WordPress is a platform that is constantly evolving to ensure it is current enough to appease the most ardent followers of technological advances, while still being easy and accessible for people who have just started out in the world of websites and web hosting. WordPress themes are available in their thousands, but not all are created equal, in terms of style and security. To help you figure out which is the most effective for your website needs, we have put these professional tips together.
1. Trust Goes A Long Way In Choosing A Theme
Copyblogger.com says that content, navigation and design are the three key factors to online success, so these should be on top of your mind when picking a theme. When you select a WordPress theme, two thirds of your decision should be focused on how easy it is to use and what it looks like.
In addition, Copyblogger says you should also be on the look-out for:
Out-of-the-box control and flexibility, Highly adaptable and secure platform with built-in SEO, Easy customization, multimedia and social media integration, Easy, logical navigation that makes a visual impact, Unlimited support and updates.
Have a look at who designed the theme, how long they have been around, and how responsive they are in terms of providing support. Support is really essential as some template builders do not actually offer it at all. Do not assume that technical support will come as part of the package, but rather make a point to find out.
2. Choose A Theme Specific To Your Industry
Some themes are built to be suitable for blog-style sites with a lot of content, while others may be more visually focused and will require high quality imagery to make it work for you. WPMatter sheds the following light on the industry advice:
For example, if you are running a blog website, you can choose a theme that is relevant to your blog topic. If you have a wedding website, you would better choose the theme that with a large gallery instead of text box. In a word, you should choose a theme related to your industry and make visitors know your website directly.
In terms of design aesthetics, simplicity and style can go a long way.
3. Is Your Theme Cross-Browser Compatible?
Your Analytics reports will show you which browsers your visitors are using to visit your website (unless you are running your first website and do not have access to this data). But the chances are that your visitors will probably have different preferences, so it is important to make sure that you cater for all tastes and preferences.
4. Do Not Forget To Check The Terms Of Service For Your Theme
Yes, even themes come with the fine print, something you need to get used to reading. You might find out, for example, that according to the terms of service, your theme has certain back links or adverts attached to it.
5. If In Doubt, Ask WordPress
If you do not want to take a chance uploading a theme based on online recommendations, check out WordPress directly to see which themes are endorsed. Where do you look? WordPress.com says:
You can find and preview Premium Themes in two spots: on our WordPress.com Theme Showcase and right in your WordPress.com dashboard. On the Theme Showcase you’ll find detailed information about the special features each theme offers along with a link to a special demo site that lets you cruise through it and get a feel for it. Check out our current stock of Premium Themes on the Theme Showcase.
Using a WordPress theme means all the boxes have been checked and that the theme is safe to use, however, we still recommend following this check list to ensure you get the best value out there.
Steven Johnson, a WP Hosting Reviews senior editor, works from Atlanta and covers all things related to WordPress and Hosting.
He graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, has managed hosting companies and now builds WordPress and Joomla Websites for small to medium companies full time.