How to Choose a WordPress Theme

How to Choose a WordPress Theme
25Sep, 2019

After creating a WordPress website, you will find that it is too dull for your liking. What’s more, it may not be ready to perform all the functions you need it to and in the manner that you prefer. This point is where WordPress themes come in. Selecting a theme isn’t a straightforward experience since there are myriads of them out there. They vary in features and functionality, which implies that you need to think long and hard before choosing the one that fits you best.

We know you have more pressing issues to handle and have, therefore, prepared this guide for you, on how to choose a WordPress theme.

10+ Factors You Need to Be on the Lookout For

The following are the main features that you need to watch out for before choosing a theme:

Ratings and Reviews

When a theme impresses or disappoints a user, they will be sure to leave a review. Therefore, if you want a reliable source of information on the pros and cons of a specific theme, look at its ratings and reviews. To see the customer reviews, you can visit the site where the theme is sold and click on the stars. Themes with high scores will naturally catch your attention. However, reading the negative and positive reviews gives you an idea of what to expect with that theme.

Compatibility with Common Browsers

Your website will have countless visitors who will be using various browsers. When installing, you might make the mistake of focusing entirely on the browser you are using, only to find out that the site presents problems when accessed via different browsers. This problem will compromise the traffic on your website.

The tailors of the best WordPress themes make a point of keenly testing their themes on all modern browsers. To figure out if a browser has undergone these tests, you can try it yourself on browsers such as Mozilla Firefox,Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, among others.

Mobile Design

Another aspect that could cause problems for your traffic is mobile design. As you carry out the tests mentioned above for browser compatibility, you should also carry out checks to determine whether the theme in question has a great mobile design. There are millions of people who browse the internet using mobile devices and won’t access your website if your theme isn’t mobile-ready.

Some themes are easy to view on all devices without losing the original content or the page design. This ability of the site and its contents to self-adjust to display on different devices is called responsiveness. You should use various screens to test the responsiveness of your website, once you apply a specific theme.

You can carry out these tests by viewing the site on portrait and landscape layouts. A fully responsive theme should adjust itself to display content appropriately with the change in width.

Customizability

One of the reasons you want to get a theme is the ability to manipulate your site. You want to create an identity around your website that sticks in the subconscious of your visitors. You also want to craft your site into something with which your specific target audience can identify.

Wanting a beautiful site is a no-brainer. Many themes come with a wide range of colors from which to choose and apply to your site. These color schemes help you form an identity around your site and attract visitors with visual appeal.

As you customize the appearance of your sites, other themes allow you to manipulate pictures, text, and videos. You can create slideshows that make your website captivating as you interestingly tell stories about your brand.

Fonts and Readability

Before you settle on a theme, confirm whether its font options are appealing. If the font options are few, hard to read and not attractive, it would be perilous to choose the theme. The text that you put up on your site should attract your visitors and give them an easy reading time. The in-text and text-to-photo spacing should also be enough.

Fonts of themes that have CSS should be easy to customize. While you can make your fonts unique, they should maintain readability and beauty. Some themes give you access to hundreds of Google Web Fonts. Such a theme gives you all you need in terms of fonts.

Simplicity

If a theme features too many elements, it may end up producing crowded pages. If you integrate too many media variations such as pictures, video, complex animation, flashy colors, complicated layouts, you could compromise the results. Despite the cliché, simplicity is indeed genius. Too much complication of the site makes it challenging to navigate and reduces its usability.

When a site is too cluttered, it becomes more prone to recording low loading speeds. The visual allure is essential in a site, but it shouldn’t compromise the functionality of the website.

Support for Specific Plugins

One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is the plethora of plugins that facilitate its usage. You can add plugins that help you realize the functions that you intend for your site. These plugins include testimonial slider plugins, Woo swatches plugins, restaurant menu, etc.

However, some plugins such as Yoast SEO, Gravity Forms, among others are must-haves. Make a point of checking whether a theme supports the must-have plugins as well as those that you may need to realize full functionality of your site.

Compatibility with WordPress Updates

When you purchase a third-party theme, you may run into problems if it doesn’t update along with upgrades made for WordPress. Before settling on your preferred theme, make sure that its version upgrades along with that of WordPress. This point is the main reason why we recommend that you purchase themes from a trusted author such as RadiusTheme.

Translatability and Multilingual Readiness

Most websites created in this century will attract an audience from different regions. Consequently, you will need to make sure that the contents of your site are available to people who can’t speak English. You could even want to create a website in another language instead of English.

In these two instances, you will need to use a theme that is translation-ready and multilingual-ready. Visitors who visit your site can view content in their preferred language, while the admin can translate content into a specific language before posting it.

Warranty Policies

Some themes come with a warranty to guarantee that the theme is everything that the author promised.

You could use this as a tie-breaking feature. If you have settled on two or three themes and have to choose one, you can check the guarantee that the author offers for the theme’s quality. Some themes come with a warranty of a full money refund if you find its results underwhelming. You could prefer such a theme for more reassurance.

Accompanying Page Builder

page builder

A WordPress page builder provides the administrator of a website with an interface on which to edit and create pages – mostly using drag & drop. Most WordPress themes come with inbuilt page builders. Page builders, like themes, are of different quality – some could be of more harm than help.

If the author of a theme used a page builder that is unique to the developer, it might cause problems when you want to change the theme. Furthermore, some of these page builders may produce junk code. To avoid the mishaps that may come with using such page builders, you should select a theme whose page builder is very common, such as Elementor.

SEO Friendliness

If a theme is of poor SEO quality, it may lead to the generation of HTML of low quality. If this occurs, your site will have low results on search engines so that few or no visitors will ever find it. To avoid this, select a theme that is SEO optimized.

Quality of Support

While using the theme you choose, you might encounter difficulties at some point. The theme could also develop problems, which only the developer can solve. Most of the free themes don’t have reliable support. Some premium themes also lack excellent support. Good support is available for long hours and is often helpful.

To make sure you buy a theme whose support isn’t a disappointment, check the support ratings and reviews. On the marketplace that is selling the theme, find a place where the number of ‘issues reported’ are written. Along with this, you will find a number indicating the number of issues resolved.

Also, some customers who are impressed or underwhelmed by the support leave reviews indicating what kind of support one is to expect with that particular theme.

Final Verdict

As you follow our comprehensive guidelines, it is essential to note down all the features that you need in a theme before selecting one. The nature of your website will determine your preference of features. From there, our guide on how to choose a WordPress theme will help you choose the best one.