When it comes to choosing a WordPress theme for their WordPress website, the majority of beginners are completely overwhelmed.
There are a plethora of free and paid options available. Each theme has a more appealing appearance than the others. What factors should you consider when selecting a WordPress theme?
In this article, we will discuss the nine factors you should take into consideration when selecting a WordPress theme for your blog or website.
You should be careful when selecting a WordPress theme for a variety of reasons.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that can be used to create any type of website. The reason for this is that each theme caters to a specific market.
Your WordPress theme should be a good match for the information on your website. For example, if you are starting a blog about politics or social issues, you would want a theme that is easy to read and understand.
There are several reasons why you should exercise caution when selecting a WordPress theme.
WordPress is used to build all types of websites. As a result, each theme caters to a distinct market.
Your WordPress theme should be complementary to your website’s content. For example, if you’re starting a blog about politics or social issues, you’ll want a theme that makes it easier to read.
Many WordPress themes include a plethora of customizability options. These options, if not properly coded, can make it difficult to change themes or use other WordPress plugins. You will be forced to use that theme or pay a developer to assist you in switching.
On the other hand, some WordPress themes that appear to be very nice can actually make your website extremely slow. Slow websites are disliked by everyone, especially Google, which prefers to rank faster websites higher.
Your theme is the face of your WordPress site, and it influences how users and search engines perceive it.
You’ve probably heard the expression ‘all that glitters isn’t gold.’
After that, let’s look at the steps you can take to ensure you choose the best theme for your WordPress site.
1. Strive for Simplicity
Many WordPress themes feature a plethora of colors, complex layouts, flashy animations, and so on. You may require those items on occasion, but in most cases, you will not require all of them.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.Leonardo da Vinci
Look for a theme with a design layout that will help you achieve your goal. It must look good without sacrificing usability or simplicity.
Make certain that the presentation style of the theme is not overly complicated. The goal of web design is to help users find the information they need while also assisting site owners in achieving their objectives.
A theme is not a good theme if it looks great but does not help you get new customers or subscribers. It’s also not a good theme if your visitors can’t find their way around your site.
2. Responsive is Not Optional Anymore
Responsive themes automatically adjust their layout to fit different screen sizes and devices.
Mobile and other handheld devices generate a significant amount of web traffic. Depending on the topics of your website, this figure could be as high as 50% of total traffic.
Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in their mobile search results. Regardless of the topics or demographics of your site, all websites must be responsive and fully mobile-ready.
The majority of WordPress themes are responsive by default. However, some sellers continue to sell fixed-width layouts that are not mobile-friendly at all. Make certain that the theme you select for your website is mobile-friendly.
Testing a Theme for Mobile Readiness
The simplest way to see if a theme is responsive is to resize your browser screen. When you resize your browser screen, you’ll notice that the theme’s layout adapts to the new width.
To conduct more extensive testing, copy the URL of the theme’s demo page and paste it into Google’s Mobile Friendly Test page.
3. Browser Compatibility
Your users will be using various browsers. Your theme may look perfect in the browser you’re using, but something may be broken in other browsers.
Here is where browser compatibility comes into play. Most WordPress theme developers rigorously test their themes using sophisticated browser compatibility testing tools.
They should make this clear on their website. If they don’t, you can always run some basic tests to see if the theme works in different browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and so on.
Don’t forget to test on mobile with different browsers.
4. Supported Plugins
WordPress plugins are what give WordPress its true power. You can do anything with your WordPress site thanks to these plugins.
While there are numerous WordPress plugins available, some are essential for all websites. Such as Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, and so on.
Check that your WordPress theme is compatible with all popular plugins. If you are unsure, consult with the theme developer.
Don’t forget to test on mobile with different browsers.
5. Translation + Multilingual Ready
A large number of WordPress websites are not in English. You could be developing a website in a language other than English. Perhaps you intend to build a multilingual WordPress site in the future.
Check that your WordPress theme is translation-ready and that multilingual WordPress plugins are supported.
6. Page Builders
Page builders are WordPress plugins that let you create page layouts with a drag-and-drop user interface.
Many premium WordPress themes include pre-installed page builders. Some of these page builders are only available to the theme developer.
Using a page builder like this to create landing pages can result in a lot of unwanted code. If you ever change the theme, those pages will need a lot of cleaning up.
You should select themes that include one of the most popular page builder plugins. You can also buy these page builders separately and use them with other themes.
7. Support Options for When You Need Help
One disadvantage of using a free WordPress theme is that no support is guaranteed. While some developers offer excellent support for their free themes, many free themes do not.
You’ll have to figure it out on your own if you mess up your WordPress theme. You may also end up paying a third-party developer to solve minor issues.
Make certain that the WordPress theme you choose has good documentation and support options. Most premium WordPress themes include detailed documentation as well as a year of email support.
8. SEO Friendliness
Your WordPress theme is critical to the SEO friendliness of your site. A good-looking theme can still generate poorly coded HTML, which can harm your site’s search engine performance.
It may be difficult for beginners to analyze the source code of a theme on their own. This is why many premium WordPress theme developers will tell you that their pages are SEO-friendly.
You can also use the W3C Markup Validation Service to check if the page generates proper HTML5. Please keep in mind, however, that the W3C tool will generate numerous warnings that do not cause concern.
9. Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews provided by users are reliable indicators of the quality of a WordPress theme. If the theme is sold on a third-party marketplace, you will see customer reviews.
The rating section for free WordPress themes can be found just below the download button. It will display the number of reviews and stars given by users. If you click on 5 stars, it will display all of the reviews that gave the theme 5 stars.
Almost all WordPress themes can receive a few negative reviews. However, if the number of negative reviews is unusually high, you should read them carefully.
How to Install a Theme in WordPress
It is extremely simple to install a WordPress theme. To begin, save the theme’s zip file to your computer.
Then, log in to your WordPress admin area and navigate to the Appearance » Themes page.
Click the Add New link at the top of the themes page.
This will take you to the page where you can add a new theme. This page can be used to look for free themes to install. However, because we have already downloaded the theme, you only need to click on the Upload theme link at the top.
The theme upload box will now appear. Click the Choose file button to select the theme zip file you downloaded earlier to your computer, and then click the Install now button.
WordPress will now upload and install the theme from your computer to your website. When it’s finished, you’ll see a success message with links to preview or activate the theme.
If you don’t want to use a theme right away, you can use the live preview button to try it out without activating it.
Please keep in mind that in order to use a theme on your website, you must first activate it.
See our beginner’s guide to installing a WordPress theme for more information.
How to Safely Change WordPress Themes
For new WordPress sites, simply choose the best theme and install it on your site. However, if you already have a WordPress site, you must switch themes properly to avoid any impact on your site’s performance and SEO.
To begin, you must understand what happens to a WordPress site when you change themes. Here’s what happens when you change your WordPress theme.
Some settings on your WordPress site will be lost and will not be applied automatically to your new theme. You must comprehend these concepts and determine how to incorporate them into your new theme.
We’ve put together a handy checklist of things you should do before switching WordPress themes.
Following that, you must follow the steps in our tutorial on how to properly switch WordPress themes on your site.
We hope this article assisted you in choosing the best WordPress theme for your site. You might also be interested in our list of essential WordPress plugins for business websites.