When you first start out on WordPress, picking a theme can be a very dreary task- especially if you are new to the game.There are endless paid and free options to choose from; and choosing the right one for you is hard, seeing as you feel like there is always better out there! This guide is to help you find the theme that is right for you, and the things you should consider when picking a theme.
WordPress caters to all kinds of sites and the services they provide. If you are a blogger, you want a theme that translates well to the readers and is readable. If you are selling products, you want the theme you choose to go smoothly as an e-commerce.
Each theme has various ways you can customize it. Most themes are much easily customizable, whereas, others require a lot more attention. However, each theme you have the ability to go into its back end coding and cater it specifically to what you want it to do. We recommend you do not do that, unless you are very good at coding. Otherwise one error, and you can mess up the whole theme.
Additionally, there are plugins that can be installed to give you the most out of your chosen theme.
Your brand’s identity should be reflected in the theme. It is your users first interaction with your company online.
Have an idea of what exactly it is you want your theme to do. In the WordPress site, you can use various filters to help you. You can choose from free to premium themes, whether or not you want columns, how you want your header to look- the options of filtering are endless.
There are many themes that have funky colours, designs, layouts, etc. that may draw you in and have you think that, the more the site has, the better? Honestly, sometimes that may be true, but realistically it is far from it.
A theme is suppose to have a design that can truly capture the identity of your brand. Its functionality should work in contrast to the design, but the design should never take away from it. Your users should be able to easily find their way around the site. There is no point in having a website if the users cannot make it work.
Okay, maybe not pointless, but a responsive site that can adjust itself to various screens and devices goes a long way, as opposed to one that does not.
Research shows that almost 57% of traffic, comes from smartphones and other handheld devices.
See why it is so important for your site to adapt to other devices? When it comes to SEO rankings, search engines will rank sites that are mobile compatible higher than sites that are not.
Luckily, a lot of WordPress sites are responsive. Of course, there are still a lot that are not, so you really have to make sure before you choose the theme.
How can you tell if a site is responsive? If it is not already indicated if it is, or isn’t, you test it out yourself. Simply shirk your browser screen, to have it shaped like a mobile screen- if everything adjusts itself into the dimensions, you are good to go, if not then you need to pick a different theme.
The audience you attract is not necessarily using the same browser you are. There are tonnes of browsers that your site can be used on. It might look perfect on one browser, but could have many glitches on another.
The tedious part of this, is you will have to test out your website on the different browsers yourself. A lot of times the developers behind the themes will mention which browsers can support your theme, although they do not always indicate it.
Some common browsers are, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer.
Plugins allow for your site to have various add-ons added to your site. They can pretty much allow you to do just about anything you want.
These plugins can enable you to add an online store, create a podcast, use analytics, have contact forms; the possibilities are quite endless. You just have to search up what it is that you would like for your site to do.
Many of the themes support the more popular themes, be sure you know for sure that the one you choose is actually compatible with your theme.
You want to be able to cater to as many clients as possible, but that does not mean they will all know English. When choosing a theme, take into account if your theme can support other languages or not and if it will allow for a WordPress translator plugin. This plugin enables your site to translate to hundreds of different languages.
This may not be something you want to be a part of your site right away, but when your WordPress site gains more traction, you want to consider it having easily read by a variety of different users.
SEO, time and time again, is talked about when building a site, not just WordPress sites. SEO is crucial. Many times in the HTML coding, the SEO functions are already enabled so you do not have to do this yourself. Even if you have a killer theme, it can generate very bad HTML coding, leading you to drop in rankings.
A theme should be easily customizable to your needs. You should be able to go in on the front end and select, drop and make changes; instead of having to go into the back end coding to make changes there, If you are not familiar with the coding process, one tiny error can mess up the entire website.
Many of the themes are set up in such a way that you do not need to know any type of coding. In addition, you are able to test out demo versions of the themes; use that feature to really get a look and feel of the theme to see if it works for you and how comfortable you are with it.
So that customers are able to get the most out of your site, find a theme that is also compatible with plugins that support forms and customer support. Many themes have this feature as part of a premium package, but it is highly recommended to have this feature. It is a way to really interact with your users when they need you.
This is something most people do not think of, but is actually really important to have a theme that has regular updates --monthly or yearly. This way glitches are dealt with, back end updates are made, and security updates as well.
WordPress sites attract a lot hacker; by having regular updates and security check ups, you prevent your site from being one of those that gets hacked.
You might not care much for someone’s opinion in the reviews section, but WordPress theme reviews are one of the best ways to get insight on the ability of a theme. People do not hold back online when they have a complaint, so read what they have to say. They may also rave about it, putting you at ease about your chosen theme.
Themes are so crucial for your site. Although the perfect theme does not exist, there is a perfect theme for everyone. There are countless sites that sell themes, and even the ones on the actual WordPress site are worth exploring and getting to know.
This guide may seem like it comes with a lot of rules on how and what you should do/consider when picking your theme, but trust us- it is going to help you land a killer theme that is perfect for you and your brand.