Finding a perfect WordPress theme is a tough nut to crack. That’s because the options are endless, and there are many factors to consider when choosing the right one.
This article will discuss why choosing the right theme matters and tell you the dos and don’ts when choosing a WordPress theme.
So let’s get started.
What’s WordPress and Why Choosing the Right Theme Important?
It’s unlikely that you haven’t heard about WordPress, whether you own a website or not.
WordPress is a popular content management system where you can easily create blogs and websites. It powers almost 43% of all the websites on the internet.
WordPress is an open-source platform that has plenty of plugins, themes, and features that can cater to any business needs. Anyone can use them to design their customized website and blog without any prior knowledge of coding for free.
While designing a beautiful website on this platform, a lot of factors are taken into consideration. Selecting the perfect website theme is one area you can’t ignore.
Themes encapsulate the brand’s story and are responsible for better user engagement.
However, most people don’t put much effort into searching for the perfect theme. There are mainly two reasons behind this.
- Either they are overwhelmed by the presence of more than 10,000 WordPress themes.
- They don’t have the proper knowledge about selecting a suitable theme for their website.
Both of these reasons can equally hamper your website’s performance and business.
Themes make your website look attractive. It’s a perfect gift for people who want to design their website but lack learning.
Another critical reason to use themes is to ensure security. Using a popular theme has good reviews, keeps rolling updates, and keeps your site safe from online attacks (more on this later).
You have now understood the importance of WordPress themes for a website.
However, the real struggle starts when you have to choose the right one. WordPress provides a vast collection of themes that can be overwhelming to choose from.
When selecting a WordPress theme, keep the below-mentioned things in mind.
Do’s While Choosing a Right WordPress Theme
Site navigation is the first step to making your website user-friendly.
According to a survey by HubSpot, poor navigation is the third most voted reason for users leaving a website.
Ensure that the theme you use is easy to understand and navigate, especially for the new user. It should have an intuitive look and feel, which can help users find immediately what they’re looking for.
A cluttered theme with complex navigation may repel the user from further navigation. And the best way to avoid it is to test the theme before buying.
Every WordPress theme will have a demo you can try out before buying. It will give you a clear view of how your menu looks and if it’s easily navigable or not. You can adjust it with multiple theme options to see what works best.
#2. Look For Specific Features
Often, you might have a website idea that needs certain features to build.
For example, if you’re building an e-commerce website, you must use a theme with relevant e-commerce integrations. Or maybe you want to sell an online course. In that case, you will need a theme that offers LMS plugins.
So choose a theme based on your business needs. Think of where you see your business ten years from now and get a theme with all the features you need to make it happen.
#3. Website Layout
Getting a theme with the exact website layout in mind is like finding a needle in a haystack; that’s why your theme needs to be highly customizable.
This will help you modify the pre-built pages and build a layout you have in mind.
All the themes are customizable to an extent. Some offer more options than others, while others can limit your branding. Choose the one that lets you customize everything small detail on the page.
Pro Tip: WordPress customizer, an essential WordPress feature, lets you customize the site’s layout and design by smoothly using a simple and beginner-friendly interface. Ensure that the theme you choose is compatible with the customizer.
#4. WordPress Security
Choosing a secure WordPress theme is one of the most important things to consider.
In 2020, Sucuri conducted a survey that relieved that among 8,000 infected websites (by malware, virus, or any form of online attack), 74% were built on WordPress.
And most of these attacks are due to an evil theme or plugin choice.
A secure theme is:
- Downloaded from a reputable source
- Compatible with most WordPress plugins
- Keeps rolling updates frequently
While choosing a theme, you must ensure that it is perfectly compatible with your WordPress version. Not doing so can result in a website crash.
Around 72% of people want mobile-friendly websites. This demands a more responsive theme that makes your website look good and easy to use on any platform.
A responsive theme adjusts itself according to the size of the browser and improves the overall browsing experience.
Generally, most themes are responsive by default. However, you must check it to guarantee whether it’s mobile-friendly or not.
A simple way to evaluate the responsiveness of a page is by resizing it. As you resize, you can see if the page modifies itself to the width layout or not.
#6. Search Engine Optimized Theme
Your WordPress theme reflects your brand story and aims to provide a rich user experience. But often, business owners ignore the SEO-friendliness of the theme.
A theme not optimized for SEO won’t be able to help you rank higher in SERP (Search Engine Result Page). This can hinder organic traffic and leads, affecting the overall revenue.
However, installing SEO-optimized themes doesn’t guarantee better results. You have to do SEO to get traffic; a theme will only provide you with the right resources to do it.
You will need a theme that keeps pace with every change. Outdated themes can cause severe damage to the website.
It can cause security issues and expose your website to malware and hacks. That’s why you should always invest in a theme that rolls out regular updates.
Lucky for you, WordPress notifies an outdated theme when your upload one. You’ll see a yellow-colored message that indicates the theme hasn’t been tested for the latest version of WordPress.
Note: If a theme isn’t updated for more than two years, better avoid using it.
Don’ts While Choosing A Right WordPress Theme
#1. Bloated Theme
A theme with thousands of features might overwhelm you and lure you into installing it.
But most webmasters aren’t aware of is having several unwanted features in a theme will make your website load very slow.
So, avoid adding every feature you think looks trendy and cool. It can make your website look fancy but hurts the website’s performance.
Remember: Trendy features are temporary; an excellent user experience is permanent.
#2. Hard to Read Font
Many times you indulge in practices that hurt the user experience. hard-to-read fonts are one of them and are tough to recognize.
There’s a great chance that a font you see as easy-to-read might be uncomfortable for website visitors to read, skyrocketing website bounce rate.
A cluttered and unreadable font might be frustrating for users to navigate or read blogs on your website.
Keep your fonts easy and straightforward to read. This results in effective communication and increases the overall user interaction with the brand.
#3. Sacrificing on Customization Options
A customized WordPress theme allows you to stand out from others in your niche.
Let’s say you own an e-commerce store in a competitive niche.
You know that the brands you’re competing with are big players, and the only thing you can do to beat them is by customizing your theme to personalize it as much as possible.
So you go ahead and launch your website in multiple languages, change graphics according to geo-location, and gives buyers the option to pay in their local currency.
This will help you outperform your competitors, no matter how big they are.
#4. 404 Error Page
When you put in the wrong URL on Google, you might’ve seen a message like:
- 404 – page not found
- HTTP 404 not found
These are usually shown when a user reaches a non-existent page or a page that has been deleted.
Websites must design 404 pages with the same navigation elements showing messages like these. It conveys politely about the unavailability of that page to users.
Moreover, such pages allow users to report broken and missing links.
It’s a fact that these pages are frustrating for the user, and they may leave annoyed. However, Google recommends every website add an error page in a similar way other website pages have been created.
Hopefully, you have got some insights to narrow down your selection.
WordPress theme is a building block of a website, and you don’t want to hurry in buying one.
Keep all the points mentioned above in mind, and make a checklist so you can check everything off when you plan on buying a theme for your website.
Check some best WordPress Themes that Support Infinite Scroll.