that is valid
- HTML5 structural tags for the header, footer, main, aside, and so on.
- Also, suitable header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.).
Furthermore, most decent themes have rudimentary schema support for web pages and blog entries.
The Dos and Don’ts of WordPress Theme Selection
Choosing the proper theme is obviously vital – the right one should offer your content pzazz while also keeping it responsive across platforms and loading in a flash. However, with so many themes to choose from, it might be a difficult challenge to select the finest one.
Before purchasing a theme or investing time in customising one, be sure to read through this list of dos and don’ts for choosing the best WordPress theme.
Let’s start with a checklist you should do.
- Do plan ahead of time by making a list of the features you want
Before choosing a theme, it’s critical to assess which features are essential and which may be skipped.
The WordPress Theme Filter makes it exceedingly easy to filter down your options for free themes based on essential characteristics like language readiness and the capability to have a customizable banner.
When making a selection, it is important to have the plan in mind. For example, you should be available to select if your website should have either one multiple section.
Whenever it comes to Website themes, less is usually better. Starting from scratch, the theme you choose should only have aspects that will assist you in achieving the aim of your site, not needless extras that will overload your theme, which takes us to the next step.
- Do Consider using a flexible theme.
Flexible design essentially means making your blog as easy to use as possible—not just on a pc, but on a variety of devices. This means its multi-platform, with extremely user-friendly navigation and other features.
Look for features like a flowing site layout and images that can be converted to non-desktop devices. A flexible theme is something that can be easily and flawlessly translated on a mobile phone.
Suppose you’ve selected a theme that you like, but it’s not as adaptive as you’d want. You’ll need to make a few changes.
- Do think about purchasing a premium theme
While freebie themes are perfect for people on a small spending limit, they may have certain drawbacks. Aside from the risk of low coding, using a free theme risks you to the prospect of it not being regularly updated, a lack of care, and the theme developer abandoning the theme completely.
Pro themes are more vibrant and feature-rich than free templates, and they may help you differentiate out from the majority. Explore WordPress premium themes that require only a one-time reimbursement rather than subscriptions.
- Do thoroughly test the theme.
While testing the effectiveness of a template, using the Theme Check plugin, which analyses if your theme adheres with all contemporary WordPress criteria, is an ideal base to start.
When you’ve done all of your changes and published all of your content, check through your website one last time before making it accessible to the public.
Revisit all of your content, evaluate your website on phone, and make sure all of your images display properly. Try buying a web host with stage environments, as well as adding a child theme extension.
Next, we’ll go over three don’ts of selecting a WordPress theme for your website.
- Don’t use a bulky theme
The reason for this is that you don’t want a theme that is overburdened with features – this will only hurt you in the long run.
A feature-rich theme may be appealing, but it might have a negative impact on site performance. Make a point of not installing every feature that appeals to you.
While fancy music players or gaming capabilities may be appealing, they may have a negative impact on site performance. Furthermore, developers frequently employ code obtained on the internet for these features, resulting in security flaws because they aren’t necessarily focused on keeping a site secure, but rather on completing a certain function.
- Don’t use difficult-to-read fonts
This pertains to swiftly capturing your viewers’ attention so they don’t leave your site. You want your clients to be able to find their way around your website as effortlessly as necessary. Keep your font as basic, attractive, and readable as possible. The most popular fonts on the internet were Old Standard TT, Oswald, Poppins, Lato, and Vollkorn.
If you’re familiar with CSS Web safe font, changing the font should be quick and easy; however, some complementary themes may be limited in terms of personalisation – something to remember when selecting a theme.
- Do not search for “good WordPress themes” on Google. Or, at the very least, tread cautiously.
The problem is that you never know whether theme suppliers are reliable, and there is always a chance that you will receive malicious code along with the theme. It’s always safer to go to respected theme retailers or look through the official WordPress directory.
What to Look for When Choosing a WordPress Theme?
Simplicity is the key to brilliance. ~ Bruce Lee
Most WordPress themes have a plethora of colours, unique designs, fantastic effects, and other features. You might require some of those tools on occasion, but you will never require all of them in most circumstances.
Opt for a theme with a floor plan that will assist you in reaching your aim. It must be visually beautiful while maintaining usefulness and intelligibility.
Be certain that the theme’s display method is not unduly complex. The goal of site design is to help visitors discover the content they need while also assisting site owners in reaching their objectives.
If a design appears amazing but does not allow you to get new clients or subscribers, it is not a good theme. It’s also not a decent theme if your site’s visitors can’t find their way around.
Responsiveness is no longer an option
Responsive themes automatically switch their layout to accommodate different screen dimensions and platforms.
A significant percentage of online traffic is generated by mobile and other handheld devices. Dependent on your website or blog content, this statistic might be as high as 55% of overall visitors.
In Google’s mobile search ranks, they prioritise mobile-friendly sites. Despite your site’s topics or demography, all websites must be flexible and completely mobile-ready.
By standard, the majority of WordPress themes are responsive. Nonetheless, some vendors continue to market standard width designs that are completely unsuitable for mobile use. Make sure the theme you choose for your site is easily accessible.
Running a Mobile-Friendly Theme Through Its Paces
The most basic technique to determine if a theme is flexible is to adjust your browsing window. When you adjust your browser window, the theme’s layout adjusts to the new dimension.
Copy the Link of the theme’s sample webpage and paste it all into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to conduct a more detailed evaluation.
Compatibility with Browsers
Your site’s visitors will use a range of browsers. Your design may look wonderful in your browser settings, but it is possible that something has gone wrong with other websites.
That’s where it comes into play whether it pertains to website stability. The bulk of WordPress theme designers use rigorous multiple browsers evaluation methods to extensively test their themes.
This should be made extremely apparent on their site. If they don’t, you may always perform some simple tests to see if they worked continuously on other browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Opera Mini, and so on.
Remember to test on mobile with different browsers.
WordPress plugins are responsible for giving WordPress its actual strength. With the help of such plugins, you may do almost anything with your WordPress website.
Check whether your WordPress theme works with all major plugins. Consult the theme developer if you are uncertain.
Translation and Multilingual Competence
A sizable proportion of WordPress websites weren’t in English. You might be working on a website in a foreign language. Maybe you want to build a bilingual WordPress site in a long run.
Examine whether your Website template is translation-ready and whether multilingual WordPress plugins are provided.
Many custom WordPress themes come with a pre-installed website builder. A few of these website builders are only accessible to theme designers. Using a website builder like one to create pages can result in lots of unnecessary tools. If you ever alter the theme, those web pages will need a lot of work.
You can pick themes that also include among the most popular website developer plugins. You may also buy these website developers separately and utilise them with different patterns.
When You Need It: Useful Resources
One drawback of using a free WordPress theme is there is no support guarantee. While some artists offer excellent support for their free templates, the majority do not.
You’ll have to work it out yourself if you screw up your WordPress theme. You may even have to pay a third-party programmer to correct minor flaws.
Check that the WordPress theme you choose includes adequate instructions and support options. Most premium WordPress themes include thorough documentation and a year of email support.
Search engine- Friendliness
The WordPress theme is critical to your site’s SEO friendliness. Even if your theme is visually appealing, it may produce badly structured HTML, which can affect your site’s search engine performance.
It may be difficult for novices to analyse a theme’s source code within their own. As a result, many premium WordPress theme developers will claim that their websites are Search engine friendly.
You can use the W3C Markup Validation Service to determine whether the page creates valid HTML5. Therefore, please keep in mind that the W3C software will generate multiple warnings which are nothing to be concerned off.
Rating and Review
Customer ratings and reviews are another good sign of a WordPress theme’s value. Customer ratings will be displayed if the theme is accessible on a third-party site.
The freebie WordPress theme review area is usually found directly below the install option. The overall number of user reviews and opinions will be shown. When you click on a 3-star rating, you’ll be sent to a site that has all of the theme’s 3-star ratings.
Which Theme for WordPress Features You Will not need
Full-Site demos assist sellers in increasing conversions, but not you as a user.
You cannot utilise the sample site as-is when designing a website. You will need to update everything, such as the content, illustrations, as well as colours, and font. In reality, developing it from scratch would be significantly quicker than changing a demo to fit your business’s identity.
Most page builders have one-page themes and designs to assist you in creating your web pages. When looking for a theme, your attention is first pulled to elements like colours and photographs. We are visual beings; those are most likely the very first things we notice and perceive. The truth is that these don’t count when it comes to designing a website. You will not be using the standard photos shown in a theme’s demo, nor will you be using the theme’s standard content or colours.
As a result, as difficult as that might be, you cannot base your selection on the visual demos provided by the theme developer.
Excessive Built-In Accessories
Most themes have the functionality you’ll use. While selecting a theme, it is critical to understand what you require. It is sometimes faster and more convenient to obtain these functionalities through the use of plugins. Also, stay wary of themes that require you to add 5 or more plugins in order for them to operate. WordPress should be free of dependency by nature.
5 of the Finest WordPress Theme Marketplaces for Finding the Best Themes
A plan can lead you in the correct direction by teaching you what to seek, where and how to look, as well as how to narrow down your options. If you consider a theme as a road map for constructing a stunning website, you are thinking about success.
Choosing a WordPress theme is a straightforward process that should be undertaken with caution. Picking a terrible design could have a detrimental impact on your web’s look, efficiency, and visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most preferred WordPress theme in the year 2021?
Has over 800,000 global users, Divi is the most famous WordPress theme yet created. “The sky is the limit,” as the theme’s slogan goes. In a nutshell, Divi provides limitless customisation options as well as greater usability.
Can I alter the theme of my WordPress site?
Yes! If you previously have a WordPress theme but wish to modify it, you can do it effortlessly.
Will altering the WordPress theme have an impact on the actual content?
No, altering the theme has no effect on the data. It merely alters the appearance of your website. Vary by the type you choose, some features may be added or disabled, but your data will stay the same.
That’s it! We hope this checklist assisted you in selecting the finest WordPress theme for your business.