How to Choose a WordPress Theme in 2019


How to Choose a WordPress Theme in 2019

As a key feature of the most widely used CMS around, new WordPress themes are being released all the time to enhance the design of the platform’s websites.

Right now, most theme updates and releases are specially catered to web users in 2019, and it’s important that yours is too. Though at first mention, you might be wondering why the year has anything to do with your website’s theme.

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Simply put, people’s expectations for modern websites are always changing. When it comes to satisfying your visitors, it’s imperative that their standards are met. Otherwise, your business will run the risk of turning people away for its outdated performance, and that’s something nobody wants.

To help you find a WordPress theme that’s best suited for customers in 2019, here’s what traits you should look for in a theme—and where you can find one.

What to Look for in a WordPress Theme

Image of binoculars placed on a table, used to represent the task of looking for a WordPress theme

There will be many influences behind the decision for your WordPress theme, such as your brand’s image, design strategy, and your own personal aesthetic preference.

But aside from those common factors, there are also some key technical aspects regarding WordPress and Ecommerce design trends which need to be considered.

In-Sync with Gutenberg

Alongside their recent 5.0 update, WordPress released its newest content editor, Gutenberg.

This latest version of WordPress’ editor is built to provide more design flexibility when creating content. So, when looking for a theme, try to pick one that’s designed to integrate the new features it introduces.

While most existing themes are perfectly compatible with Gutenberg, those specifically designed with the editor’s new drag-and-drop block system in mind will give you much greater control over your website.

Compatibility with your Plugins

Each theme is created with its own unique code, and this can unintentionally interfere with other parts of your website.

WordPress plugins extend the functionality of websites by introducing new features such as stronger editing tools, or Ecommerce capabilities. Depending on the needs of your website, some critical plugins may not be compatible with a theme you consider.

To check for plugin compatibility, refer to their page’s support documentation, and test your plugins safely before running them live.

Made for Mobile

In this day and age, your website cannot afford not to be mobile friendly anymore.

Last year across the United States, internet users chose to access the web via their mobile devices more than they did their desktops. It’s also well understood that, continuing forward, this trend of mobile-first internet access will only grow.

When looking for your theme, make sure that it is just as visually appealing and enjoyable to navigate on mobile devices as it is on computer desktops.

Speedy Performance

Speed plays a huge part in whether a visitor to your websites stays on the page or goes somewhere else. Oftentimes, that somewhere else ends up being a competitor who boasts a 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.

SEO Friendly

WordPress is naturally built to work well with Google’s search algorithms, although using WordPress alone won’t effectively improve your web rankings.

Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) remains ever-important in both off-page website design and on-site page content. 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

Image of a figure standing before a maze, used to represent the search for a WordPress theme

If you do some searching around, you’ll find countless WordPress themes designed by both first party developers 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 excellently suited for smaller businesses and personal websites.

When it comes to third party sources, there are tons of them out there to explore. But to narrow it down, here’s five of the most popular offering a range of free and paid themes between them:

ThemeForest

StudioPress

WooCommerce

Themify

MyThemeShop

Conclusion: Take your Time and Research

Image of a watch half-buried in sand

Aside from the above sampling of sources, there thousands upon thousands of WordPress themes online to browse through. Not to mention, more are being released every day.

With this many around, there’s a WordPress theme perfect for your website out there. Finding that theme just requires the due diligence to track it down.

For WordPress website owners who want assistance in creating their website—or effectively installing themes and plugins—feel free to check out our services here. We offer monthly WordPress support packages, performance analyses and optimization, and consultations for anything else your website might need.