Some people have a natural gift for graphic design. Crafting a beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing WordPress site comes as naturally to theme as breathing and sleeping comes to others. As for the rest of us?
We’ll just have to settle for purchasing a theme.
Luckily, there are plenty of amazing ones to choose from - and even the bog-standard options that ship with WordPress don’t exactly look terrible. It’s one of the things people love about WordPress, really. It’s such a popular platform with such a thriving community that there really is something for everyone.
That applies to themes just as much as plugins.
That said, I should also note that not all themes are created equal. You need to be careful how you spend your money here. Because you might well end up purchasing a theme that you think is perfect, only to be left with a nightmarish lemon that makes your site look less attractive than a 1990s Geocities page.
Let’s see if we can’t help you avoid that.
There are many places on the web that offer premium options for your site’s layout and appearance. But not all of those places are trustworthy or particularly worthwhile. Just as you wouldn’t buy food from any restaurant you see, you should be careful where you purchase your themes from.
Here are a few warning signs that you might want to stay away from a theme marketplace:
Plenty of themes bill themselves as easy to install and use. And most of them are pretty easy to set up. Unfortunately, some themes will come with a laundry list of errors and configuration issues.
It’s therefore important that you do a bit of research into a prospective theme before buying it. Don’t solely trust the reviews on the vendor’s website. Look at what people are saying online - look for help documents or frequently-mentioned issues with the theme. Not only can this give you an idea of what you’re getting into, if you’re dead-set on purchasing a theme, it’ll equip you with the knowledge to get things up and running that much faster.
Last but certainly not least, ask yourself if you really need to go out and purchase a premium theme. Sure, there are some phenomenal ones out there. But there are also plenty that are woefully overpriced, and could be replicated with just a few hours of work and some moderate expertise with CSS.
It’s therefore worth at least considering that it might be more economical to design a theme yourself - not to mention it’ll probably be more satisfying in the long run.
There are a lot of amazing WordPress themes on the web - but there are also a lot of lemons, too. Make sure you only spend your money on the former. Because we don’t need any more of the latter.