All of us, at some point in time, have thought of making blogs or websites with WordPress, which is probably the most user-friendly and simplest open-source software used widely by people. But once we are done with the installation of WordPress for any website, we have to choose the Theme.
Now when the question comes to choosing the Theme, you have to decide what exactly you want to do with the website or what features you want to have on the site. For example, someone would like to have an e-commerce site or someone would just like to have a site to upload images or an author website with information only.
- Free or Premium Themes: When I first browsed the themes on my WordPress dashboard, I was shown the popular themes and they were mostly free. I thought when I have paid for the hosting and the domain, I could get all features for free but No! There are paid and free themes. As I went down, I found the paid ones popping up. After trying a few free ones and then trying the demo of the paid ones, I don’t find any difference. Moreover, there are semi-paid themes also, that have minimum features and even those work well for most of the websites.
- Purpose: When you choose a theme, remember the purpose behind building your website. This is because your Theme will speak about the site and will speak to your customers on your behalf. Moreover, besides serving the purpose, the theme should look attractive, it must be responsive, market your brand and give a great customer experience without the involvement of any human labour.
- Responsive: The theme that you choose must be responsive; which means the theme when used in the website can optimize itself if accessed from any sort of devices, whether mobile or computer or a tablet with different screen resolutions. This gives a good experience to the visitors. You never know which device a visitor might use so it’s better to be safe and cater to the needs of all by choosing a responsive theme.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization means getting the website rank high on Google search results. There is no use of a website that exists but doesn’t come up in search results. This is because the website can be the only form of communication or business for you but when it is not available in Google search, people wouldn’t come to know about it. Therefore, choose a theme that is SEO ready or SEO friendly.
- Plugins: Choosing a theme is easy but a WordPress website is nothing without plugins. Plugins can make a site look great but when it’s missing, you cannot put any additional features which are not normally available with the theme. Therefore, choose a website which can be easily customizable and the necessary plugins could be used.
- Brand Name: The most important thing of any business or an establishment or an individual is to create a brand name. One can only create a brand name with the help of a website. Now when you choose a theme randomly, you might not get the option to change the website information and the developer details in the Footer area of the website because it would be locked by default. It’s not only true that when you purchase a theme, it will automatically be removed but also one can change the copyright and developer information on the Footer area of a Free Theme by just choosing a theme that gives that feature. I made a website myself and I was able to do it with using the theme itself. It was the Supermag Theme and it gave options to change the Footer copyright and developer information. One can also change the look of the Footer by using CSS codes if they have knowledge about it. Even if one has no knowledge of CSS, they can find out many CSS codes for free online which they can use to change the look of the Footer.
- Features: If you are choosing the theme for the first time, let me tell you, you cannot expect everything on a particular theme until you know coding. If you don’t know coding and still want to use a cool theme, just make sure you use the right theme. There are lot of people out the who confuse them with searching of the themes but first sketch down the features you want and then search the themes.
- Speed: It’s kind of frustrating when a website takes minutes to load up. The world has become so fast that people don’t have even a second to spare and a website might oose visitors. So, when choosing a theme, one should be careful to select the theme that is not so heavy and would load up quicker. There are some one-page themes which are extremely fast but the OneTone theme that supports a video in the slider of the homepage makes the website too slow load up. Avoid going for themes that you might think would use a lot of bandwidth and make your website slow. In case you need help, consult and expertise to guide you.
- Customer reviews: It’s not that you have seen a theme and it looked promising and you have activated it. Remember to choose a theme based on customer reviews. Customers are the king of the market. What they think as good will be good indeed. There are lots of themes available with exciting features but most of them might not have been coded well and might end up giving unsatisfactory results, therefore, it is always recommended to install the theme that has received positive reviews and feedback from the customers.
- Easy customization: Choosing a theme is just not that you can put any theme and expect what you wanted it to look like. There will be widgets available but you have to find out if the theme supports that widget. For this, use the demo theme or use the live preview and find out if the theme is really giving you what exactly you want. There are themes where you cannot change the color combination of the website or you don’t have options to have a blog. So, choosing a theme is very important and more important is to have it customized according to the needs.