Beginners can often feel overwhelmed about choosing a WordPress theme. With the thousands of options available, it can indeed feel like picking a needle in a haystack. Your WordPress theme is what your visitors interact with, remember, and look at; basically, your theme pretty much becomes your website. Therefore, you need to choose a theme that reflects the vibe of your whole brand. Listed below are a few things to remember while choosing a WordPress theme.
The responsiveness of a WordPress theme is related to how well it can adjust itself across different devices and screen sizes. Mobile and any other handheld device are usually responsible for generating a substantial amount of web traffic. Depending on how good your content is, this percentage could be higher than you expect. As far as Google is concerned, mobile-friendly websites are displayed on the top with regards to the mobile search results.
No matter what demographic you cater to or the topics you cover, your WordPress theme must be mobile-ready and responsive. WordPress themes, by default, are responsive. However, certain sellers sell layouts that are not mobile-friendly in any manner. Therefore, choosing a mobile-friendly theme is crucial. An easy way to test out the responsiveness of your theme is by resizing your browser screen. As you’re doing so, the layout of your theme will adjust itself to the width of the screen, thereby proving your theme is responsive.
WordPress plugins give a lot of power to anyone with a WordPress blog. These make it possible for you to be more eclectic with your WordPress site. It lets you handle many features to make your site experience rich. There are numerous options for WordPress plugins these days for different websites, and some of the best ones you should know about include Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, Gravity Forms, and so on.
See to it that your WordPress theme supports the popular plugins. You can also consult your theme developer if you are unsure about it. An efficient WordPress theme must be compatible with most or all the WordPress plugins that the blogger intends on using for sharing on social platforms, contact forms, advanced SEO optimization, etc.
Many bloggers forget or are unaware that their WordPress theme is intricately connected to how SEO-friendly their site is. Regardless of how aesthetically pleasing a theme is, it could still lead to the generation of HTML that is poorly coded, which in turn negatively affects how a site performs on search engines.
For any beginner, it could be tricky to determine the source code of a WordPress theme. This is why several of the premium WordPress theme developers inform you that their pages are SEO-optimized. There is a way by which you can check if your page is generating proper HTML5, and this can be done by utilizing the W3C Markup Validation service. WordPress users should also think of keeping their theme search-friendly.
Plenty of browsers are available nowadays, namely Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and more, and your users and visitors will be using different browsers on their devices. A theme that looks good on one browser need not necessarily look good on another browser. Browser capability, therefore, is an important thing to consider when choosing a WordPress theme. Sophisticated browser compatibility testing tools are often involved when WordPress theme developers attempt to test their themes.
Although this might be explicitly mentioned on the website, you can always conduct some basic tests if it is not mentioned to check the compatibility of your theme on different browsers. Never forget to analyze it on the mobile versions of the browsers as well. Ensure the consumers get ultimate experience on any device.
One might think that a WordPress theme needs to be rich in animation, colors, and layouts. Although that could be true in some cases, simplicity is what should be strived for in a maximum of the scenarios. Go for a design layout that not only looks attractive but also ranks well on simplicity and usability in addition to aligning with your goals.
Avoiding a supremely complicated presentation style is a must for any WordPress theme. Your WordPress site should be designed in a manner such that your users can easily find the information they are looking for while also aiding you in achieving your goals. Despite the beauty of a theme, if it fails to bring in new subscribers or more business, it is not worth it. Moreover, you are spending valuable time on nothing if the theme makes it difficult for the users to navigate your website.
Premium customer support is offered for at least a few months with most of the paid WordPress themes. Once that expires, the WordPress user can renew it either every month or on an annual basis. If you think you will be using this service quite a lot, you must include a recurring support subscription when choosing your WordPress theme.
Free themes won’t provide the same options for customer support as the premium choices, obviously. The former won’t give you any help if you come across major issues. Hence, make sure to choose a WordPress theme that at least provides you with support resources and clear setup instructions. Choose the one which can help you prompt customer service. You cannot wait for long to receive their response.
Finding a theme whose default layout exactly matches your requirements is not always possible, which is why your WordPress theme must be customizable. Although most themes are customizable to a certain extent, having fewer choices will prevent you from branding your site further or enriching the user experience. Too many choices, on the other hand, could end up lowering the speed of your site.
If a customizer demo is available on a theme listing, it is best to test it out to see whether it has the page elements you need so that the look of your brand can be changed accordingly. In order for these changes to be effortless, go for a theme that integrates with a drag-and-drop page builder plugin.
Don’t you get annoyed when a page takes ages to load? Similarly, none of your users will appreciate it if you have a theme whose loading time lasts forever. As many bloggers forget, SEO closely associates to the performance. And, quicker load times can lead to higher search engine rankings, amplified visitor engagement and increased conversions. The users these days are more impatient than ever before, and the average load time that is considered decent in today’s generation is below three seconds. This, however, varies according to the content on every page.
Make sure to dodge feature-rich themes so that the loading time of your site remains optimal. The time taken for your pages to load also depends on how large your website files are. You should avoid poorly coded themes in this regard.
When choosing something online these days, what is the one thing you pay attention to? The answer is “Reviews.” Reviews tell you everything you need to know about the entity in question. Similarly, when choosing a WordPress theme, look for the feedback provided online by the other users. You will see a lot of customer feedback, especially if the theme is available on a third-party marketplace.
Right below the ‘download’ button of a WordPress theme, you can locate the feedback section. The comments, star ratings, reviews, etc., are all visible in that section, and you can just go through them to see what the users have to say about that theme. Try to choose a theme which has maximum good reviews.
Buying a Premium Version
If you want your WordPress theme to actually bring in new visitors along with aiding you in making profits, going for the premium version is imperative. Although getting a free theme will save you money, it will also bring up fresh issues for you to tackle. The quality of coding will be poor, there won’t be enough support available, and you won’t get regular updates either.
The premium version will offer you a bunch of features that will help you shine amidst the crowd. Also, the premium version themes are up-to-date. They are easy to customize and most of them have built-in SEO. In addition to that, the designs are totally unique while many are responsive. So, your customers may not flick over to your competitors in any case.
The theme of your WordPress site will become a representation of your brand. Therefore, you must choose one that attracts the users to your site. Further, it will help to choose a theme that you can easily configure and edit quickly.
You might consider plenty of other features depending on your requirements. But, the ones listed above play a crucial role to have a theme that brings in traffic and lets you have the conversions you desire. However, try to pick the ones which have great customer support and can easily adapt to your needs.