WordPress is the most popular CMS today, powering over 30 percent of the web. It is very easy to use and configure for anything from a small business to an enterprise site. One of the reasons so many people use the platform is the number of themes that are available. Instead of designing a website from scratch you can download a helpful template.
That said, there are thousands of themes to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to choose one. Only professionals really know that not all WordPress templates are of the same quality, and some even might be dangerous. Thus, how to find the one that will really work for you and do not have any disadvantages? Here we have selected 12 useful tips and tricks on how not to make mistakes when choosing your first template.
Design is not the main criteria
Usually, people choose website themes considering only its design. That’s totally wrong. Of course, it’s not the last criteria to pay your attention to, but still, there are much more important ones. When selecting a theme, you should realize what exactly you need, what kind of content you want to publish, your target audience, and other special elements such as advertising blocks or banners. Beware of being cheated with an awesome design full of hidden spammy links or other serious issues.
Definitely choose a theme you like the look of, but make sure it is a functioning theme with good support.
Use only credible sources of themes
It’s very important not to download your templates from unknown sources. Consider only official or trustworthy ones. This guarantees no errors in coding, viruses, or spam links. The safest source is an official WordPress website, which has many themes to choose from: from free to premium ones.
When going through a trusted source, you can also check reviews and make sure the theme is still supported and users are getting fast answers to their questions.
Say “no” to complex templates
Some themes can really slow down your site, causing visitors to leave before they take in any information. make sure the theme you choose is optimized and agile. Otherwise you might risk alienating your audience.
Try a demo first
Before installing a theme make sure you try the demo first. Here are some things to pay attention to when looking for a theme:
- Readable fonts
- Unusual grits
- Useful signs for a user (e.g. interactive highlighting of the main ideas, hints etc)
- Use of visual content.
Play around with the demo version and see if it feels easy for you to use and fits your brand. If you like the way it works, go ahead and download!
Price doesn’t always mean quality
Just because a theme is paid, doesn’t mean it will be what you’re looking for. There are thousands of free themes that have amazing quality. Make sure you look at a variety of themes before choosing one.
SEO has the same importance for your website as interesting and informative content. And we are not even speaking of some complex SEO strategies used by top specialists in this sphere, but about some basic rules to follow like using more than one H1, lists, subheadings etc. They can guarantee having much traffic and better SE ranking.
Responsive design wins
Having a mobile version of your site is now a must-have for any webmaster because more and more people are accessing the web with their phones and tablets. Sometimes your mobile version of the site can even give you more traffic than the desktop one. Make sure your theme is responsive and can move with your website. You don’t want to turn off visitors by having an unreliable mobile site.
Do not choose common themes
Some free templates seem to be overused that is why many websites look alike. But you want to be unique, don’t you? Choose a theme that can describe your individuality, this won’t only amuse your visitors, but will also help a lot with promoting your business online.
Always check tech support
Some themes in the repository are old and abandoned and aren’t supported anymore. If you do not want to cope with all the technical issues yourself, then you should always check whether there is some tech support that is ready to help you with any issue you might face.
Like we said above, check the reviews to see if people’s problems are getting fixed in a timely manner.
Examine your competitors
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’d better do research on your rivals. This will help you to have a general view on the other websites of the same niche. By doing this, you’ll have a clear picture of what should be improved or added to your theme.
Choose flexible templates
Do you have your own company’s logo that you want to use in the design? Many templates are configured very easily, but still, there are some that need serious code editing. Thus, if you plan to have your logo or other visual content included, you should check how well it will match your template’s design. The golden rule is choosing a theme that can be edited easily and has an easy-to-use configuration bar. This guarantees that you can adapt the installed design to your needs yourself.
When searching for a right theme, you should clarify the focus of your website or blog. And, if you’re thinking of monetizing it in the future by placing advertising banners, you should consider finding templates with a minimum of four blocks. This number of blocks is quite enough for everything. And also, do not forget to check whether your theme supports advertising scripts you may use in the future.
How to find a WordPress theme that will meet all your requirements? There is no one simple answer to this question, as everyone has their own needs, but these tips will make sure you get a quality theme. Only choose themes that are made by reputable developers and have good support.