As most of you already know, WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world today, which is the reason I really wanted to learn more about it. Whether you’re looking to set up a small website for your mum or a large corporate website, you know that WordPress can get the job done. A major pull factor for WordPress is its vibrant community of third party designers and developers. This means that you will have access to many well-designed themes and well-coded plugins that you can use to make your site better. You no longer have to design your website from scratch, but can simply download and install a new template whenever you need a design update.
But just because there are many designs for you to choose from doesn’t make it easier for you to choose from. Analysis paralysis is a real thing. Only when you have been doing it for a while will you understand that not all of the WordPress themes out there are on the same level – some will be better than others while some may even be outright dangerous for your website. So how do you know which themes to choose? Let’s go into some tips now.
Theme should be SEO friendly
Search engine optimisation is one of the most important considerations when choosing a theme or developing a site. This means that you want organic search engines such as Google, Bing or Yandex to be able to properly crawl your site and give it good rankings on their respective organic search results. Ensure that the themes you pick have good in-built SEO – that means that they were developed according to best practices in on-page optimisation. On the most basic end, you want them to properly implement the heading tags, ensure the pages are crawlable and perhaps implement breadcrumb navigation. On the most complex end, check if they implement schema markups in the themes so that the search bots can get even more information from your site.
Ensure you download only from credible sources
Before you download any themes (or anything on the Internet, for that matter), check if the sources are credible. You need to download themes only from official sources such as the WordPress themes market or credible sources such as Studiopress or Envato. If you decide to download from other sources, you may encounter spammy links, unsupported themes or badly coded ones. Sure, free sounds good but in my (so far, limited) experience, I prefer going for paid themes as the support is better. Talking about paying…
Most expensive may not be best
Look at a variety of themes in the market to determine what might be best for your needs. There are just as many well-coded free themes as there are badly coded paid themes. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your problems will be solved simply by spending more money.
There is more to it than good design
Most newbies will pick a WordPress theme based only on its design – or how it looks. But that should not be the case. Sure, how it looks is important but you also need to consider your business requirements. Ask yourself questions such as
- What kinds of content will you publish?
- Will you need to add banner advertising to your site?
- Will visitors be coming in mostly from mobile or desktop devices?
You do want something that is nice to look at, but other criteria such as good support and functionality should come into play as well.
How do you choose your WordPress theme?
There are many other considerations when you want to choose your WordPress theme to ensure that your website is top-notch. Share with us some of your tips in the comments section below!