Choosing a WordPress theme is an important thing for all WordPress users and also not easy especially for beginners. There are thousands of free WordPress themes as well as the premium (Paid) themes out there. Each theme seems better than the other. With so many features and layout designs. So how to choose a WordPress theme that fits your site needs?
In this post, We’ll show you important things to consider when picking a WordPress theme, so you can select the best WordPress theme for your site.
How important is choosing a WordPress theme?
Most of you already know that WordPress is simply the world’s most popular web publishing platform, It’s used to create most types of sites, that why each theme has different function and design depending on the type of website that was designed for it.
In fact, the purpose of the themes is to show the front side of your website. They are designed to control how your site looks and how content is displayed in the browsers. They can be installed without affecting the content of the site, But that’s only the case if your theme was developed following WordPress standards in order to avoid the lock-in effect. so you can easily switch WordPress themes in the future.
Therefore you should be careful when selecting a WordPress theme for your site to avoid most of the future problems with your site which may be caused by a bad choice such as the “Theme-Lock” problem which mostly happens after switching from a theme had (tons of features and using so many shortcodes to display cool things) to a new better theme, Maybe it offers better look and features, etc. and when you uploaded and activated the new theme, changed some of the settings and finally, you go to check the new theme on your site and it’s totally broken.You find that all your custom features provided by the Old theme are gone, shortcodes are broken everywhere..etc! so be careful and select a good theme from the beginning.
Now let’s take a look at the things that will guarantee you select a good theme for your WordPress site.
10 important features for selecting a WordPress theme
1. Choose a Premium theme.
Most of us tried the free themes for WordPress, especially at the beginning. Free themes are great way to start your WordPress site without spending money, but here are some common problems with them:
- Not updated regularly.
- Abandoned completely.
- No support for most of them.
- Code quality is not always ideal.
Therefore, I would highly recommend you do to choose a premium WordPress theme from trustworthy providers such as Themeforest Marketplace.
2. A Right WordPress Theme Niche
Most WordPress themes are designed for a specific purpose, and you should select the right WordPress theme that relates to your site niche, for example if you are building a blog with WordPress, find a blog theme, and you don’t need to choose a directory theme or eCommerce theme. because such as themes come with extra futures that you don’t need and maybe slow down your new site.
3. A Mobile-Friendly WordPress Theme
Select a responsive theme for your WordPress site that works perfectly across a wide range of devices ( desktop computer monitors, tablets, and mobile phones), Which it is also called a multi-devices design, choosing a WordPress theme optimized for mobile devices is required and not optional feature anymore, Google defines the “Moblie-friendly” feature as a ranking signal, and show that on search results page, this will improve your website ranking in Google Moblie Search results. So make sure to select a mobile-friendly theme for your WordPress site.
4. Compatible with Must Have WordPress Plugins
There is a collection of the must-have plugins for every WordPress site, helps to get more features and control of your site. So make sure that the new theme you are selecting for your site is compatible with the most useful plugins for WordPress such as Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, WooCommerce..etc
5. Search Engine Optimized Theme
Find a search engine friendly WordPress theme, that means a theme built with latest web standards and SEO best-practices in mind, and also optimized for speed. The source code of theme should be clean, highly semantic and well structured, so search engines like Google can index the content of your site with ease.
6. Easy to use and Customize
Many of premium WordPress themes come with a powerful Options Panel to help you play easily with your theme settings, changing the layout, colors.etc. Make sure to pick a WordPress theme has an options panel with advanced customization and friendly user interface to save your time especially if you don’t have any code skills.
7. Support, Updates, and Documentation
Choosing a premium theme for WordPress from trustworthy developers will guarantee that you get free longtime support with detailed documentation, unlike the free themes, which often do not come with any support or documentation. Also, the premium themes come with free lifetime updates to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress or to add new features. So Make sure that you select a WordPress theme that has a good support team, better documentation and updated regularly.
8. Cross-browser Compatible
Many of browsers for desktop and mobile are available and some themes look good on a browser and broken on the other. So make sure to find a WordPress theme compatible with most popular browsers such as IE, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera.
9. Page Builder
Page builders usually are WordPress plugins that help you to create new page layouts by drag and drop user interface. So Make sure to select a theme uses or is compatible with one of the most used page builder plugins like Visual Composer. and don’t choose a theme comes with a built-in page builder option, used by only that theme, to avoid any theme-Lock problem when you switch to a new theme.
10. Child Theme Ready
If you modify your theme directly and it is updated, then your modifications may be lost. By using a child theme you will ensure that your modifications are preserved. also using a child theme can speed up development time. and It is a great way to learn about WordPress theme development. In fact , A child theme is simply a theme that inherits the functionality and looks of another theme / the parent. The child themes are the best way to customize your WordPress theme without affecting the theme itself. so make sure to find a WordPress theme with a child theme option, or you need to create your own child theme.
Check out our collection of 2016’s best free and premium WordPress themes to choose what suits your site:
30 Best Responsive Free WordPress Themes 2016
Thanks for reading! Leave me a comment below, and let me know if you have tried any of the tips to select your WordPress theme?