Choosing The Best WordPress Theme For A Blog
With countless new WordPress themes being launched daily, feel free to add to this the list of options on offer to give your blog or website a fresh makeover – and not looking likely to slow down.
Now, having choices is a good thing, but sadly, too much of it can be hesitation or even worse, making the wrong choice, with the variety on offer, and this might easily happen to you.
Here is some help with the task of finding the right theme for you. Hopefully, by spending a little time understanding what it is that you need to look for, this will save time in the long run and help you choose the right WordPress theme for you.
Understand what type of website it is that you are building
With the diversity and numbers of WordPress themes available, it can happen that you can get easily seduced by a great design, regardless of the fact that the theme is better suited for a different kind of website from the one that you are creating.
Yes, most WordPress themes are fairly versatile, and at times in can be difficult fitting your web design into a template for something that was built for a cookery website, let’s say. And yes, you can alter and reshape your readymade WordPress theme, although the extra amount of work involved to do this could make it better for you to have one made for you and for you specifically.
So, be clear in the type of site it is that you are building, and when you know this then you can make a list of themes that have been designed for your type of website.
Make a list of the features that you require
The standard recommendation for theme design is that additional features and functions should be separate from the design. This means they should be made possible by plugins as opposed to the straight into the themes’ code.
Now, there are some extra features and usability that you should expect to see in a WordPress theme. Such things as retina display responsive design and a variety of templates are a few to mention.
Yet it is still best to avoid themes that have advanced features, such as sliders, pages builders or custom post types as an integral part of their functionality. Selecting a theme that uses plugins to give features and various amounts of functionality could prevent you from getting stuck in a certain theme, without an easy way to alter themes in the future.
Free vs. Premium
Now, there are many great and a lot not so great free themes to select, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about paying for a premium template for your website.
If you do decide to go down the premium route, there are a few things to consider, as well as a number of different options available to you.
Buying a premium WordPress theme gives you not only access to the template files, but also regular updates and product support.
With a free theme even from a reputable source, the level of support you can expect will not be great compared to the premium theme.
Use a Reputable Theme Supplier
There a number of popular places to find WordPress themes, such as marketplaces or from a theme store.
Purchasing from a marketplace can give you a good level of protection as you are shopping under a large umbrella brand.
Selecting in-house theme shop can be a little more complicated, as it can be difficult to find out how reliable the store is, but some online research can resolve this for you.
Pre and Post-Sales Support
Now you have your short list and you are thinking about the sources for your new theme, you should spend some time looking into the pre and post sales support on offer.
A number of stores and marketplaces allow you free access to their support forums and customer communication areas, use them to see what and how they deal with requests and queries about support.
Also, it can be useful to check how you can get in touch with the support, and make sure that they are available using your preferred method of communication.
Theme Customization Options
In most cases, any theme that you purchase will need to be played around with a little so it matches your vision for your website. Thus, some themes provide the uncountable number of customization options, and this might sound great, but in practice, too much freedom to make changes can lead to a product that has lost the qualities that attracted you to it in the first place.
Now other theme developers use the adage ‘less is more,’ giving you few options to change the elements of your website.
So if the design isn’t your strongest point, then choosing a theme that gives you a small amount of very carefully made options for changing the appearance of your website could be the better and easier choice for you.
A number of theme developers offer an extra bespoke customization service, if you have any requests that go beyond the basics of what is offered.
SEO, Site Speed, and Usability
Theme Speed Test
More and more usability is becoming entwined with search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines now take into consideration how your visitors interact with your site, helping them to decide where to list it in their results for a search.
Speed and loading times should also be talked about as they play a part in determining how usable your site is and this will then have an effect on how optimized a search engine is. Furthermore, your web host will play a great part in how quickly your site loads, but choosing a plainly coded and fast loading theme is important as well.
Thereby, it is better to avoid themes that are bloated with all the latest gimmicks, but rather look for developers that advertise the performance of their themes, so you can find a good and fast loading, user and SEO friendly theme. You can also run the demo themes through an online performance testing service, should you have any doubts.
Please remember that usability is not just about page speed, looks or sticking to usability standards when you are selecting a theme. Make sure that, at the very least, the design follows the best practice guidelines.
Whilst you are searching for a new theme, if it is for an old or new website, the visuals of the template will be the number one factor when you make a choice.
So please remember to dig a little deeper into those properties of the theme that are not obvious or visual, such as its loading time customization options integrated features, in order to make sure that those templates on your shortlist meet all the requirements on your WordPress theme checklist.
With the abundance of themes out there on offer, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed, distracted or worst disheartened, due to all the choices. So remember what you want and don’t lose sight of that as you search and look for it. And as a consequence, you will find the right WordPress theme for yourself.
I’m Masha Winget and I love writing tech related how-to guides and tutorials. If you have a computer problem, I am the right person to write about it and offer a solution. You can contact me on my website 192168ll.net.