Confused about how to choose a WordPress theme for your website? Don’t worry, we’re here to clear up your confusion.
A WordPress theme determines the front end of your website. All of your content is presented to your users according to the layout of the theme you use. Hence, choosing a theme is a crucial part of creating a WordPress website.
However, there are thousands of themes available, both free and premium, that it may be overwhelming to choose one. Fear not, this article is going to help you find the perfect theme for you.
Why are Themes Important for Your WordPress Website?
Firstly, if you’ve little to no idea about what a WordPress theme is, here’s an article – what is a WordPress theme? That might help you.
As mentioned above, themes determine the layouts of your website. You can choose a theme, install it and completely change the look of your website (for the better). The great news is that anyone (developers and non-developers) can easily install a WordPress theme.
You can effortlessly find tons of useful, attractive free WordPress themes. On top of that, there is a pool of premium themes as well. And if you’re thinking premium themes might cost you a fortune, then you’re wrong.
Premium themes aren’t that costly, and most importantly, they’re worth every penny. So, even if you purchase a premium theme, you won’t regret it.
12 Smart Ideas On How to Pick the Right WordPress Theme for Your Website
Now that you know the importance of themes, let’s find a perfect theme for your WordPress website. Here are 12 smart ideas for you on how to select a theme for a WordPress website. So, let’s get started.
1) Determine the Niche of Your Website
First thing first, you need to determine what type of WordPress website you want to create. For example, do you want a blogging site, a business website, a magazine site, a food-related site, a medical site, and so on?
Luckily, WordPress themes come in a wide variety. There is a theme for every niche. Hence, choose the theme that matches the purpose of your website. To make your job easier, here are some themes we recommend.
- Blogging-based themes: Radiate is an amazing theme that will showcase your blog posts beautifully.
- Magazine-based theme: ColorMag is a simple yet elegant theme perfect for your magazine-based website.
- Business-oriented theme: Spacious is a great theme that can give your online business a kickstart.
For example, if you want to build a magazine site, then your site will like the screenshot below with ColorMag theme.
And, if you still cannot decide then, it’s always a good idea to go for a multipurpose theme. A multipurpose theme, as its name, is useful for any kind of website.
2) Pick Updated Themes Only
Always, and we repeat, always check the last updated date of the theme while selecting it for your website. The core WordPress software keeps updating. Additionally, an outdated theme is at higher risk for malicious attack. Hence, a theme should also be up-to-date with WordPress.
You can easily see the last updated date in the theme description. For free themes, you can check the updated date from the official WordPress.org theme repository.
Also, it’s better if the last updated date doesn’t exceed six months. Additionally, you can also check the no. of active installations, and its version. For example, here’s the last updated date, no. of installations, etc. of ColorMag.
3) Good User Reviews & Ratings
Checking the ratings and reviews can be a great help while choosing a WordPress theme for your website. After all, reviews are from the people who’ve already tried the product. Hence, ratings and reviews can give a lot of insights about the product.
Fortunately, you can see the ratings and reviews easily on WordPress.org. You can find the ratings on the right side of the theme description. Furthermore, you can see complete ratings and reviews by clicking on the ‘See All’ link.
Similarly, if you purchase a premium theme (say from ThemeForest), you can see ratings in the sidebar. Additionally, you can find the number of sales as well as comments.
4) Well-Coded and Documented
A poorly-coded theme can make your site slow. And nobody likes a website that loads slowly. Even Google ranks a slow site at the bottom of the SERPs.
Additionally, the theme should also be documented so that a layman can easily understand the step-by-step guidance about different features. Hence, a well-documented theme is super easy to understand.
So, always select a theme that’s well-coded at the same time, well-documented. But, you must be thinking, how am I supposed to know if the theme is well-coded or not?
Well, one of the tricks to avoid installing a poorly-coded theme is to always download or purchase a theme from a trusted site. Don’t download themes from sketchy sites. Some of the trusted sites are
- WordPress.org (the official site to download the free WordPress themes)
- Elegant Themes, etc.
5) Developer’s Support to Users
Another great tip on how to choose a WordPress theme for your website is to check if the developers provide support or not. There are times when a problem arises with your theme. And at those times, a developer’s support feels like a blessing.
The most common place to look for free themes support is WordPress.org forum. Before you pick a theme, check it’s support forum.
Also, you can find knowledgebase or documentation on their official website with tutorials. You can check them to see whether there are plenty of tutorials or not.
In the case of premium WordPress themes, most of them provide 1-year dedicated support for their customers via live chat, email, etc.
If you choose our themes, then you can get instant support from our team of experts.
If you’re a ThemeGrill theme user, then you can go to the support page on our site and ask your queries. There’s also a live chat option. Click on the chat button at the bottom right corner and start asking questions.
Bottom line, always make sure the theme you install/purchase provides full support.
A responsive theme looks great on every screen, such as mobile devices, tablets, laptops, etc.
Are you aware that more than 50% of people seek their answers via mobile phones? And if you don’t have a responsive website then, that means you’re chasing away more than 50% of your potential customers.
Therefore, if you want to increase traffic and conversion, choose a theme that makes your site look great on every screen.
7) Fully Supports All Major Plugins
While themes make your site look pretty, it’s a WordPress plugin that adds extra features.
Hence, while choosing a WordPress theme for your website make sure that the theme supports all the major WordPress plugins.
Some of the important plugins to run your website successfully are
- Everest Forms: To add a custom contact form in WordPress.
- Yoast SEO: To make your site rank higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
- W3 Total Cache: This is an all-in-one speed optimization plugin to make the site load faster.
- MonsterInsights: It’s an analytics plugin. With the help of this plugin, you can get every report about your users such as their interest. So, that you can give what your users want.
- WooCommerce: If you’re planning to start an online store, then, WooCommerce is a must-have plugin.
These are just some basic plugins that can help you to run your site smoothly. Make sure whichever theme you choose fully supports all the major plugins.
8) Page Builders
A page builder is a plugin that allows you to create pages using a simple drag and drop interface.
Page builders provide loads of elements and widgets such as buttons, carousels, galleries, videos, images, etc. All you need to do is drag and drop those elements to start creating a beautiful page. Landing pages, specifically, are great to build with the help of a page builder.
Most of the premium themes come with a pre-installed page-builder. In the case of free themes make sure they’re compatible with the popular page builders to create the layout of your choice.
9) Easy Customization
Sometimes you may want to change or take the layout of your theme to the next level. In that case, the WordPress customizer comes in handy.
With customization, you can change/add new features to your WordPress theme. Themes with easy customization offer options like advanced typography, custom widgets, advanced color options, and more. Best of all, you can customize your theme without even touching the code.
Hence, look for these or more options on the theme description and choose a theme that provides easy customization.
10) Ready-To-Import Demos
Wouldn’t it be nice that you get already built pages and all you’ve to do is import them and change a few things to match your preference? Well, ready-to-import demos can do that for you.
The demos are pre-built pages that you can effortlessly import. There can be a variety of demos for each type of website. One theme can have demos for different niches.
For example, ColorMag has 15+ ready-to-import demos. Demos for online news, a business magazine, fashion, beauty blog, entertainment news, and more. You can choose from these multiple demos, import the demo within minutes and start creating your website.
Here’s an article on how to import WordPress theme demo content.
11) Translation & RTL Ready
Did you know, about only 20% of the population speaks and understands English? Not all your users are going to be able to understand English (Universal language).
Hence, a theme that allows the translation of content into any other language is a must. Furthermore, RTL means Right To Left.
Simply put, most languages, including English, are written left to right. However, some languages like Arabic are written in the right to left direction.
And, an RTL ready theme allows you to write from right to left. Hence, if you want to give your website global recognition, choose a translation & RTL-ready theme.
12) Check Browser Compatibility
There are different browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc. Sometimes, themes might look great on one browser but not on another. So, choose a WordPress theme that’s compatible with all the browsers.
Also, most of the WordPress theme developers test the compatibility by using the browser compatibility tool. Additionally, they also mention this feature in the theme descriptions. Therefore, keep that in mind while selecting a theme for your WordPress site.
Wrapping It Up!
And that’s all of the smart ideas on how to choose a WordPress theme for your WordPress website. Hope you got a clear idea about what things you should look for while selecting a theme.
Luckily, we already have some articles about the different themes that might save a lot of your time. Have a look at them.
- 60+ Free WordPress Themes & Templates.
- 27+ WordPress Lifestyle Blog Themes.
- 20+ Best Free Multipurpose WordPress Themes.
- 45+ WordPress Themes & Templates.