Choosing the perfect theme for your website can be challenging when you don’t know what to do first. It’s more than just picking a fancy design and expecting that things will automatically adjust for you. Functionality, security, and usability are among the things you’ll need to consider. Here’s a simple guide on How to Choose a Theme for Your WordPress Site.
The Art of Design
When it comes to designing websites, it all boils down to user experience and responsiveness. Imagine browsing through a website that has photos, text, widgets, and other elements scattered everywhere. Needless to say, it’s purely chaotic and difficult to navigate.
Ask yourself this question: What impression or message do you want to impart to your site users? That’s design. It includes knowing and understanding the specific needs and behavior of the people you want to reach. Take some time identifying what you really want to impart. After all, your site is about connecting and optimizing the relationships you create in the long run to achieve your end goal. Seize their thoughts, and move your message to the next level.
Basic Functions for Your WordPress Website
How do you want your website to look like? With this question in mind, you can go browsing through the theme directory for themes that are aesthetically pleasing. Considering the font, colors, and layout, you can go look for a theme simply because it’s beautiful. But, above anything else, you also have to think about the basic functions that will carry out your website’s purpose.
Grab a pen and paper, and list down what you want to do through your website. Do you want people to contact you? Do you intend to sell products? What do you want to achieve? From that list, you can come up with specific functions and features that will help you decide the theme you need.
Themes come in a variety of functions. What works in one may not work in others. You can see what a theme can do for you and your users by having a good preview.
You can also find key words for what you want through tags and theme descriptions. Or, use the feature filter in the theme directory to help sort what you want.
Plugins are your main buddies for website features and functions, but there are also some aspects that themes can provide for you.
Investing on Security
A poorly coded or outdated theme can threaten your website’s security. It can hamper your site’s performance and search ranking as well. For free themes, among the disadvantages are:
- Many are not well-coded
- May include spam links
- Offer less features
- Lack of support especially from developers
In contrast, among the disadvantages of premium themes are:
- May come in costly
- May include unwanted features
- Time required in configuration
Apparently, premium themes provide better options in contrast to free themes. If you’re still a beginner, it may take awhile before you become familiar with the settings and tools. But, you can always look for reviews and ratings to help you determine those that are reliable. You can also choose to approach experts or download from recommended theme providers.
Yes to Responsive WordPress Themes
Is your website easily available on mobile? Being responsive means being able to adapt to a mobile device. You can refer to the previous post for this. Some themes may not work properly on mobile.
With a responsive theme, your users won’t have the inconvenience of zooming in to see an image or text well. All your site’s available functions will also work smoothly, making it easy for anyone to navigate and do as you would have them to do on your site.
To check if your site is mobile-responsive, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just type in a page url from your website to find out.
Helpful Items to Consider
Before you decide to purchase or select a theme for your website, take some time to consider these things first regarding your theme:
- Outdated themes – Some themes may already be too old. Consequently, they don’t suit the current needs or trends for websites. Some of their functions may not work well anymore due to age. For this, if you’re not sure how to spot outdated themes, you may want to consider using featured or default themes instead.
- Complaints – One of the best way to find out the credibility of a theme, is through the complaints posted about them. You can browse through the theme homepage and join the forum to read about the ideas that various WordPress users have.
- Ratings and reviews – Apparently, themes that have low ratings may not perform well. Also, take some time to read through the reviews to find out the possible issues and concerns for that theme.
- Support – Find support from fellow WordPress users and amiable experts to help you decide which theme works great. What’s good about WordPress is that it has a thousands (if not millions) of supporters around the world. They hold forums and conferences as well.
With thousands of visually attractive themes on WordPress, you can be confused as to which one to use for your website. As you browse through a vast variety of options, remember that design includes the way you present your message to your users. With this comes functionality, security, and usability.
Be careful to choose themes that won’t threaten your website and user’s safety. Make the most out of the functions available. And, see if it can efficiently carry out your ideas to mobile users.
Many often find it difficult to transition from one theme to another. For this, it will be beneficial for you if you plan out your ideas first before taking action. Always know what you want to achieve, hold on to that vision, and carefully consider the options available for you to carry on that goal—envision, strategize, act.
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