Choosing a WordPress theme comes as one of the most important steps to create a website. An appropriate theme can boost your website and make it rank higher on search engines.
However, millions of theme options out there might confuse you about where to start.
In fact, a theme is not only a matter of aesthetics but also about readability and user experience. If you are looking for a theme that works best with your website, check out this article to learn how to choose the right WordPress theme.
What is a WordPress Theme and How Does It Work?
WordPress theme is the face of your website, including layout, color, graphics, style, animation, etc. It controls how everything appears on your website.
To help you have a better idea of WordPress themes, we have divided themes out there into 5 categories:
Default WordPress Themes
Default WordPress themes are automatically installed when you first set up your WordPress site. They have basic features such as links, images, contact information areas, etc.
Twenty Twenty-One is the latest WordPress default theme at the moment, coming in WordPress 5.9 release. We also have Twenty Twenty-One and Twenty Twenty themes as well.
In most cases, people will change their default theme into another because it lacks advanced features. Besides, the default look is not as nice as other available options.
Completedly Free WordPress Themes
Although free WordPress themes come with no charge, it doesn’t mean that these themes are of low quality. In fact, many of them look stunning and are attached with several helpful features. If you are setting up a basic website or personal blog on a tight budget, consider using a free WordPress theme to save money.
However, there are some drawbacks when using free themes. You might not receive support from the developers. On top of that, your theme might not be updated as frequently as premium ones. Lastly, it comes with limited functionalities that may not fit your needs.
Free WordPress Themes with Premium Upgrades
Most free themes on the WordPress repository offer a premium/pro version. While the free version provides you with multiple useful features, upgrading to the Pro/Premium theme gives you chances to access more advanced capabilities and enhance functionalities.
Premium WordPress Themes
You need to pay a certain amount of money to access premium themes without free trials. These high-quality WordPress themes are equipped with many useful features that meet your custom demands.
Of course, you get what you pay for. These theme providers provide you with top-notch customer support service in case you have problems or questions. Premium WordPress themes also offer regular updates for new features or bug fixing.
How to Choose the Right WordPress Theme
Identify Your Needs and Budget
Make it clear about your needs. If you are building a personal blog, you might just need a few simple features. In this case, the theme’s look is more important. You may want it to be really eye-catching and impressive.
Plan to set up an online store? You will need more advanced features such as e-commerce, chatbot, newsletter sign-up, etc. To make sure that your site runs smoothly and stably, we recommend using premium themes to avoid technical issues and receive quick support from the developers. Here are the top 5 WordPress themes for digital product stores for you to refer to.
Pick a Lightweight and Simple Theme
Your WordPress theme might have a big impact on the performance of your website. A “heavy” theme can significantly increase page loading time while visitors might not be patient enough to wait. This may lead to a decrease in your conversion rates. Besides, slow loading also affects your ranking on search engines.
The best way to choose a lightweight theme is to test it. We recommend using GTmetrix. After installing a theme on your site, run it with GTmetrix and you will know your performance status.
However, this tip is only suitable for free themes as you can test several options. How about premium themes? The answer is to test performance by using the public theme demo. This will not give you a perfect result but you still have an overall idea about how things work.
Remember to select a theme with a simple layout and just-enough functionalities. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to make your site attractive and easy to use but not to overcomplicate things and confuse your visitors.
Choose a Theme that You can Customize
People have different purposes when they choose a theme. It is important that your theme allows you to make changes according to your needs regardless of technical knowledge.
WordPress Customizer helps you customize several aspects of your theme such as colors, text format, layout, etc. So make sure to pick a theme that comes with it.
Install a Theme with a Responsive Design
Visitors to your site can be mobile, PC, or tablet users. Ensure that your website adapts to every kind of device.
People are increasingly using mobile to browse, you should make your site as mobile-friendly as possible.
Today almost all WordPress themes are called “responsive” but that doesn’t mean they are optimized on every device. The tip is to carefully test your website on different devices. Pay attention to every detail such as text, images, etc. to see if they appear right.
Take an SEO-friendly Theme
There is a relation between your WordPress theme and your SEO performance. When your theme generates properly coded HTML, your site could rank higher on search engines. Today, many developers are clear about whether the theme is optimized for SEO so make sure you check it out before choosing one.
Go for a Compatible Theme
Plugins help add more functionalities to your site. Therefore, make sure your theme is capable of integrating with the popular plugins or the plugins that you need.
Look at the Reviews
Before choosing a WordPress theme, remember to read reviews and ratings from other customers. You might find both good and bad reviews. They will give you insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the theme you are about to use.
Check for Updates
A good WordPress theme should stay up to date with every update of WordPress software. Therefore, you should check it out to see if the developer updates them regularly. Normally, it should be updated once in six months.
A theme with no updates for a long time may conflict with plugins or contain vulnerability holes.
Go over the Support Policies
Not everyone has a good command of technology. You will probably face some problems while setting up and using your theme. That is when you need support from the developers.
However, the customer services of some theme providers are not as good as your expectation. Therefore, you need to check their support policy to see how they assist their customers.
What’s Your Ideal WordPress Theme?
From millions of themes out there, you can choose a theme tailored to your specific niche.
Here we provide you with a list of multipurpose themes that will make things easier for you. For example, Astra, SeedProd, Divi, OceanWP, and KadenceWP.
Choosing the WordPress theme is super important. Whether you are creating a blog or an e-commerce site, you still need the right theme to make your website work. If you still have a question about how to choose the right WordPress theme for your site, leave a comment below to let us know.
You may want to learn more about our guide on how to edit HTML in WordPress theme source code.