How to choose a WordPress theme
With WordPress being so popular nowadays, the demand for themes has grown in great scale and became a very profitable business for web developers.
Web developers have been working very hard to create fantastic themes and you probably will find hundreds of themes that accommodate your requirements whether you are a band, a blogger, school, club, travel agent and so on.
With so many options to choose from, how do you know that particular theme will be good for you? Let me help and give you some steps you can take:
- Search for themes on trustworthy websites
It’s important to choose your theme from a trustworthy website once you will have to buy it and giving your credit card details to anyone on the internet is not a good idea. The most popular website for themes is Themeforest.net. There you will find thousands of themes and prices range from US$35 to $US60. Mojo-themes.com & ElegantThemes.com are also popular.
- Choose a theme with a design near to what you want
When deciding on a theme is recommended that you choose one that already has some features you are after. For example if you are planning to build an ecommerce website, look for a theme that is compatible with Woo Commerce, if you are a band choose one with a nice music player and event & album features, for hotels and clubs find one with a booking system. Choosing a theme near to what you need, will save you time and money. With Themeforest is very easy to search for themes using keywords.
- Find the theme you like and test it first before buying
Ok, now you already decided on one or two themes you like but keep in mind there are few things very important to consider apart from the design. Loading speed is very important considering the experience your visitor will have when at your website. The fast a website loads the better is the experience for your visitors – a website should not take more than 4 seconds to load completely. Google also appreciates a website that loads fast and your site will be more likely to rank better than if it is otherwise. To check the theme loading speed visit GTMetrix.com or Google Speed Test so you can compare and make a decision.
- Premium plugins bundled with the theme
Another thing to consider when deciding on a theme is the amount of premium plugins that will come within. Things like premium sliders, photo galleries, pop-ups & music players for example can cost you around US$20 if buying it alone. So if the theme already comes with some premium plugins it will be a good deal.
- Support provided by the theme author
If you are not very experienced working with WordPress, I’m pretty sure you will come across some difficulties along the way with that particular theme – whether problems with installation, customizing design or even a problem with the code. Support from the theme author is very important at this case because he or she knows the theme inside and out and will be very easy for him or her to help you providing guidance for solving the problem. To find out how good the support provided by the author is, look at the reviews & comments section and see how often normally takes for the author to reply to others. One to two days for replies is considered as a good support.
- Check reviews and comments from peers
Reviews and comments from people already using the theme can be helpful. Generally a theme with review scores over 4 out of 5 is considered a good one. With comments, check for how the author interacts with his/her customers.
Here are some of my favourite themes:
Article by Francis Silvestre – Founder of Pixely