Most beginners feel insecure when it comes to choosing a theme for their WordPress site. There are thousands of free and paid options. Each theme looks better than others. How do you choose the best theme for WordPress? In this article we will share 9 things that you need to consider, so you can choose the most appropriate WordPress theme for your site.
Why you should be careful when choosing a WordPress theme?
WordPress is used to create all kinds of websites. That is why each theme serves a certain market.
Your WordPress theme should complement the content of your site. For example, if you start a blog about politics or social issues, then you would like a website theme that improves readability.
Many WordPress themes come with a bunch of customization options. If not coded properly, these options can make it difficult to change anything in the theme or in using other WordPress plugins. You will be locked in this theme or you will have to pay the developer to help you in changing the template.
On the other hand, some WordPress themes that look really cool, can actually make your site incredibly slow. No one likes slow sites, in particular Google, which prefers to rank sites that are faster, higher.
Your theme is the face of your WordPress site and plays an important role in how users, as well as search engines perceive it.
You probably heard the saying, ” Not everything that glitters is gold.”
Having said this, let’s look at the steps that you can take to make sure that you have chosen the best theme for the WordPress site.
1. Strive for simplicity
Simplicity is the best rule in design
Many WordPress themes come with lots of colors, complex layouts, flashy animations, etc. Sometimes you may need these things, but in most cases you really do not need all of this.
Look for a theme that has a design layout that will help you maintain your goal. It should look good, but without compromising on convenience and simplicity.
Make sure that the theme presentation style is not too complicated. The purpose of web design is to help users find the information they need and help site owners achieve their goals simultaneously.
If the template looks complicate, it does not help you get a new business or subscribers, it’s not a good theme. This is also not a good template when users can not really find a target content on your site.
2. Responsive Themes
Choose a WordPress Responsive Theme
Responsive themes can be configured between different screen sizes and devices.
A significant amount of web traffic is generated from mobile and other portable devices. Depending on the topic of your site, this number could be even higher than 50% of the traffic.
Google shows mobile friendly sites in the first place in their mobile search results. Regardless of the topic and demographic data of your site, all websites should be responsive and fully mobile.
Most WordPress themes are already responsive by default. But there are still sellers who sell fixed breadboard widths that are not mobile friendly at all. Make sure that the themes that you choose for your website are mobile friendly.
Testing a theme for mobile
The easiest way to check whether a template is responsive or not is by resizing the browser screen. How to change the size of the browser window, you will see that the layout of the theme will be adjusted to the width of the screen.
For more thorough testing, you can copy the URL of the theme demo page and paste it onto the Google Mobile Friendly Test page.
Note that this test will show some warnings, no matter how good the template is. Review for any red flags, as the text is too small, the content is wider than the screen, etc.
3. Compatibility with browsers
Testing browser compatibility
Your users will use different browsers. Your theme may look great on the browser you are using, but there may be something broken in other browsers.
This is where browser compatibility comes. Most WordPress developers so test their themes carefully using sophisticated browser compatibility testing tools.
They can clearly talk about this on their website. But if they do not, then you can always run some basic tests to test the topic on different browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.
Do not forget to check on different browsers on mobile devices, too.
4. Supported plugins
The real power of WordPress comes with WordPress plugins. These plugins allow you to do anything with your WordPress site.
While there are many WordPress plugins, some of them should have every web site on WordPress. For example: Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, etc.
Make sure that your WordPress theme supports all popular plugins. If you are not sure, ask the developer about this topic.
5. Translation + Multilingualism
Multilingual and WordPress theme translation
A large number of WordPress sites are not in English. You can create a website in any language other than English. Maybe you have plans to create a multi-language WordPress site in the future.
Make sure that your WordPress theme is ready for translation and supports multilingual WordPress plugins.
6. Install Page Builders
Install Page Builders in WordPress
Page builders, this plugin is developed for WordPress and allows you to create page layouts by dragging and dropping the user interface.
Many premium WordPress themes come with pre-installed Page builders. Some of the Page builders are used only by a specific developer theme.
Using such Page builders to create landing pages can produce a lot of unwanted code. If you ever switch the template, then these pages will require a lot of cleaning.
You must select the themes that come with one of the most commonly used page builder plugins. You can also purchase Page builders separately for use with other themes.
7. Customer support service when you need help
One of the drawbacks of using free themes for WordPress is that there is no guarantee of support. While some developers provide excellent support for their paid themes, many free themes do not have any support option.
If you mess up your WordPress theme, then you’ll have to figure it out yourself. You can also end up paying an outside developer to solve the smallest problems.
Make sure that you select a WordPress theme that has good documentation and support options. Most premium themes of WordPress offer detailed documentation with 1 year of support based on email.
8. SEO Friendliness
Check your theme for friendliness to SEO
Your WordPress theme plays a key role in the SEO friendliness of your site. A good looking theme can generate still poorly coded HTML, this can affect the performance of your website in search engines.
It can be difficult for beginners to analyze the source code of a theme on their own. That’s why many premium themes of WordPress developers will not indicate that their pages are optimized for SEO.
You can also look to see if the page generates the correct HTML5 by checking it with the W3C Markup Validation service. However, note that the W3C tool will generate many warnings that you should not worry about.
9. Ratings and Reviews
Check ratings and reviews for the WordPress theme
Another solid indicator of quality WordPress theme is the ratings and reviews provided by users. If the theme is sold on a third-party market, then you will see customer reviews.
When you download free WordPress themes, you will find in the ratings section below the download button. It will show the number of reviews and stars provided by users. If you click on 5 stars, then it will show you all the reviews that gave the theme a 5 stars grade.
Read reviews of the topic and ratings by other users
Almost all WordPress themes can receive a few bad reviews, but if the number of bad reviews is unusually high, then you should carefully read them.
How to install a theme in WordPress
Installing a theme in WordPress is very simple. First of all, you need to download the archive file with a theme to your computer.
After that, enter your WordPress admin area and go to the Appearance page »Themes.
Themes page in the WordPress admin panel
At the top of the page, you need to click the Add new link.
This will take you to a new page. You can use this page to search for free themes to install. But since we already downloaded the theme, you just need to click on the Upload theme link at the top.
Now you will see the theme upload window. Click on the file selection button to upload the .zip theme file that you downloaded to your computer earlier, and then click on the Install Now button.
WordPress will now upload the theme from your computer to your website and install it for you. Once this is done, you will see a success message with links to view or activate the theme.
Installation of the template was successfully completed
If you do not want to use the theme at once, then you can click on the Live Preview button to check the theme without activating it.
Please note that you will have to activate the theme in order to use it on your website.
For more detailed instructions, see the novice user’s guide on how to install the WordPress theme.
How to safely change WordPress theme
For new WordPress sites, you can simply select the perfect theme and install it on your website. However, if you have an installed WordPress site, then you need to switch the theme correctly to avoid any impact on your site’s work and SEO.
First of all, it is necessary to understand what happens to the WordPress site when changing the template.
Some settings on your WordPress site will disappear and will not automatically correspond to your your new theme. You need to understand these things, and how you can restore them back on a new theme.
We hope that this article has helped you to choose the perfect theme for the WordPress site.