How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme
Choosing a suitable theme is a crucial step in developing a WordPress site. You can’t just pick a theme and get started with it, that will be a hit-or-miss approach.
Instead, you need to follow a proven set of steps to make sure you are choosing the right theme. Continue reading to know more about the process of finding the best WordPress theme.
1. The Theme Looks Great
Looks do matter. When it comes to the website, making a good first impression is critical. That means you need to choose a theme that looks great. The best way to do this is to choose a theme that is developed primarily for your niche. These themes come with the useful demo designs and page templates to help you with the design process.
Check out the theme demo(s) to explore all the designs. Find out whether this is the look you are looking for. In case you want to customize the design, make sure you are choosing a theme that comes with simple customization options.
2. It Has the Necessary Features
Now that we have covered the appearance issues, the next big thing is the features. You should choose a theme that offers all the necessary features for creating your website.
Get started by making a list of the featured you need. If you are running out of ideas, browse some similar sites and make a list of the features you like on those sites. This will provide you with a solid starting point.
Read the theme descriptions thoroughly and find out which theme offers the best features for your requirement. Don’t hesitate to ask the theme developer for explanations about any feature.
3. Comes with a Page Builder
Gone are the days when you had to publish blog posts in the same old format. These days, various page builder plugins enable you to create custom layouts for your content. That is why you should choose a theme that comes with a built-in page builder.
In most cases, premium themes routinely feature some common page builders like Visual Composer, Divi Builder, Elementor, or Thrive Content Builder. All of these come with dedicated templates along with the option to create your own layout.
Find out which page builder your chosen theme uses, and do some research about that page builder. Since you will use that page builder for your website, it is important to make sure you are comfortable with its interface.
4. Works with the Required Plugins
There is a limitation on how much you can do with a WordPress theme, which is why you need to use third-party plugins for advanced features. There are some standard and niche-specific plugins. For instance, most WordPress site will use plugins for the slider, security, SEO, contact form, backup, social sharing, and lead generation purposes.
On the other hand, specialized websites like the portfolio, real estate, medical, charity, e-commerce, corporate, sports, entertainment, etc. need some specialized plugins. Depending on your website type, make sure that your chosen theme works both with the general and the niche-specific plugins.
5. Works Perfectly on Mobile Devices
This is the age of mobile. More people are using mobile devices to access the internet compared to desktop and other devices. That means your website should work perfectly on all mobile devices. You can ensure this by choosing a fully responsive WordPress theme.
Most premium themes are already optimized for mobile devices, unless you are choosing a really old one. However, don’t take their word for it. You should test their demo pages by using various responsiveness checker tools. Check whether the menu works correctly, the slider images are displayed properly, and the content fits perfectly within the small screen.
6. Compatible with Modern Browsers
Google Chrome is the most popular browser at this moment. However, that doesn’t mean all the people accessing the internet are using the Chrome browser. On the contrary, a significant portion of them uses other browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, and Internet Explorer.
As web technologies work differently on various browsers, you need to ensure that your chosen theme works correctly with all the modern web browsers. You can test this by opening the demo pages by using various browsers.
7. Secure and SEO-friendly Coding
Security and SEO are two of the most critical factors for your website. Your chosen theme should have professional coding that follows the security best practices and probably certified by some security expert. Never use a pirated, cracked, or nulled theme as they can contain harmful code providing backdoor access to the hackers.
The coding structure of the theme is also a crucial factor for the search engine ranking of your content. It should maintain the natural hierarchy of content, include the necessary meta elements, and comply with the latest SEO features like schema markup and AMP.
8. Delivers a Great Performance
The performance of your website depends on various factors, including which WordPress theme you are using. That means you can get a head-start in ensuring better website performance by choosing a well-suited theme.
For starters, you can check out the loading speed of your chosen theme by using various tools like Pingdom, GTmetrix, or Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Some themes come with advanced features like lazy loading, paginations, and breadcrumbs to improve the loading speed of media-heavy websites. Some other themes offer custom shortcodes, which allow you to create custom elements without creating these from scratch.
9. Has Impressive Rating, Reviews
Checking the customer reviews could be an excellent way to choose a reliable theme. If a lot of people are saying good things about a theme, you can consider it a potential choice for your shortlist. The review will also inform you about the pros and cons of the theme, and if there’s any particular problem you should know beforehand.
The marketplaces are a great source for checking out real customer reviews and the average rating of a theme. All the popular names including ThemeForest, MyThemeShop, or Mojo Themes offer these options.
10. Offers Excellent Customer Support
Offering good customer support is one of the best indicators of a good theme developer. Though most premium themes are provided with detailed documentation and in some cases, video tutorials, you might need support at some point. Choosing a reliable, friendly theme developer makes sure that you will get the necessary support on those times.
If you are purchasing the theme from a marketplace, check out the previous comments and their replies. This will help you get an idea about the helpfulness of the developer. Another way is to try a Google search and find out other people’s experiences.
These were my tips to help you choose a WordPress theme. Feel free to follows these tips to find the most suitable WordPress theme for your website.
Do you have any other tips to improve the process of choosing the best WordPress theme? Let me know in the comments below.