Are you starting to set up your blog or your website and you don’t know how to pick the right WordPress theme?
When you’re starting with your blog or your website, choosing a suitable WordPress theme that meets your requirements is not easy. Especially when there’s an endless number of designs and options that you may like.
In this article, we would like to share the most important factors that you should take into account to pick the right WordPress theme for your online project, personal blog, online portfolio, or company website.
Why it is Important to Pick the Right WordPress Theme?
WordPress is a free and open-source platform to create all kinds of websites. That’s why each theme and template is intended for a different market niche.
First of all, to pick the right WordPress theme, the WordPress theme you choose must complement the content of your website.
On the other hand, most of the WordPress themes are provided with hundreds of customization options. In case if they’re badly coded, these options can cause problems with changing your theme or using other WordPress plugins. So, you’ll stay “tied” to a certain theme unless you pay a web developer to help you change it.
Also, even though some WordPress themes have wonderful designs, they can make your website slower than a turtle. Nobody likes slow websites, and Google is no exception. Therefore, never forget that Not all that glitters is gold.
How to Pick the Right WordPress Theme for Your Site?
Here, we’ve listed 13 ideas for you on how to pick the right WordPress theme for your site. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Define your needs
Before you start looking for pretty WordPress templates, you should first define your needs. To clearly understand what to look for, create a list of the most important aspects of your future website. Here are some questions to help you do this:
- What kind of website do I want?
- What is the key objective of my website?
- Do I want my website to have a blog?
- What kinds of customization options are important to me?
The next thing to look at while you pick the right WordPress theme for your WordPress site is design. Many WordPress themes have complex color layouts, with lots of eye-catching animations, dropdown elements, etc. In most cases, all of this is not necessary.
Go for a theme with a design that can help you achieve your goals. Your WordPress template should have a nice visual appearance, but without compromising the usability and simplicity of your website.
For example, here’s how your website will look if you install the Zakra theme.
Make sure that the style of the theme you’ve chosen is not excessively complicated. The purpose of web design is to help users find the necessary information while helping you as the website owner to achieve your goals.
Even if a theme has a great design but doesn’t help you achieve your goals, then it’s not a good theme for your website. It’s also not good if users cannot easily find what they need or are not comfortable with.
We recommend that you opt for a WordPress template that is aesthetically attractive and that you can use it for a long time without having to make major changes.
Responsive themes automatically adapt the contents of your website to different sizes of screens and mobile devices. Today a significant amount of web traffic comes from mobile phones and other portable devices.
Google shows responsive websites in the first positions of its mobile search results, penalizing web pages that are not prepared with this type of design. Therefore, regardless of the niche or the industry, all modern websites must be responsive.
Most WordPress themes are responsive by default. But there are still companies selling fixed-width layouts that are not optimized for mobile devices at all. Here are some of the trustworthy companies you can download themes from:
Besides, the easiest way to check if a theme is adaptive is to change the browser screen size. By resizing the screen, the responsive theme layout will automatically adjust to the width of the screen.
4. Check for that Extra Features and Plugins
The main difference between WordPress themes and plugins is that themes take care of the visual presentation of your website, while plugins take care of their functionality.
Regardless, the premium WordPress theme market is highly competitive, and theme developers sometimes can’t resist adding even more plugins to their themes. Why can this not be considered good?
When a WordPress template incorporates too many plugins, it becomes difficult to change the theme. Although, there are WordPress themes that work just perfectly with all the necessary functionality to create a very specific niche website. Such as WordPress portfolio themes or websites for the hospitality industry.
5. Plugin Compatibility
The real power of WordPress is within plugins. Plugins allow you to do almost everything you want with your WordPress site.
Although there are thousands of WordPress plugins on the Internet, some of them are essential for any modern website. We’ve mentioned some of them below:
- Everest Forms: Everest Forms is one of the best drag and drop WordPress forms plugin.
- Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO helps to optimize your site’s content and rank you higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
- W3 Total Cache: A speed-optimization plugin that will help your site load faster.
- User Registration: User Registration is a popular WordPress registration form plugin. This plugin enables you to create any sort of registration and login forms for your website.
Make sure your WordPress theme is compatible with all the most popular plugins. If in doubt, you can always ask the theme developer.
6. Easy to Translate to Another Language
Most WordPress themes are in English, so you probably want to create your website with content in a multilanguage website. So, make sure that your WordPress theme is easily translated and that it is compatible with the most popular multilanguage WordPress plugins like WPML or Polylang.
So, picking the right WordPress theme WordPress themes which support multilingual plugins is also one of the factors to consider.
7. Ease of Customization
In general, many WordPress themes have a customization panel by default. This frees you from the complex task of making changes to style sheets, which requires advanced code knowledge.
In addition, plugins similar to Visual Page Editor or WPBakery Page Builder, allow you to create even complex pages without having to touch a single line of code.
Although some of these editors are a bit limited – as is the case with “what you see is what you get”, they’re still very helpful when it comes to tailoring a template to the needs of your website.
8. Performance and Safety
When choosing a layout, most beginners don’t pay much attention to the speed and quality of the WordPress theme.
Only interested in attracting new customers, unaware web developers integrate insecure solutions into their products that can compromise the security of your website. The inclusion of a large number of functionalities can cause your website some problems with the loading speed of your pages and the overall performance of your website.
And the worst thing is that beginners do not have enough skills and knowledge to analyze the code of the themes. So how can we evaluate the quality of a theme’s code?
First of all, we recommend that you purchase the products from reputable and reliable sources. Understanding the problem is the first step to avoiding it. So what can slow down your website?
In general, there are three things:
- Too many features
- Excessive use of large file formats
- Bad coding
Also, you can always use the speed test tool made available for free on the Pingdom website. Just enter the URL of the theme demo and see how long the page takes to load.
9. Technical Support
There is always a chance that you might run into some kind of problem. In this case, it’s great to be able to have professional assistance instead of having to solve problems on your own. Most premium WordPress template developers offer 24/7 free lifetime support alongside their WordPress themes.
While some WordPress theme offers support for all of their free themes, many other free themes ship without this option.
10. SEO Optimized
Choosing an SEO-optimized WordPress theme is crucial to being found on the internet. For WordPress beginners, it can be difficult to dive into the theme’s code and analyze its level of search engine optimization.
If you are a newbie, we recommend you to check if the WordPress theme is optimized for a search engine or not.
11. Ratings and Review
Another important indicator to pick the right WordPress theme is the quality of the WordPress theme is the ratings and comments written by users who are already using the theme.
For premium themes, the rating section is placed just below the download button. It shows you a number of comments and stars given by users.
Almost all WordPress themes have some negative comments, but if the number of negative reviews is unusually large, then you should read them carefully.
One of the best things you can do when choosing a WordPress theme is to learn as much as possible about the company. If a company or person who created it has a good reputation, their themes will undoubtedly be of good quality compared to the products of the developers often criticized.
12. Free or Premium Theme
As we have mentioned earlier, there are free themes and premium themes. What we recommend the most is to choose a premium theme, since they offer better support, security, and customization options.
Below are some of the best premium themes we highly recommend:
- ColorMag: ColorMag is a magazine-based WordPress theme, perfect for magazine, news, newspaper, and any kind of publication websites.
- Zakra: Zakra is a multipurpose WordPress theme. Hence, it’s great for any type of niche website.
- Cenote: Cenote is one of the best themes for blogging pupose. It has great design to showcase your work beautifully.
- eLearning Theme: If you want to create a website and teach online then, eLearning Theme by Masteriyo LMS is the perfect choice.
In general, the premium themes are far superior to the free ones. But if at the moment it is not possible for you to acquire a premium theme, then you can start with a free one and later take the quality leap.
In the case of free themes, you might not be able to count on the technical support or future updates that your theme requires.
And on the other hand, if you buy a premium theme, you get complete documentation, access to its technical support, and regular updates. Some paid WordPress themes even offer video tutorials, pre-designed demos, premium extensions – like powerful drag-and-drop page builders, animated banner managers, etc., and much more.
In addition, premium WordPress themes are much more flexible and customizable, allowing you to create a website with a unique and differentiating design compared to free themes.
13. Constantly Updated WordPress Theme
The WordPress community is continually improving features and code, as well as investigating vulnerabilities that could endanger your website.
It is essential that you pay attention to the updates of the theme you are going to choose since an outdated theme can be an open door to hackers and a bad experience for your user.
Choose trusted WordPress theme providers such as Themeforest where all the details of updates, compatibility, reviews, and other features appear that will be very useful when choosing your WordPress theme.
Wrapping It Up!
With that said, and with all the recommendations in this post, we hope that you’re now better informed and prepared to pick the right WordPress theme that’s fast, well-coded, and SEO-friendly.