Choosing a WordPress Theme

When it comes to choosing a theme for your WordPress website, there are a ton of options to pick from. There are currently over 5,300 free themes in the WordPress directory, plus countless premium themes from various developers. When you start your search, you may be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number of free or premium themes available. So, what should be on your mind before you select one that will make or break your new site?

Below, you will find steps you can take to ensure that you choose the best theme for  your WordPress website:

1. Simple is Better

There are a lot of WordPress themes with a wide array of color, layout and customization options, and some even have animated elements. It may seem like all these options help enhance your site but you certainly don’t need them.

Search for a theme with a design that helps your business clearly and effectively convey its message. Ideally, you want your site to look amazing and be easy to navigate for your visitors.

Choose a theme that is not too complicated. Web design’s main goal is to help users find information quickly and easily.

2. Your Site Must be Responsive

In today’s day and age, your website must work well on all devices.

People use their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, and if your site looks crappy and doesn’t function properly when viewed on either of them, you’ve got a problem on your hands. A large percentage of website traffic is from mobile devices, up to 50% or more in some cases.

The majority of WordPress themes are fully-responsive and will look great on all devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones.

Google penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly and boosted its mobile-friendly algorithm a few times. Make sure you give your website the best possible chance to show up in Google search results by making it fully-responsive.

3. Compatibility with Essential Plugins

One of the major advantages of using WordPress is the number of amazing plugins you can use to add all kinds of functionality to your website. From SEO to speed, security and more, there is a plug-in for pretty much anything you’d need on your website. There are assured must-have plugins, which you should install with any website. These include Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, Wordfence Security, and Back Pup, among others. You want to make sure that your theme is compatible with all of the widely-used plugins. In many cases, popular themes should be compatible with all the plugins you’d need, but ask the theme developers if you’re unsure.

4. Checking for Browser Compatibility

Your site visitors will use different browsers, so it’s important that your website looks and functions properly on all of them, including:

The mainstream of WordPress theme developers thoroughly test their themes using a variety of browser compatibility tools. They are likely to mention that their theme is compatible with all browsers in the theme details but feel free to check for yourself.

5. eCommerce- Ready

Are you looking to sell digital or physical on your website? If so, you should make sure that the theme you choose is compatible with Woo Commerce, the leading eCommerce plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites.

While most of the themes should work with WooCommerce, some will inevitably be more suited for your online shop.

Mainly, you want to ensure out some theme demos to see how the shop, product, and product category pages look using whichever theme you choose.

6. Multilingual/ Translation-ready

If you wish to have a WordPress site in multiple languages, or simply a language other than English, you want to make sure you choose a theme which is translation-ready.

In addition to selecting a theme with multilingual functionality built-in, there are plugins that can assist you to translate certain site elements as well. Loco Translate lets you quickly and easily translate a number of strings, as well as plugins and much more.

7. SEO-friendly

The WordPress theme you decide plays a significant role in your website’s SEO-friendliness.  Your site can appear amazing, but be full of poorly-coded HTML which can have a negative effect on its performance in the search engines.

If you’re a beginner, it will be tough to analyze your theme’s source code by yourself to determine if it’s well-written. Finest WordPress developers often state that their themes are coded well and optimized for SEO.

You can check your theme’s HTML5 online with the W3C Mark-up Validation tool. It will likely show you some warnings about your site even if they’re totally irrelevant, but it’s a good tool for general checks.

8. User-Friendly Design

It’s essential that your new theme is nicely designed and simple to navigate. Whatever you do, make sure that everything on your site is clear and can be easily found by your visitors. Take a look at the theme‘s demo, and try to analyze its design more closely.

You can ask yourself the following questions to help decide if it’s a good choice:

Again, straightforwardness is your friend, so don’t complicate things by making your site fancier than it needs to be.

9. Is it updated frequently?

WordPress core is efficient on a regular basis because of security upgrades, bug fixes, and new features. It’s important to choose a theme that is also actively maintained, and updated on a regular basis. If a theme was last customized 2 or more years ago, you’re better off avoiding it. 

10. Check ratings and reviews

When deciding on a theme, make clear that you take a look at its ratings and reviews. For free WordPress themes, you will see ratings underneath the preview and download buttons. See how many ratings the theme has, and read throughout some of the reviews by clicking on the corresponding star amounts.

Some people are never satisfied, no matter how awesome a theme is. Keep this in mind when reading bitter reviews written by miserable people who likely couldn’t figure out how to do something on their site.

Conclusion:

Choosing a WordPress theme is a pretty straightforward process, but one should be handled with care. Using a crappy theme can negatively affect your site and its design, performance, and user-friendliness.

Author Bio:

Anshul Sharma is CEO of Fluper, leading mobile app Development Company. His visionary management style has yield productive results for the company. He believes in contributing his strong understanding with a leaned concentration on entrepreneurship and business.