One of the most important decisions when it comes to your new WordPress website is choosing the right WordPress theme. As a new website owner, it's perfectly natural to get excited over all the choices, just as it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of them. There are numerous free and paid themes for WordPress, and each of these WordPress themes looks better than the previous one.
So how do you choose the right WordPress theme for your site? If you're like most people, you're probably confused and have no idea where to start and what to look out for. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind before settling on a particular WordPress theme for your WordPress website.
- Determine your website's needs
- Simple and clean design
- Cost of WordPress themes
- Regular WordPress theme updates
- Visual content aspects
- Lightweight and fast loading
- SEO friendly and optimized
- Cross-browser compatibility
- Easy website navigation
- Social media channels
- New or old WordPress theme
1. Determine your website's needs
There are various types of professional themes for WordPress — both free and premium. People use WordPress to create different types of websites: blogs, company websites, eCommerce, business directories, Q&As, portfolios, forums, modern online magazines, dynamic news websites and more. As such, there are plenty of WordPress themes designed for particular website types.
Before embarking on a search for the perfect WordPress theme, you should be aware of what type of website you want to build and limit your search criteria to your particular niche. As most WordPress themes look awesome design-wise, you need to compare the features, pros, and cons of the particular themes carefully, and select the most suitable WordPress theme for your purpose.
2. Simple and clean design
Some people get carried away by colorful WordPress themes with super fancy design. As attractive as they are, they might distract your website visitors and prevent them from finding the information they are looking for. Opt in for a simple, fully responsive WordPress theme with exquisite design.
As a blogger or developer, your motto should be the creation of a design which attracts the maximum number of visitors to your site that spend a considerable amount of time there and navigate from one page to another. Select a theme which is simple, attractive, and professional.
3. Cost of WordPress themes
You have the option to choose between free and premium themes for WordPress. While free themes are sometimes limited in terms of features and support, it's not always necessary to go for a premium WordPress theme right from the start. You might find a free WordPress theme that offers all the functionality you want for your website and you can always try to find help on the official WordPress forums or by turning to Google for help in case you need assistance with your website.
Premium WordPress themes, on the other hand, have the benefit of theme updates and support directly from the theme developers. They might also include additional features to customize your website. The final choice is up to you but bear in mind that if you decide to go with premium WordPress themes, try to make the right choice the first time, otherwise the cost of finding a different WordPress theme might prove to be more than your budget can handle.
4. Regular WordPress theme updates
Never use outdated WordPress themes because these older themes may not support the latest version of WordPress. Before you start using WordPress themes, it's recommended to always check if the particular WordPress theme is updated on a regular basis and if the WordPress theme was updated recently to ensure that it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
You should also ensure that you download and buy WordPress themes only from trusted sources such as MH Themes, the official WordPress theme repository or established third-party marketplaces, rather than downloading WordPress themes from the first site you come across. Especially when downloading WordPress themes from shady websites, you should be aware of the risk that these WordPress themes may contain malware which could hurt your website.
5. Visual content aspects
People are highly visual and images or videos can help you tell your story much more effectively than text alone. While choosing a WordPress theme for your personal or professional website, always make sure that it displays videos and images beautifully and throughout all devices.
6. Lightweight and fast loading
The loading speed of your WordPress website matters a lot when you want healthy traffic on your site, improved search engine rankings, the best user experience, and a sharp boom in conversions. People will leave your website immediately if it's loading your content with long latency.
Google dislikes slow websites and might punish them with a lower ranking in its search results. That means, when your website is slow, its bounce rate will get increased and you will start losing your business little by little. Therefore, select a theme that is lightweight and has been tested to load fast.
7. SEO friendly and optimized
WordPress usually is quite SEO friendly by default, but WordPress themes don't necessarily follow the best practices in terms of SEO. A WordPress theme with clean code and optimized template structure can help your website to achieve good rankings in Google.
It's also recommended to check if the WordPress theme doesn't conflict with popular SEO plugins which are helpful in order to optimize your site for SEO. Apart from this, you also need to look for the alternative of migrating data in the future if you feel any need to switch the WordPress theme.
8. Cross-browser compatibility
It's a common fact that people use different browsers and devices to visit your website. If your website is incompatible with some of the major browsers, your users will have a poor browsing experience on your site and they will leave it. Choose a theme that is compatible with all major browsers. Test layout, content, images, and other elements carefully before you choose a theme.
9. Easy website navigation
Make sure that your WordPress website provides easy navigation for your visitors. Always choose a WordPress theme with an intuitive, responsive mobile navigation and one which offers more than one menu slot, in best case, to display menus in different locations throughout your website.
10. Social media channels
Social media is pretty big nowadays. Almost every social media platform counts millions of users. Social media can help you bring additional traffic to your website. On top of that, you can also connect with your target audience on social media. Make sure the WordPress theme you choose supports social media functionality or is at least compatible with popular social plugins.
11. New or old WordPress theme
Sometimes people are confused as whether they should go for a new WordPress theme or an older one. New themes usually offer new designs, freshness, and features, but they might have plenty of bugs. On the other side, popular themes that have been on the market for a long time might have fewer bugs, but they may have been over-used. Always go for a popular and well-established WordPress theme if you are not sure which one to choose in order to avoid potential problems.
Summary: Points to recall before buying WordPress themes
There are numerous professional themes for WordPress available and you should always do your homework carefully before making the final choice. Keep above-mentioned key points in mind so you can develop an attractive and user-friendly WordPress site and meet your goals easily and with confidence. Do you have any additional aspects in mind that are important to consider before purchasing WordPress themes? Let us know in the comments below!