03 Jan How to Select the Best WordPress Theme for You
One of the very first decisions that you will have to make when getting a new WordPress blog or site started is choosing the theme for it. This is not a decision that you want to make lightly either. It’s not just the look of your website that is determined by your theme. Your website’s functionality, ease-of-use, and speed across multiple devices to name a few things are directly impacted by how you select the best WordPress theme for your needs.
You also have literally thousands of themes, both free and paid premium versions, to choose from. Many new WordPress users make the mistake of being overwhelmed by the number of options and then choosing the first theme that they like.
This is a mistake for a number of reasons, and it’s important that you actually take the time to survey through your options and find a theme that will work best for your website and your brand. Especially once you consider that you have over twenty million other WordPress sites to compete against, choosing an attractive and user friendly theme becomes even more important.
To help you along, here are the top issues to consider when selecting a WordPress theme:
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DO Select A WordPress Theme With Easy Customization
Your WordPress theme should definitely be very easy to customize in order to make it truly unique. For this reason alone you should take the time to select a premium WordPress theme instead of using the basic default option.
While you may think that you need to learn CSS or PHP coding in order to customize a WordPress theme, the truth is that there are a great variety of easily customizable themes for 2019 that can be easily modified by anyone.
DON’T Choose A Cluttered Theme
While you may think that you want a theme with as much features as possible, the truth is that a cluttered or bloated theme is going to have a very negative impact on the performance of your website as well as make it more vulnerable to hacking.
For example, many WordPress developers will use codes found online to create the additional features for their themes. However, since these codes are not focused on keeping the website secure, they can ultimately pose a major security risk.
DO Choose A Theme With Excellent Navigation
Themes cone with a wide variety of layouts, which directly impacts how easy (or how difficult) your site will be to navigate.
Obviously, ease of navigation is definitely something you will want for your website. Good navigation makes it easy for users to browse through your website, to limit your bounce rate, to sign up for your mailing list, and so on.
A good exercise you can follow now is to visit a few random websites or blogs and test out their layouts to see how easy they are to navigate.
DON’T Choose A Theme That Stores Data
There are several themes that will either allow you to store SEO data or possibly give you an interface that will allow you to store data.
While this may sound convenient, the second your theme is ever replaced or possibly even updated, the data you stored will vanish and it would require an expert and a considerable amount of time and resources to recover it.
The lesson: don’t choose a theme that stores your data. Store your SEO data elsewhere.
DO Invest In A Premium Paid Theme
Free themes are appealing to many because, well, they’re free.
But free themes are also free for a reason. The quality of the coding is often mediocre, they aren’t updated that often, support may be unreliable or nonexistent, and there’s a strong possibility that the author of the theme may abandon it completely in the future.
Paid premium themes, on the other hand, are far more dynamic with better features, an improved layout, easier navigation, responsive and reliable support, and better defense against hackers as well.
In other words, treat a premium theme like an investment. Your WordPress blog or site will be faster, safer, and visually more appealing if you pay for it.
DON’T Neglect Your 404 Pages
Most WordPress themes will just read “404 – Page Not Found” on a 404 error page.
This is not a page that your users will want to see, and you can help make things a little bit better by giving them options.
Therefore, you will want to choose a theme that allows you to customize your 404 error page with options. You can add a search box, an advertisement (if you want to monetize it), links to popular and recent posts, and so on.
With these options, your users will simply be less likely to leave your website entirely.
DO Test Your Theme Before You Purchase It
Last but certainly not least, remember to thoroughly test your theme before you purchase it. One of the best plugins you can use to test out how efficient your theme will be is to use the Theme Check plugin, which will contrast your theme against current WordPress Standards.
It’s always important to review your website before you put it up for all in the world to see. You’ll also want to confirm that the website is optimized for your mobile device as well.
If there’s one more thing that should be said about choosing a WordPress theme, it’s that you need to choose a theme that will be in alignment with your goals.
Think about your brand. Visualize how you want your website or blog to look in your head. Then you can begin focusing on the details of that theme and ensuring that it’s a theme that will make your site equally as functional as it is appealing.