Choosing a WordPress ThemeJorge Leger
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF CHOOSING A WORDPRESS THEME
There are thousands (10,000-plus) of WordPress themes out there. So many that it would take days on end to search through them all. So how do you narrow it down to find the perfect one for your site?
When it comes to WordPress themes, less is always more. Building from the bottom up, the theme you choose should only have the features that will help you accomplish the goal of your site, not unnecessary ones that clutter your theme, which brings us to the next point.
2. DON’T CHOOSE A BLOATED THEME
The importance of this is you don’t want a theme cluttered with features — this will only hurt you in the long run. A feature-rich theme might be nice, but it can severely affect site performance. Be sure to restrain yourself against installing every feature you think is cool.
While fancy music players or gaming capabilities might be alluring, they could detract from site performance. Plus, developers often use code they found on the internet for these features, thereby creating security weak spots because they aren’t necessarily focused on keeping a site secure, but performing a specific function.
3. DO CHOOSE A RESPONSIVE THEME
Responsive design simply means making your site ultra-easy to use—not just on a laptop, but on multiple devices. This means that it’s compatible with mobile and has menus and other widgets that are easy to navigate. Look for features like a fluid site grid and flexible images that can translate to non-desktop devices. An example of a responsive theme would be one that can easily translate on a mobile device without any hiccups.
Say that you picked a theme that you love, but it’s not as responsive as you’d like. You’re going to have to customize it a little bit. Here are some ways to make your WordPress theme responsive on your own.
4. DO KEEP COLOR IN MIND
Remember, most of online marketing is based on visual appearance, and colors increase brand recognition as well. If you have a logo, try to match your color scheme of that logo. If sticking to neutrals, a hint of color here and there will make it more interesting. WordPress makes it super easy to alter the appearance, including colors, of a theme by going directly into the file or entering in custom CSS.
If trying to decide between dark and light, note that it’s statistically shown that site visitors prefer lighter colored sights. While a dark website design isn’t an absolute no, if you do choose to opt for the dark side know that you are decreasing readability and the opportunity for more conventional design elements.
(If you want some advice on colors for your theme, here’s some from our CTO, Jason Cohen.)
5. DO CONSIDER BUYING A PREMIUM THEME
While free themes are great for those on a budget, they can present some issues. Aside from the quality of coding potentially not being up to par, by using a free theme, you take the risk of it not being updated regularly, a lack of support, and the theme author abandoning the theme altogether.
David A. Cox of PCClassesOnline.com explains why choosing a WordPress Theme can be difficult.
There are so many flashy templates out there that may appear to offer a great solution… but do they? In this video, Mark Collier (our newest team member) offers up his advice when selecting a WordPress template. Be sure to keep watching our channel for Mark’s future WordPress tutorials, tips, and tricks!