Hi again, it’s time for our “WordPress Manual” series. In the very first article, you might be interested in some hacks and tricks, and I’m pretty sure that they did provide you with more pleasant WordPress experience. Today EarthTheme comes up with the second topic in the “WordPress Manual” series: Checklist for a perfect theme.
There is a fact that you have only few seconds to impress your website visitors. As the online market are becoming increasingly competitive, make sure that everything on your web looks good and goes smoothly at the first glance. Moreover, making a good first impression will set the scene for how a person continues to perceive your website, read your content and finally purchase your product.
Now that you understand the importance of choosing the ideal theme for your web. That’s the reason why in this article, I suggest a list of 6 criteria to assess whether you should pick a WordPress theme or not. Let’s discover!
Luckily there are a large number of good and free themes available in the market. If you use WordPress for personal purpose only (eg. blogging), searching for free themes is a good option. However, if you are running an online business, I’m pretty sure that only purchased themes can ensure the best performance of your website. Additionally, premium themes will provide you with access to the template files, future updates and regular support. In the long term, buying a theme is a great investment, because the cost of hiring a developer/designer to customize your web will absolutely be a huge number.
Once you have decided to go with the premium route, there exists various pricing model that you may consider:
and so on. All the options have their own pros and cons, depending on your purpose, type of business as well as your current budget.
All the themes come along with a lot of templates to which you can add more functionality. While you use WordPress for many different purposes, it’s crucial to think about the necessary templates in advance. Really mandatory is only index.php; however, some WordPress developers recommend at least:
Many WordPress beginners find it difficult to change or customize page layouts on their site. While premium themes come with different page layouts, those are extremely hard to manage for anyone who has no idea about code (HTML/CSS). That’s why drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins come in handy.
These WordPress page builders allow you to create, edit, and customize every components on your site without any previous programming knowledge. These components range from adding multiple columns to backgrounds, from changing text color to full width images, content slider, etc. Users can use these components as blocks to build their own layouts within their WordPress themes.
Recently almost premium WordPress themes have come with pre-installed page builders. So make sure that you will choose themes that are shipping with one of the most common page builder plugins. If not, you can also purchase these page-builders separately to use with other themes.
Smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming the most popular ways for people to browse the internet. In fact, a significant number of web traffic is generated from mobile and other handheld devices. Another important point you have to know is that Google always shows mobile friendly websites on top in their mobile search results. This leads to the fact that if your WordPress theme is not able to work well on all screens and devices, you are losing your online interaction and even your business (if you have one).
Responsive themes here means that they can adjust the layout across different screen sizes and devices. Regardless of your site’s topics and demographics, all websites need to be responsive and mobile-friendly.
Good news for you: Most WordPress themes nowadays are responsive by default! But there are always exceptions, so be careful! Don’t always trust what the theme providers tell you. After buying a theme, remember to test it on all your mobile devices, laptops, desktops, and whatever you have. Make sure that the theme you are choosing for your website is truly responsive!
Keep in mind that WordPress users all over the world are using different browsers. Your theme may look perfect on your familiar browser, but there may be something wrong for your friend surfing on different browser in another country.
This is why browser compatibility is one of the criteria for choosing WordPress theme. Especially when you have to interact with people all around the world, or operate an online business, this ability becomes a must. However, you don’t have to worry that much. Most WordPress theme developers often test their themes thoroughly before releasing a product by using specialized testing tools. If they don’t mention browser compatibility in the product description, you can still try testing your WordPress theme on Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc. on your own.
Last but not least, it’s definitely worth spending some time investigating the pre and post-sales support on offer. A theme may look great at the first glance, but who knows, it may have bugs that you just can’t see at the time you purchase. This is where great customer support comes in.
While free WordPress themes do not often provide additional support, most premium ones can give you a helping hand whenever you have problems. In my opinion, when talking about WordPress theme support, there are certain factors that I always look for:
By spending a few minutes understanding what you need to look for, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run when it comes to choosing the right WordPress theme. Well, if you have successfully found out your ideal theme that satisfies all the above factors, don’t be hesitant to share with us!