When creating your WordPress site, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is which WordPress theme to use.
As a key feature of the CMS, new WordPress themes are released all the time. Some enhance the functionality of your website while others prioritize form over function.
Like it or not, your theme is integral to the success of your site. So, in this blog we’re taking a closer look at how to choose the right WordPress theme for you.
Why Is Your WordPress Theme So Important?
As the digital revolution continues across the globe, people’s expectations for modern websites are higher than ever. To satisfy visitors, you need to meet these standards. If not, your business runs the risk of turning people away – maybe even straight into the arms of your competitors.
Technical Aspects to Look for in a WordPress Theme
When it comes to finding a WordPress theme that’s well suited to you and your customers, there are a number of creative aspects that will influence your decision. Factors like your brand image, overall design strategy, and your own personal preference all play an important part.
However, away from the creative details, there are some key technical aspects that need to be considered. So, if you tend to be more concerned with form over function, read on for technical tips that you should keep in mind while browsing for your perfect theme.
In-Sync with Gutenberg
This version of the editor is built to provide more design flexibility when creating content. So, when looking for a theme, its important to pick one that’s designed to integrate the newest features.
Now we’re years into the new editing system, most themes are compatible with Gutenberg, but those specifically designed with the editor’s drag-and-drop block system in mind will give you much greater control over your website.
Compatibility with your Plugins
WordPress plugins extend the functionality of websites by introducing new features such as stronger editing tools or helpful widgets. They can transform your WordPress into an eCommerce store. Depending on the needs of your website, you might have one or two plugins or a small army of them.
However, as each WordPress theme is created with its own unique code, this can unintentionally interfere with other parts of your website, including any plugins you might have installed.
To check for plugin compatibility, refer to their page’s support documentation. Make sure you test your plugins safely going live on your website.
Made for Mobile
In this day and age, you can’t afford not to make your website mobile friendly.
According to the latest stats, mobile browsing accounted for 50.7% of all internet usage. Mobile devices have firmly overtaken desktops for the most popular method of web access. This trend isn’t going to change any time soon.
So, when looking for your theme, you need to make sure that it’s just as visually appealing and easy to navigate on mobile devices as it is on desktop.
Speed plays a huge part in whether a website visitor hangs around or makes a speedy exit. That exit could lead them down the path to a competitor who boasts faster web performance.
Themes that are designed for lightweight page downloads, and aren’t bloated with unnecessary coding, result in a faster browsing experience. Because of this, it’s crucial the theme you choose provides the performance speed your website requires.
There are different online-tools like PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest, where you can test the performance. Most of the themes have demo-pages, so you can put demo-pages links into online testers to see how well the theme is optimized.
Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) remains ever-important in both off-page website design and on-site page content. WordPress is naturally built to work well with Google’s search algorithms, although using WordPress alone won’t effectively improve your web rankings.
Since your website’s development is largely dependent on the theme you choose, it’s imperative that it’s designed well for SEO.
Where to find your WordPress Theme
If you do some searching around, you’ll find countless WordPress themes designed by both first and third party developers.
WordPress’ own themes are located in their theme directory, which offers both paid and free options. Paid themes tend to offer more customization options, updates for better functionality, and a stronger support community. Still, free themes provide a wide variety of choices well suited for smaller businesses and personal websites.
When it comes to third party sources, there are tons out there for you to explore. Here’s five of the most popular offering a range of free and paid themes between them:
– Elegant themes (cminds.com pick)
Conclusion: Take Your Time and Do Your Research
There thousands upon thousands of WordPress themes online to browse through with more released everyday!
With this many to choose from, the perfect WordPress theme is out there waiting for you – it might just take some time and patience to track it down. Like any great relationship, it’s worth putting the effort in to find.
For WordPress website owners who want assistance in creating their website – or effectively installing themes and plugins – check out our services here. We offer monthly WordPress support packages, performance analyses and optimization, and consultations for anything else your website might need.