WordPress is used by 32.6% of all websites and the top content management system (CMS) among sites that use a CMS (59.6%). It’s no wonder how the blogging and CMS platform has garnered worldwide fame as the best solution to develop feature-rich sites.
WordPress boasts an impressive client list: the New York Post, TED, Thought Catalog, USA Today, CNN, Fortune, TIME, Spotify, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, NBC, and more all use WordPress.
For businesses large and small, during the website development phase selecting a theme for your WordPress website can be a tedious task. This is especially true if your WordPress web design company doesn’t do this for you. The WordPress theme you select is important since it controls the look, presentation and unifying design of the content on your website.
6 tips to choose the best WordPress theme
With a plethora of themes available, it’s easier to get overwhelmed. How do you know which one’s right for your business? You don’t want your e-commerce website to look like a restaurant website – right?
To make things more simple, here are 6 quick and dirty tips that’ll help you pick the right one for your website.
1. Clarify the purpose of your website
When you know the purpose of your website it will be easier to choose a theme. Solidify an idea of the type of website you are building.
For example, if you’re a graphic designer, then you’ll want to choose a theme with an impressive portfolio layout. If you are a freelance writer a minimal blogging theme that highlights your work would be better. Meanwhile, if you are an aspiring photographer, opt for a theme with pre-built galleries and portfolio layouts. Meanwhile, if you’re opening an online store, select a theme that is compatible with your shopping cart software.
It’s always helpful to consult a WordPress website design company as well. They can share insights and recommendations based on the overall business objectives associated with your site.
2. Consider the cost of your WordPress theme
WordPress themes are either paid or free. While most themes cost little to nothing, the coding lacks the quality found in paid themes. Free themes aren’t always professionally coded and can easily break with future WordPress updates, compromise site security, etc.
Unless you outsource your website design to a third-party, you can buy a pre-made premium theme as an alternative. This is why creating a budget for your website design (i.e. theme) is a good idea. When you invest in a premium theme you not only get more features but better stability, reliability and robust security.
3. Make responsive web design a priority
We live in a digital world and responsive web design (RWD) has become the gold standard. It is an approach to web design that ensures web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.
“A multitude of different screen sizes exist across phones, ‘phablets,’ tablets, desktops, game consoles, TVs, and even wearables. Screen sizes are always changing, so it’s important that your site can adapt to any screen size, today or in the future,” according to Google Developer advocate Pete LePage.
It also helps your website rankings in Google as mobile-friendly sites bring in more traffic than websites who are not. Make sure the theme you pick supports responsive web design standards. It will help your site pages load faster and improve sharing on social media.
4. Look for developer support
You will need support for your theme, especially if you lack a lot of technical know-how. Over time many free themes discontinue developer support and become obsolete. This is alarming when your website runs into technical issues.
Developer support for your theme is like a home warranty for your house – it gives you easy access to solutions and peace of mind. Meanwhile, developer-supported themes offer better support for future updates.
5. Ensure your theme is SEO optimized
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial when it comes to driving organic traffic (instead of paid traffic) to your site. All of the top ranking websites on Google are all optimized for SEO. Themes with SEO support perform better on search engines and help your website rankings.
The SEO-friendliness of a theme can add value to the overall performance of your website. To learn whether your theme is search engine optimized or not, check for SEO support in the theme features section.
6. Check for plugin support
WordPress plugins are powerful tools that enhance the functionality of a WordPress website. Right from measuring analytics, like Google Analytics, to live chats with site visitors there’s a plugin for almost every task.
A theme that supports plugins is highly valuable and sure to enrich the usability of your website. It’s a good idea to choose a theme that supports important plugins.
Choose the right WordPress theme the first time around
There are thousands of WordPress themes on the market today. Choosing the right one is not kid’s play. While you may find the perfect theme, in terms of design, it may still lack in functionality that is important for your business. In that case, hiring a WordPress website design company that specializes in customized WordPress themes would be a good choice.
Harshal Khatavkar is the CTO and founder of ATop Digital, a creative digital agency based in Mumbai, India – specializing in WordPress development for businesses. He specializes in web programming and has more than 15 years of rich experience as a web developer. He has developed intricate web solutions for companies from small-scale startups to large businesses. For more information, visit atopdigital.com.