How to Choose the Best Theme for Your WordPress Website
WordPress has a mind-boggling collection of themes. Some of these themes are free to use while others are premium and need you to pay for downloading them. Given that the source is open, you can customize the theme you download to match the particular requirements of your business. Added to that is the amazing number of plugins that you can download and install. With innumerable options to choose from, it’s understandable that you may not know where to begin. A simple solution is to list the important criteria and take it from there. Here are some of the most important features a good theme must absolutely have.
The theme you choose should make it simple for users to access irrespective of the particular browser they’re using. For instance, they could be using Bing, Google, Firefox, Yahoo, Internet Explorer, Safari, or any other. Take care that the theme is compatible with universal browsers.
Whether a smart SEO strategy or simple common sense, considering that more and more users opt to surf the internet using mobile devices, you need a theme that adapts to any device. It could be a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or a desktop computer. To test if a theme works on all gadgets, resize the screen of your browser. The page should automatically adjust to display all the elements. That’s a clear indicator that the theme will work well on any sized screen.
Should you choose a free theme, find out before hand if the developer offers support. In case there are issues with the theme, you’ll need support to sort through them or you could end up having to hire a technician for help. Premium themes not only come with developer support, but they’re likely to have community support also. Each time you face a problem, you’ll only have to type the question into the search bar of your browser. Instantly, you’ll get access to many different sites, forums, and community pages directing you on how to fix the issue. Perhaps, the best advantage of a premium theme is that you’ll receive updates on the upgrades available. By downloading them, you can keep your website up to date with the latest happenings on the internet.
WordPress themes can have complicated designs with lots of different functionalities, layouts, images, videos, and animations. While it is tempting to get the flashiest of themes, focus on the user experience. Customers landing on your site should find it easy to navigate and locate the information they are looking for, quickly and seamlessly. Make sure the page has enough white space and is free of clutter. The simpler you keep the site, the more user-friendly it will be. This is why; you must take care to choose a simple theme that has only the most essential functionalities that support your business.
Optimization for Search Engines
In a time when good SEO is absolutely vital for the success of your business, your website must have the ideal coding. Bad coding can affect how your site performs with search engines. Since most entrepreneurs don’t know how to sort through coding to check for flaws, a better option is to choose a theme from a reliable source. Keep in mind that premium theme developers inform you beforehand whether or not the theme is compatible with search engines. Make your choice accordingly.
When you opt for free to use themes, you might have to deal with the possibility that lots of other people have also opted to use the same theme. This factor could take away from the exclusivity factor and make your website look similar to many others. If having a unique design is important to you, choose a premium theme that fewer people are likely to opt for.
Cost is always the underlying factor to keep in mind when choosing the theme for your website. Premium themes can cost you anywhere from $50 to $200. Figure out the expense you’re willing to take on for creating your site and choose the right theme accordingly. Keep in mind that many premium themes have a lot of features and functionalities that you may not use anyway. Besides, they come with a range of customizations that you might find difficult to understand. Try and create a balance between the cost and the features that you absolutely need.
Here’s another case for simplicity. The more features you add in such as large images, videos, animations, etc., the longer your website will take to load. This is why, it makes sense to choose a theme that has a simple design that loads quickly and the user can access without too much waiting time. Further, keep in mind that search engines are more likely to pick up sites that will load quickly to streamline the user experience. You can even test to see how long a particular theme will take to load. Many apps on the internet allow you to test them. Enter the URL of the demo version of the theme into the app. It will show you the time taken and the number of HTTP requests made.
Social Media Compatibility
This feature is self-explanatory. You absolutely need your website to have the necessary buttons for users to use to share the interesting information they find on your site. One of the most useful plugins you can find is one that creates a social media sharing bar and places it beside the content the users are reading. As the readers scroll down, the bar follows making it possible for them to share the page without reaching the end. Social media compatibility is also essential because you need readers to like the pages and you want to encourage comments, engagement, and interaction.
In a time when hackers work with advanced data breaching tools to get into websites, you cannot do enough to secure your site. Choose a theme that comes with automatic security features and get a few plugins to reinforce it. If you’re not sure which are the most effective ones, you can always check online for what other users have to say about the plugins they have downloaded and used.
While on the subject of reviews, the best way to gauge whether a particular theme is the right one for you is to check the reviews. Read about what other users have to say about their experiences with using a particular theme and the success they have had with it. Study the downsides they talk about and see if you can overcome them on your own or with the minimum of technical support. Here’s another tip. Look for the administration dashboard of a theme in the demo version that the developer provides. See if you can customize it to meet your requirements before making your choice.
These are some of the very basic factors to keep in mind when choosing the best theme for your WordPress site. Whether you choose a free to use theme or buy one, its success ultimately depends on how you use it to provide your customers with a great browsing experience.