Top 10 Considerations for Selecting the Perfect WordPress Theme
Over 2,500 free themes are available in the WordPress library and thousands more premium themes can be purchased from various marketplaces. With this in mind, it can be quite time consuming and often overwhelming to choose just one. An easy way to narrow down the possibilities is to have a clear vision of what qualities and features are required for the project. Here are our top 10 recommendations to consider before embarking on your search for the perfect WordPress theme:
- Purpose of your project – The most important consideration for choosing a theme is what you hope to achieve with the site. Some of the most common WordPress creations are blogs, business websites, eCommerce sites, personal websites, landing pages, portfolios, and galleries. Keeping this in mind, you will find it easy to narrow down the possibilities of themes that ideally fit the purpose of your project.
- Features – The perfect features are, of course, also dependent on the purpose of your site. Whether it is text or images, certain themes will cater to specific content. Consider features such as the number of page templates, widget areas, post formats, custom headers and backgrounds before settling on a theme.
- Design & Layout – Choosing a theme that is attractive and optimally displays your content in a logical way is important to the success of your website. Some questions to ask yourself: How many columns should appear on the site? How are images featured?
- Colors – Not all themes are available in every color. For businesses and organizations, the color palate is an integral component of successful branding. By coordinating with the image style of existing logos and marketing material, your Web presence will exude professionalism.
- Site Navigation – A logical navigation will help your website visitors find their way around your site. The complexity of the navigation should reflect the type and amount of content and enable visitors to easily discover what they are looking for. Anticipate what is most important for your visitors and choose a theme that features appropriate navigation options.
- Budget – Depending on your needs, a theme created by an independent developer might be the best option. Premium themes are available for a fee. In addition to having more possibilities for customization, a great benefit to using a premium theme is the ability to get support from the developer regarding any issues or questions you may have.
- Technical Skills – Can you edit the theme by yourself and will you need to edit it? Many themes have built-in configuration options for the most common settings. Others, however, require coding to make adjustments. Experience in HTML, CSS or PHP coding could be necessary for customization.
- Browser Compatibility – Your website visitors’ browser preference will affect how the site appears and functions, which is why it is important to be aware and prepared to accommodate these users. The most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera. Choosing a theme that is compatible with all major browsers will ensure a consistent user experience.
- Responsive & Mobile Friendly – Ideally, your website will adjust to various different screen sizes and resolutions. It is estimated that 68% of the American population will be using smartphones by 2017. A theme that displays favorably when viewed on mobile devices is essential for online success.
- Recent Updates – Choose a theme that was recently released or updated. This ensures compatibility with the most recent version of WordPress and thus improves the security and functionality of your site. Occasionally, themes are abandoned by their developers. To reduce this risk, choose a theme that is less than three years old and ensure that it has been updated within the last year.
With all of this information in-hand, you will be prepared to find an ideal theme. Furthermore, the amount of time needed to dedicate to this endeavor is significantly reduced.