10 Tips for Choosing the Best WordPress Theme
Domain, check! Hosting services selected, check! Website platform (WordPress) picked, check! Now it’s time for the fun part: choosing your WordPress theme. When it comes to themes, there are so many options it can often feel overwhelming! It’s difficult to know which theme will work for your website goals and how it will match the overall look and feel of your business. Take your time selecting a theme. Also, don’t feel locked into the original theme you choose. Feel free to update your theme as your site grows and changes.
Define the Overall Goal of Your Site
The first thing to do when choosing a WordPress theme is to define the overall goal of your site. Sometimes certain themes will work better with specific sites, so it’s a good idea to figure out your site’s purpose. For example, some themes are geared toward blogs, while others work well with eCommerce sites. Whether your goal is to inform, motivate, or sell, there is a WordPress theme for you.
Find a Theme That Matches Your Design Look
There are so many different WordPress themes covering various styles and designs. Some themes are bright and colorful, while others are neutral and modern. Pick a theme that matches the current design of your business. If your business portrays a modern, minimalist look, then a rainbow-colored theme might not be the best for your website. If you have a graphic designer on your team, involve them in the decision-making process.
Most importantly, your site needs to be user-friendly. It doesn’t matter how graphically pleasing your site is; if it is not easy to navigate, users won’t stick around for long. All websites should have an easy-to-read menu on each page. This helps visitors see what information is available on your site and easily navigate between the pages. Also, make sure the theme allows users to access the homepage from any page on the site. There is nothing more frustrating than getting stuck on a website page and not being able to return home. In addition, make sure the theme you pick provides users with the opportunity to easily contact your business. Your site should have customizable contact forms where customers can leave compliments, complaints, and questions.
Not only does your site need to be user-friendly, but it also needs to work! When testing out themes, make sure links, buttons, and processes like checkout are working. If something isn’t working the way you think it should, contact the theme developer to figure out what is going on.
Mobile Appearance and Functionality
The theme you pick for your WordPress site should not only look good and function properly on a desktop or laptop, but it needs to on mobile devices as well. According to a report from the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), by 2025, 72% of internet users will access the web only from their smartphones. This statistic shows just how important it is for mobile sites to be just as functional, if not more functional, than desktop sites. As you search through various themes, be sure that you are checking them out on a mobile device to ensure compatibility.
WordPress sites run on plugins, which are similar to apps. There is a plugin for everything! For example, if you want to add a “buy online pick up in store” feature, there’s a plugin for that! Interested in customizing gift cards and coupons on your site? There’s a plugin for that! Look through the WordPress plugins you need and make sure all of them are compatible with the theme you choose.
Free vs. Paid Themes
WordPress offers both free and paid themes. While free themes are very budget-friendly, they typically don’t contain as robust of features as paid themes do.
Checkout Theme Reviews
One way to get a sneak peek into how a theme works is through reviews. Read reviews on the various themes you are considering to understand what others have experienced. Keep in mind there will always be some negative reviews, but make it your goal to pick a theme with primarily positive reviews.
Pick as a Team
Don’t try to pick a theme for your website all alone. Involve as many people from your company as you can! Key players should include management, graphic designers, eCommerce staff, computer coders, and anyone else who will frequently be accessing your site. Each person will offer a helpful and unique perspective.
Testing, Testing, Testing!
Finally, thoroughly test whichever theme you pick before going live. Access every page, click on each link, and go through all processes like adding to cart and checkout to ensure that everything is working just as it should. Figure out and manage all the kinks of your site before it becomes customer-facing so that any issues won’t ruin the user experience.
Picking out a theme for your WordPress site is a fun process, but it also takes a lot of careful planning and testing. The goal is to ensure that the theme fits with the overall look and feel of your business. In addition, the site must be functional and user-friendly so that customers won’t be turned away due to underlying site issues. Before you get too excited about picking a theme, remember you have to choose a hosting service first. All websites need a host, and Host For Web is always a great option. We host numerous websites across a wide range of industries to help businesses develop high-performing websites. For more information about different hosting options, contact us today.