How to Choose the Right WordPress Theme
A theme determines more than just the look of your site
WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform and has empowered writers all around the world to publish their work directly online. The system is so easy to use, it can be set up in a matter of minutes. However, there are some key decisions you should bear in mind during the process of setting up your site.
First, spend time choosing the right hosting company
While it’s rare, there are still some hosting companies that don’t offer native support for WordPress. Ideally, you want a company that features automatic WordPress installs to save you having to get under the bonnet of your server to perform a manual installation. Recent Kinsta reviews recommended their service as ideal for WordPress installs.
Knowing where to find the best variety of WordPress themes
There is a myriad of template sites online which offer a vast array of WordPress themes suitable for pretty much every subject you could possibly think of. Sites like Themeforest are a good place to start. Alternatively, just Google “WordPress themes” or you can also browse templates directly in the WordPress interface.
Choosing the best theme for you
You will almost always have a pretty clear idea of what your site or blog is going to be about before starting a project, so begin by doing searches around your site’s subject. If you’re looking to start a travel blog, search the template sites for travel-themed designs and layouts. You’ll likely be surprised at the number and variety of existing templates you’ll find.
However, moving past just the design, there are several other key features you should look for when choosing your theme:
Make sure the theme is responsive: A responsive site is one that adapts comfortably to any size of the screen. These days, mobiles account for just over half of all internet access so you must choose a theme that works on all platforms – mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop.
Browser compatibility: Similar to how users view sites on different devices, they also use different web browsers, so it’s essential to check your choice of theme works across all the major players – Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, Vivaldi, etc.
Keep it simple: Speak to any designer and they’ll talk about the need for white space. Oftentimes, the most striking and effective designs are the simplest. Avoid going for garish color schemes, complicated layouts, or, as a general rule, anything that flashes. Instead, let your writing and images do the talking. Simple layouts almost always work best.
Support: All templates come with a user guide; however, it’s not uncommon to come unstuck with a template and require support. Check to make sure the developer offers some form of back-up help to avoid having to pay another programmer to fix issues.
WordPress version support: Check that your template is compatible with the latest version of WordPress (details available on the official WordPress website).
Plugins: Check that your template is compatible with all the major plugins (or any less well-known software you intend using). Most developers will be only too happy to advise you before purchase.
Choosing the right theme for your WordPress project will make adding, editing, and deleting content from your site much easier. The right theme also goes a long way to setting the tone for your content, so choose wisely and always bear in mind the type of material you intend to feature.