How Do I Choose a WordPress Theme?
With thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, finding the right one can be a daunting task. However, it’s not impossible to find the perfect theme for your website.
The first step is to determine your site’s purpose and needs. This will help you narrow down your options and shortlist possible themes.
What’s Your Site’s Purpose?
Defining the purpose of your website is an essential step toward planning the design and content of the site. This will help you identify your target audience, define the goals of your site and determine how to optimize it for search engine visibility and conversions.
Whether it’s a portfolio for an artist or a resume website for a job seeker, many sites serve one primary purpose: to present information and content. Some websites are purely informational in nature, like Wikipedia or WebMD, while others have business purposes.
An entertainment website, on the other hand, is a type of website that is designed to attract visitors by displaying fun and entertaining information. Online magazines, gossip oriented sites, celebrity news, sports coverage, the arts and more are all examples of this type of site.
These sites typically are easy to navigate and frequently updated in order to keep visitors coming back for more. They may also feature interactive services that involve communication between the visitors.
A site’s primary purpose should be evident at the top of the page or on the home page. This will guide you in the development of a logical, intuitive navigation system that will satisfy both a “searcher” looking for something specific and a “browser” just looking around.
Your site should be fast and functional across every platform. Use tools like Google PageSpeed to check for any issues with speed or functionality that might deter your visitors from staying on your site.
Do You Need Customization?
If you’re not a developer or don’t have much technical knowledge, you may want to choose a ready-made WordPress theme. They come with all the structure and rooms done for you and can save you a lot of time and money.
But before you make a decision, think about the purpose of your site and what you’re hoping to achieve. For example, a business-centric site needs a different layout and features than a portfolio site.
You can also get a feel for the style of a theme by looking at its demo sites. They will give you an idea of the design elements that will work best for your brand and its goals.
Choosing the right theme for your business is essential to making it successful online. It will help you create a more cohesive brand experience for your clients and prospects.
It will also help you rank well in search engines, which can lead to more visitors and leads for your business. Your theme will affect how search bots crawl through your site, so it’s important to choose a clean and well-coded theme that follows the WordPress standards.
A well-coded theme will also be easier to update than a poorly coded one. This can be especially true if you want to use plugins to add more functionality to your site.
Are You a Developer?
If you’re looking for a way to increase your income and flexibility, consider becoming a WordPress developer. These professionals specialize in developing and improving WordPress’s core software, as well as creating plugins and themes.
There are several ways to become a developer, but it all starts with learning the WordPress platform and gaining general coding skills. You’ll also need to cultivate a variety of non-tech skills, including project management and communication, as these are essential for working in the WordPress development industry.
For a starter, there are many free resources that can help you build a basic understanding of the WordPress platform and how to use it. For example, Kindle offers an ebook that includes over 340 screenshots to help you learn how to navigate and work with WordPress.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of WordPress, it’s time to decide whether you want to focus on plugin or theme development. Both areas are rewarding, but they require different skill sets and experience levels.
There are several job boards and freelance platforms you can use to find a WordPress developer to hire. These can help you connect with experienced talent in your area, but be careful of scammers who charge a premium for their services.
What’s Your Budget?
Choosing a theme is an important part of designing a WordPress site. It determines how your site looks to visitors, and it delivers your brand and style.
There are thousands (maybe even millions) of WordPress themes to choose from, so it can be challenging to find the right one for your site. The key to finding a good theme is to think about what your site needs, and not just what you want it to look like.
For example, a food blog will need a different theme than a real estate agency or an online clothing store. The best way to make this choice is to start with a list of the features your site needs.
It’s also a good idea to consider what kind of content you plan on adding to your site. For example, if you plan on uploading a video, you may need a theme that allows for that.
Another thing to keep in mind when selecting a WordPress theme is what your budget is. You’ll need to have enough money to cover your fixed expenses, such as rent or car payments, as well as flexible expenses, such as food and entertainment.
This is why it’s so important to make a budget early in the process. Your budget will help you know how much you can afford to spend each month, and it will also tell you if your spending is going too far.
Are You Using a Page Builder?
WordPress page builders allow you to create websites in record time by providing pre-built elements that you can arrange as you wish. They also make it easier for you to provide clients with a range of styles and features, which means you can keep up with the latest trends without the hassle of hand-coding them.
When choosing a page builder plugin, it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your theme. Choosing the wrong page builder for your WordPress theme can cause problems across your site, such as a lack of compatibility or a slow loading time.
Depending on your needs, you can either choose to use a built-in WordPress block editor or a third-party page builder. The block editor is a popular option for simple designs, but it can be limited in its customization capabilities and doesn’t give you a preview of your page before editing it.
A good page builder will work with your theme’s style and settings, and it should display a preview of how your page looks as you edit it. But if your theme doesn’t support the Loop (WordPress’ mechanism for displaying lists of posts on one page), you may need to look for a theme that does.
Another important aspect to consider is whether a page builder can be used in conjunction with your favorite WordPress plugins. Some plugins don’t offer official support to certain page builder platforms, but many of them do have official add-ons that can help you integrate your plugin with the page builder.
Are You Using Plugins?
Plugins are vital for adding functionality to your site beyond what WordPress core offers. They help add social media sharing, ecommerce functionality, contact forms and advanced SEO optimization.
When choosing a theme, it’s important to check whether or not it’s compatible with the plugins you need to use. This can save you headaches down the road.
Another thing to look for is if the theme has been updated since it was last modified two or more years ago. If it’s been updated, it’s usually a good sign that the product is still actively being developed and being supported by its developers.
If a theme hasn’t been updated in several years, it may be a good idea to move on from that one. This is because coding standards change and new versions of systems like PHP are released regularly, and existing vulnerabilities become more apparent as hackers find them.
A theme that’s too large or has a massive feature list can quickly bloat your website’s page size, slowing it down and making it more difficult for users to navigate. Ideally, you should try to find a theme that’s less than 200-600 KB in size.
Also, be sure to check if the theme supports all major web browsers. Different visitors will have different preferences, so it’s essential to make sure that the theme is able to render properly on all modern browsers.