Selecting the correct theme for your online WordPress project is as essential as creating quality content to publish on it. While installing and changing themes is not a difficult or time-consuming process in itself, determining the most appropriate one for your project is definitely a task that needs you to ponder. No matter how expensive your WordPress hosting plan is, your website won’t be user friendly until and unless you have the right theme for it. In this blog, we will guide you about the factors you need to keep in mind during your search for the perfect WordPress theme.
Experts suggest that prior to browsing through the themes available online, you should first draw a rough sketch on a piece of paper, describing how you would expect your web pages to look like. You need to plan the purpose of your website, the regularity of content that is to be posted on it, the target audience and also your budget.
We understand that vibrant colors and aesthetic backgrounds catch attention, convincing the person to choose a particular theme. However, the most elegant looking theme might not be the best for you. Most themes are designed for a single niche. While browsing through them, make sure you consider other elements such as columns, headers, footers, side bars etc. Evaluate their sizes as well as locations and then try to figure out whether your written content/images will fit in here well or not. Don’t be too impressed by colors, background images or font styles of a theme. These features are comparatively easier to change anyway. You should buy premium themes only if they have certain additional features that you may require and are unable to get them in the free versions.
Reading the user reviews, comments, and ratings for a theme is always a good idea. This will immediately give you a little insight into how well reputed the performance of a particular theme is. However, there is a lot more you can do even as a non-tech person to evaluate the technical qualities of a theme. Running online performance checks through websites such as Pingdom or GTMetrix will give you a detailed analysis report. From here, you could use the total number of HTTPS requests and overall scores to determine which theme is better.
Apart from this, if you already have a theme installed, you could also use a plug-in named “Theme Check” for such an analysis report.
In this age, it is essential that your website is compatible with all browsers. It is possible that your website might be working efficiently on your own browser but not on someone else’s. Since your audience/users can be using any other browser, you should try choosing a theme that conveniently works for all. To check whether your theme is compatible or not, you could simple try opening it on different browsers.
Similarly, considering that in this era, almost everyone owns a different kind of handheld device (eg: phone, tablet etc.), it is ideal that you select a responsive theme. Layouts of such themes adjust automatically, according to the screen sizes of different devices.
Researches show that a large percentage of web traffic is directed from mobile phones. This is why all websites should be mobile ready. If you want to check whether your WordPress theme is responsive or not, you could easily do so by changing the size of your own web browser. If the alignments adjust on their own, your theme is responsive. Another method to test the mobile readiness of your website is to simply use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool. All you have to do is copy and paste the URL link of your theme’s demo page and you will obtain your results. Another interesting fact: Google tends to rank mobile friendly ranks higher than others during search results. Thus, before finalizing on a WordPress hosting plan, make sure you have the right theme.
Plug-ins allow a user to customize and personalize his or her website according to the needs. Once you finalize the requirements for your website, you will have a better idea of what kind of plug-ins you may require in the future. While browsing through demos of different themes, make sure that your required plug-ins can work on it. As per your right, you could always ask the developer for more information regarding this.
A theme that appears to be very aesthetic and appealing might not be coded very well. If you are a techno geek, you will understand this better. According to the theme of your website, your website would require certain HTML tags that can help it in getting ranked comparatively higher on search engines such as Google. Without these tags, you might not be able to reach your target audience. If you are someone who does not know who to code, you could opt for premium themes. These come with the support of WordPress’ own developers who will assist you throughout your WordPress journey. Through plug-ins like SEO by Yoast, Chrome extensions such as MozBar and other free online tools like the Markup Validation Service, you could take steps towards improving the SEO of your website’s theme.
If you are running a website for an online project that may have audience from all across the globe, you might need to first ensure that your theme is translation-ready. Although it is usually mentioned in the theme description section, if you have more questions, you can ask the developer directly.
At the end of the day, it is not the WordPress hosting plan that needs more thinking but the theme itself. No doubt, selecting the right theme for your WordPress website is a bit more technical than what you would have thought. Nevertheless, you could easily do so by following our guidelines.
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