How to Choose a WordPress Theme

Wondering what themes to go with for your WordPress site? It’s important to choose the best WordPress theme for your website. But we know choosing themes can be a huge hassle. Therefore, to help you with that we’ve got the perfect guide for you.

The official WordPress theme repository provides over 8,000 free themes that you can use for your site’s design. And with more than thousands of other premium themes, you get a wide range of choices for themes. However, this only makes it harder for you to choose from.

Therefore, to help you choose the best WordPress theme for your website, we’ve prepared a perfect guide on selecting WordPress themes and the things to look for.

Let’s get started.

What is a WordPress Theme?

WordPress Themes Directory Page
WordPress Themes Directory Page

A theme is a combination of templates and stylesheets that determine the appearance and design of your website. It defines how your website looks to your visitors.

In WordPress, themes are the templates that allow you to customize and style your WordPress site to fit your business, organization, or vision. They primarily define how your content appears on your site.

Theme normally consists of different styling elements like colors, font sizing and layouts, elements sizing and positions, and more. These elements work together to make your site look elegant and you can easily customize these elements to make your site look unique.

You can easily customize WordPress themes and control how your content looks. WordPress also provides themes with features optimized for different niches. You can select the theme that fits your requirements. You can get free themes for almost every niche from the WordPress themes directory.

Choosing the Right WordPress Theme? What to Look for?

Themes determine how your site looks. Having the best theme also helps you gather a good amount of traffic for the site. So here, we’re going to explain the most vital things to look for when selecting a theme for your WordPress site. 

Therefore, to help you ease the stress of choosing the best theme for your site, we’ve prepared a list of things you have to consider and look for in themes before getting it. The checklist of things to consider while choosing your theme are:

1. Works Well with Your Purpose

Before you choose a WordPress theme, you must figure out what you actually need. You’ve to know what is your niche and the purpose of your site. You should have a clear understanding of what you need then you can start searching for the themes.

You can make different types of sites. And, WordPress provides you themes for almost every type of website. For more information, you can check out our article on different types of websites.

Different types of websites have different ways of displaying content and structuring the site. For example, a blog website often displays and organizes content from the most recent to the oldest. Whereas, a photography website should allow you to showcase your photos in elegant ways.

And fortunately, WordPress has themes specifically built for almost every type of site. You just need some effort to check which themes provide the best of features you need. 

2. Compatibility with Page Builders

Compatibility With Page Builders
Compatibility With Page Builders

Page builders are very important in making your website. It allows you to easily design and position different elements on your site. Most of the page builders come with easy drag and drop tools to create and edit your website.

Having a page builder allows you to beautifully design different pages of your site like landing page, contact page, forum, and more. Actually, page builders offer greater freedom to non-coding users to create stunning landing pages. 

So, it’s better if you choose a WordPress theme that is compatible with popular and featureful page builders. Some popular page builders are Elementor, Page Builder by SiteOrigin, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, etc.

Some themes also come with built-in page builders which allows for quick and easy page building and designing with no installations.

3. Design and Responsiveness

Responsive WordPress Themes
Responsive Themes

Having a responsive and mobile-friendly website is very important for providing your site visitors with a pleasing browsing experience. Mobile-friendly and responsive sites mean that they can run on different mobile platforms with no issues.

This means that your website should have a variable width that can be easily adjusted according to screen size and it should not restrict or hide your content. It should also be able to add different navigating menus and options for convent navigation with touch.

Hence, you must choose a WordPress theme with a responsive and mobile-friendly design. You should be able to make an elegant site that can be run on mobile devices of every size with no hassle. This unlocks you to a greater number of potential audiences as more than 50% of traffic on the web is from mobile devices.

4. SEO Friendliness

SEO Friendly WordPress Themes
SEO-Friendliness

Proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your site and content allows your site to rank higher in the search engine results. This will allow you to gather a greater number of visitors and quickly grow your site.

SEO is optimizing your site to make it more efficient, readable, and fast. The search engines love these optimizations and it’ll help your site show up at the top of the list on search results. With a higher rank, your site is likely to get new potential customers.

Therefore, you need to choose a WordPress theme that is SEO friendly. Moreover, the theme should also allow you to use external SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, Rank Math, and more.

5. Support for Plugins

WordPress allows you to extend your site’s functions and features using different add-ons and extensions called ‘plugins’. They’re a piece of a program that brings more features and optimization to your site.

The official WordPress plugins repository provides you with more than 50,000 free plugins that you can add to your website. Utilizing these plugins properly can help you optimize your site for better speed, performance, and efficiency. You can also easily take care of the backup and security using different plugins.

However, all this is possible only if the theme you choose is compatible with respective plugins. For a functional and featureful website, having a plugin is very crucial. Therefore, if a theme doesn’t work well with major plugins, then that brings a huge disadvantage to your site.

Therefore, you should select a theme that is able to run smoothly and be compatible with all the important plugins before you get it.

You can check the detailed guide about what is a WordPress plugin to know more about it.

6. Compatibility with Browsers

Compatible With Browsers
Compatible With Browsers

People often use and prefer different types of browsers to access the web. Among a huge number of browsers, Google Chrome is the most used with more than 65% users on the web, and Safari is second with 16%+ followed by 4% of Firefox users and remaining users on other browsers.

Your websites should be easily accessible by all these different types of browsers as you can’t control the users. You should get a theme that allows all these browsers to access your site with no hassle.

If your theme isn’t compatible with the browsers, then your site won’t be able to properly load for the visitors. Having a theme that is not compatible with some browsers is a huge loss for your traffic. Therefore, going with a theme that is compatible with almost all major browsers is very important.

The WordPress themes library mostly has cross-browser compatible themes as they are well tested before deployment so you often don’t have to worry about it. But, checking if the theme of your choice is compatible with different browsers yourself makes it a more safe choice.

7. Customization

Customization Support in WordPress
Customizable Theme

Although WordPress allows you to select themes for your site from thousands of free and premium available themes, you might want to further customize to make it look unique from other sites using the same theme. Making some changes to have it fit your idea or business perfectly should be an easy task for a theme.

Having a theme that lets you easily customize it and add new functions and features work is very crucial. The themes from the WordPress library often provide a good range of customization options. However, the range of customization still lacks behind in comparison to some popular premium themes.

You’ve to look into the customization options that the theme provides so that you can easily differentiate your site from others’.

8. Updates and Support

You can always come across different problems while setting up your theme. You might need help to set up the theme or come through on any obstacle. It can greatly affect your efficiency and productivity. To minimize the effect and get help during those situations, it’s important to look for a theme with better support.

Also, you need to choose a theme that provides frequent updates. Online security threats are rising day by day. Updates often come with more security measures against those vulnerabilities and a better security system.

This is where some of the free themes may lag behind. At the expense of being free, these themes mostly don’t provide reliable support and frequent updates. They often have a forum of users where you can add your problems but it doesn’t guarantee a solution or fast answer.

However, most premium themes provide fast and reliable support with frequent updates. They provide dedicated support and good documentation to help you overcome any obstacle you may face.

Updates and support help eliminate different issues to the theme which ensure a smooth long-term working theme. So, it’s important to choose a WordPress theme that has good support and gets frequent updates.

9. Cost and Expenses

Budget Friendly WordPress Theme
Budget-Friendly Theme

The most crucial thing while getting yourself a theme is the cost. You’ve to be very mindful of the cost of the theme and the budget you have for the theme of your choice. Going with a theme above your budget is not wise and can cause more problems.

The WordPress theme directory provides you with a good selection of free themes. Some free WordPress themes like Astra, OceanWP, Neve, Zakra, etc are really good products. You can make any type of website with these free themes. They provide you free support and updates too. But all the free themes may not be good. So, be careful while choosing free WordPress themes.

Sometimes, free themes may not really suffice your requirements. In such a case, you may have to purchase a premium theme. Premium themes often come with advanced features and design capability which free themes lack.

You also have to be aware of the additional expenses on getting a theme. Even if some themes are free, it might charge you money at some point for more features or subscriptions. Going with a premium theme with a small investment can be more fruitful.

You can get more customization, more features, and better quality of a theme with an investment of some money than getting yourself a free theme that lacks features. Still, you must stick to your budget while you choose a WordPress theme.

If it’s absolutely crucial you get those premium functions for some extra, then you can go with paid themes. However, choosing a premium theme above your budget is not a wise move.

10. Ratings and Testimonials

Ratings and Testimonials of WordPress Themes
Theme Ratings and Testimonials

Even if you have a list of some best themes satisfying all your requirements, then also you can’t guarantee if it works well. You won’t be able to tell if it’s good or bad without trying each and everyone out. This is where checking the ratings and reviews comes in.

Ratings and reviews can be a great deciding factor for getting your theme. You can check if people like the theme by going through the reviews. People post their experience and feedback on how the theme has worked for them and if it’s worth getting. Themes also have different testimonials from users on their site that can help you decide if the theme is worth getting or not.

For the WordPress library, you can easily find the ratings and reviews for all the themes. Also, you can check reviews by some renowned bloggers to find out how a theme indeed is. 

Some Best WordPress Themes

Now that we’ve explained 10 points for choosing the best theme, you may be able to pick one easily. If you still need some suggestions, then here are our top recommended themes:

  • Astra – Most Popular Free WordPress Theme
  • Avada – Best Selling WordPress Theme at ThemeForest
  • Divi – Popular Multipurpose Premium Theme.
  • Storefront – Best eCommerce/Online Store Theme
  • Zakra – Free Multipurpose WordPress Theme
  • Soledad – Best Blogging WordPress Premium Theme
  • Author Pro – Best WordPress Theme for Writers
  • Sydney – Popular WordPress Business Theme

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you how to choose the right theme for your WordPress site. We believe that you can get the best theme for your site using this checklist and make a beautiful site for yourself.

We wish you all the best while choosing the best theme for your site.

Also, you can check out our article on “20 Most Popular WordPress Themes 2021”.

And, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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