Choosing a WordPress theme is an important step for building a website. Picking the correct theme saves lots of time required for the design and develop your site. There are lots of free and premium themes available. Below is the list you should consider for choosing the correct theme.
1. Make a list of the features you need
Before selecting a theme, you should decide what type of website you are going to develop and what features are required on the site. There are different types of websites such as ecommerce, business, portfolio, media website and many more. You can check the theme against your website type and features and then pick the proper WordPress theme that completes your requirements.
Theme decides your site’s design and layout. Check WordPress theme for design also which is essential for good user experience.
2. Choose a responsive theme
More than 50% of web traffic is generated from mobile and it increases year by year. Google ranks high for mobile-friendly websites on top of its mobile search results. A Responsive theme will ensure your content is readable on all screen sizes (Mobile, tablets or desktop) with respect to device resolution. This is one of the most important factors that you can not avoid. Test your theme for responsiveness using Mobile-Friendly Test where you add your theme demo URL.
3. A theme that allows great customization
A good theme provides customization options such as fonts, colors, backgrounds that change the look of the site without the knowledge of coding and CSS. The customization options are different from theme to theme.
Check theme demo and documentation for features and customization options that offer the theme.
Many themes provide customization options which doesn’t need coding skills. Check Divi WordPress theme, and drag and drop Divi page builder for those new to WordPress.
4. Supported Plugins
You can extend your site functionality by using WordPress plugins. You need to install plugins for adding features, so check if your theme supports all plugins you might need to use in the future.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins. Make sure that your WordPress theme is compatible with all must used plugins like Contact form7, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, Jetpack, etc.
5. Page Builders
Page builders are WordPress plugins that allow you to create, edit or customize the layout using drag and drop functionality without required coding skills. There are many popular free and premium builders available. Select the theme which is compatible with most used page builders.
6. Ensure your theme is optimized for SEO
Search engine optimization is required to rank your website high in Search engine result pages and getting more traffic. Therefore choose ‘SEO friendly’ theme which is developed in concern with SEO. The theme which has poor HTML code will affect SEO and alternatively on the rank of the website. To check your theme for HTML documents for well-formed markup use W3C Markup Validation tools.
7. Do consider buying a premium theme
Free themes maybe not fulfill your all requirements and not provide guaranteed support and updates. There are more premium themes available on Themeforest, Template monster. These provide a large number of features and 1 year of support and updates for themes.
8. Test the theme with the Theme Check plugin
The theme which has a poor HTML code will affect SEO and website performance. It can slow your site and may generate a security issue. Therefore check your theme with the latest WordPress theme coding standard. Use the Theme check plugin to test your theme. It checks the theme with the latest theme review standards.
9. Loading Speed
Website Speed affects user experience and SEO. Most of the users leave the site which is slow speed. Most users expect loading time up to only 3 seconds. The theme which has more features will slow down your website, therefore choose simple theme not bloated with non required features. Make sure you choose an optimized theme.
10. Updates and Security
If your theme is premium or paid, it provides premium support and update. To make the theme secure it needs to be updated with the latest version. For free theme contact with theme support and ask for updates. Theme updates and security is required to avoid bugs, malware, compatibility issue with WordPress and plugins.