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03 December 2018

11 Tips for Choosing the Right Theme for Your WordPress

The most important thing after installing WordPress is choosing the right theme for your WordPress site.

At the time of publication there are over 6,000 themes available in the WordPress theme gallery which are mostly free to use. Besides the official WordPress gallery there are other companies who sell additional themes.

So with all of these options, how would you know which theme is perfect for you?

Well we’ve broken down how to choose the right theme based on your needs with our 11 best tips.

Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

You want your website to work for all users, whether they be on desktop, tablet or even phone. Ensuring your free or premium theme meets the following four requirements is the simplest way to start.

1. Responsive Design

Around 2011 a new buzz word came into the technology field, and that was “Responsive Web Design” shortened to “Responsive Design”. And today this term is used more prevalent than ever. Simplified it means a website that looks great on all devices whether they be computer, tablet, and mobile.
Most of the people nowadays are changing devices from computer to tablet as well as smartphones so your site needs to display effectively on each one.
To check whether the theme is mobile-friendly or not, you can use Google’s cost-free mobile-friendly display device that shows if the theme you’re thinking of is mobile-friendly. You can conveniently filter themes and also prevent those which do not have responsiveness.

2. Compatibility with Browsers

The second thing you need to check before selecting a WordPress theme is whether the WordPress theme is compatible with multiple web browsers. Your viewers or customers utilize different devices, and they additionally choose different web browser. While the theme may look good on your web browser, it might not look as good on others.
Most of the WordPress themes are compatible with different browsers, however, if they do not state it in the theme description, you may need to run a simple test and run it on various web browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox yourself.

3. Loading Speed

Website speed today is one of one of the most crucial aspects that affect conversion price. Before choosing a WordPress theme, you need to examine whether the theme is optimized for fast loading and browser speed.
Many users won’t remain on a website that takes longer than just 5 seconds to load. It’s imperative you pick a theme that’s optimized. If not, your website won’t load fast and it will, overall, affect your SEO.

4. SEO Friendly

While the majority of the companies that create and sell themes, claim that their products are 100% “SEO-friendly,” they are not always perfect and might have plenty of blunders! Before you purchase any we recommend that you test it to ensure it won’t catch you off guard down the road.

journal with large dollar sign

5. Monetization

When you begin your search for the perfect theme; it’s imperative you decide whether it will be for the purpose of blogging or whether you need more capabilities. It’s also important, if you’re thinking about monetizing it in the future through advertising and marketing banners, that the theme has places to insert ads with a minimum of 4 blocks.
If the ad slots are not listed but you are otherwise in love with the other features of the theme, reach out to ask the developer if it has any slots to insert ads or banner. If they don’t, consider changing to another theme.

6. Updates

New releases of WordPress are regularly coming out. They contain new features, security updates, bug fixes and much more. Your theme should also be to be updated with these brand-new core updates of WordPress.
Many themes, especially those that are free, don’t always offer updates. It’s important for you to check whether the theme is getting updated regularly or not before installing it.

7. Premium Themes are better

If you are just starting out, and are familiar with the different options you may be torn between a free or paid theme. While free themes are great if you are just getting into business or blogging there are limitations to free themes. Premium themes are made by highly skilled developers, they regularly release theme update and most importantly you will get 24×7 customer support from them.
If you are unfamiliar with the different types of themes you may want to read our previous article, WordPress Theme Choice: Custom, Premium or Free?. It explains the differences, including pros and cons to the three main types of themes that exist.

8. Try the Demo First

Choosing the best theme for your WordPress site can be a headache. There are numerous themes available with similar features. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few theme options you should reach out to the developer. Ask if you can try a demo yourself or ask them for a demo to check if it meets all of your requirements.

9. Buy Themes from Trusted Sources

There are sites within the web that will offer usually paid-for themes for free or deeply discounted. While it is tempting to use these theme’s, called Nulled themes, it’s essential you do not do this. You should only download your themes from trusted or known resources. This assures no mistakes in coding, variabilities, or spam web links.
The best place to download themes is WordPress.org site, which has numerous themes to select from, from free to premium.

10. Read Reviews

Testimonials are an excellent way to evaluate a product. WordPress theme databases offer the ability to filter themes by scores. Other consumers’ experiences can assist you to find possible troubles prior to selecting the theme.
It is also advised to check their developer’s Facebook and Twitter pages to check whether their customers are satisfied with their product.

11. Customer Support

If you choose a premium or paid theme, customer support is typically a component of the plan that you are paying for. It can be e-mail support, a phone call, and even a discussion forum as well as tutorials. Free themes typically come with limited support.
It is advised, again, to check the developer’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Judge how responsive they are should there be any problems before you purchase and encounter problems.
Pro Tip: If you want to check their customer support, you can raise a support ticket and see how fast they respond.

Conclusion

There are over 6,000 themes available in the WordPress theme gallery and it’s hard to choose according to your needs. If you are a beginner, then you should know how to choose the perfect theme for your WordPress site.

Every site is different and has their own needs, but these tips will definitely help you to find the best quality theme.

 

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Amar Trivedi

President and founder of AmDee, Amar provides insight of nonprofit technology through occasional guest blogs for AmDee and others. He has been a software developer and architect since the mid-1990s.