Choosing the proper WordPress theme for your business is obviously critical, and it might take days of looking through the more than 10,000 themes available. Not all themes are ideally suited to your needs, and with so many themes available, selecting the best one can be a daunting endeavor. In this post, we will go over the 7 things to consider when choosing a WordPress theme.
There are primarily five types of themes to choose from: free themes with limited features, freemium themes with paid upgrades, premium themes with all bells and whistles, custom themes created specifically for you by the developers, and theme frameworks that serve as the foundation for creating other themes.
7 Things to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme
1. Identify your requirements and create a list of the features you require
Make a list of the features you want for your website before selecting a theme, and then sort the themes using a feature filter in the appropriate theme marketplace. It is critical to visualize your website, such as whether it is a single-column layout or a multi-column layout, whether image sliders are required or not, and whether an e-commerce feature or product is required. When it comes to WordPress themes, choose one that just includes the features you need to achieve your aim. Adding unneeded features will clog your theme and, as a result, harm website performance.
2. Pick a secure and bloat-free theme
It’s always good to see a theme with a lot of functionality, but keep in mind that adding features you don’t need will slow down your site’s speed in the long term. You should choose a WordPress theme that functions out-of-box without forcing you to install many third-party plugins. In addition, the theme’s speed and performance should be optimized. The theme should be small and load quickly. Some developers have an odd style of developing features, such as stealing codes off the internet and using them without thinking about optimization or security. If there are any reviews, read them to ensure that the source codes are valid and reliable for live websites.
3. Fully responsive and mobile-friendly
Responsive designs are no longer an option. As the world becomes more mobile, having a website that renders properly on mobile devices is critical. If your website is responsive, some search engines will give it a higher ranking. The website’s responsive design makes it easy to use on any platform, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The theme’s menus should be completely adapted for mobile devices. Make sure your theme supports Google AMP if you need to use the feature.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendliness and performance
The theme has a significant impact on search engine optimization. Bot crawls may be slowed and your rankings may suffer as a result of a badly coded theme. If you’re using a premium theme, make sure it’s SEO optimized, and if you’re using a free theme, do some tests to confirm the code quality. One of the greatest tools for testing is the W3C Markup Validator.
SEO and performance are inextricably linked. Faster load speeds have a significant impact on modern search engines, leading to greater visitor engagement and conversions. Avoid feature-rich themes to avoid slowing down your site because you won’t use the majority of them. The theme files should not be excessively huge. Larger the website, the longer it takes to load.
5. Customizable and compatible with customizers and page builders
Beginners with no technical skills should be able to customize the theme with little effort. Colors, logos, and other visual appearance elements that represent your brand identity should be easy to change in the theme. Support for page builders will be useful, but it is not required if you do not use one. Page builders make it simple for non-technical users to create headers, footers, and pages. If you’re creating an online store, it should also support e-commerce with the help of plugins like woo-commerce. If your website serves multiple regions, having a theme that supports translations and is WPML ready, as well as RTL support if needed, is a must.
6. Prefer premium themes from reputed developers
Choosing a free theme may save you money in the short term, but it drastically reduces the functionality and causes lots of new problems in the long run. Free themes’ code quality may be average, and they may not receive regular security or feature updates. The chances of abandoning the theme are higher due to a lack of support.
Premium themes, on the other hand, come with more features and are more likely to receive regular security, feature, and performance updates. The code quality will be up to par, and it will be compatible with a variety of helpful plugins.
When purchasing a premium theme from a marketplace, make sure that support is available in the event that you require assistance. Also, whether they provide long-term updates or the possibility to renew your subscription so that you receive updates for a long time, this is an important aspect of any program’s functionality. Users and developers will be able to learn more about the theme and its included addons with proper documentation.
There are several theme marketplaces and theme developers, such as Themeforest, where you can go and purchase new themes after thoroughly reviewing each one, as well as user reviews and other information. Make sure the pricing is clear and doesn’t limit your options.
7. Verify the theme’s PHP and WordPress Core compatibility
Our last point in this “7 Things to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme” article is about PHP compatibility. A good theme should support the most recent PHP version as well as the most recent WordPress core (the latest is 5.9). It should also be valid according to WordPress.org’s code guidelines. Installing the Theme Check plugin, which examines if your theme meets all current WordPress standards, is an excellent place to start when evaluating a theme’s efficiency.
Choosing a topic can be a daunting, difficult, and time-consuming task at times. However, investing some time and effort into conducting research and selecting a theme will be advantageous to you. Even if WordPress allows you to change themes later, following the above tips to narrow down your search to the best theme from the beginning can save you a lot of time and money.
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