It’s not always easy to select a theme for your website, especially if you are new and have no idea how to choose. In this post, I’ll give you some pointers on how to select a theme.
Start By Defining Your Needs
You must first decide on the most important aspects of your website. Will it include a blog? What is the purpose of the site? What do you want it to be known for? Do you need specific customization options?
For starters, look for a theme that is simple and clean. People are less apt to stay on a visually complex website. As you want them to stay as long as possible, don’t get too complicated.
Try to find a theme that will match your content. It should give the right look and feel to enhance the material you put on it.
Think ahead and decide what the features are you will need as your website grows. What will be your future needs? Do your best to answer this question at the start of things.
What About Color?
Colors are important. They have the ability to affect our emotions and moods, and can definitely play a role in the success of your website.
Use color carefully. Blend colors together on your page, and don’t make it too busy. Do make sure that the theme you select will allow you to pick the color you want to use.
Mobile Responsive Is Very Important
Your theme must be responsive on all devices. Mobile devices are becoming used more and more, and it is important that your website responds well on these devices.
Being mobile responsive will not only help your readers, but will help your rankings as well.
Free Theme Or Paid?
If you find a free theme you like, that’s great. You can always upgrade later. If you wish a paid theme, check that it offers updates and support.
What About SEO?
It is very important to pick a WordPress theme that is SEO-friendly. You can ask the developer, as he should be able to tell you.
Most WordPress websites are set up to be SEO-friendly, and may come with SEO plugins, designed to do the job needed.
Site Speed Is Vital
It is very important that your loading time be fast. Check to see if it is. Once your website is set up, run a speed test. Aim for under four seconds for pages that are media-heavy, and if you can get under three seconds, that’s best.
Remember Your Business Goals
Here are some things to consider when you choose that theme:
What are you selling?
Build your website with your results in mind. On each page, if you can, funnel as many visitors as possible to your main source of income.
What features do you require?
Think about the features that will be essential for your visitors, and then figure out what you need on the website to provide those features.
You may need to add custom files to get your results. Look at what is provided in the “customize” portion of the theme. Decide if you can do what you want with those features.
Look at the competition.
Look at a very successful competitor or two. These websites can give you ideas about setting up your site, and will help you figure out what your target audience is expecting.
Looking at these sites should give you an idea or two as to how to proceed.
What To Look For In WordPress Themes
1) Be sure to check that they are mobile responsive.
2) Has the theme been updated recently?
3) How about a user rating? (Such as four stars) Do you see ratings from a significant number of people?
4) Is there support?
5) Is it popular?
6) Are there quality video tutorials? These can be very helpful.
What Functional Requirements Do You Need?
Make a list of what functional requirements you’ll need. Do you need a shopping cart, comment section, forum, etc?
Be sure to look at the preview page of the theme, which will show you what it looks like and what is included. Decide, for example, how many colors you want: One, two, or three.
Your Header Is Important
Think about what kind of header you want. As the header is the first part of the website that your reader sees, make your primary goal to welcome them and spark their curiosity.
Your header often includes provisions to include your logo. Also, if you can’t easily explain your brand with just a picture, you might choose a header design that will allow you to overlay a header image with a simple text explanation.
Select a navigation design that will allow people to locate things easily. Recreate a shopping experience similar to what you’d have in a brick-and-mortar business. Use the menu bar as a roadmap to help guide your visitors to certain pages.
Don’t overwhelm your visitor with too many choices on the menu bar, as it will complicate the user’s experience. It should be simple and easy to read.
The Importance Of Updates
Because there are so many security threats on the internet, you must update regularly. These updates are often designed to fix security vulnerabilities when they are found.
Updates to themes and plugins will help minimize the risk of security breaches on your website.
When I built my first website, I had no idea how to choose. My niche was cats, and I ended up choosing a theme that had a picture of a cat on it. As it turned out, it was fine as a starting theme. As the site developed, I began to find things about the theme I wanted to change.
Finally, I changed themes. The process scared me — What if I destroyed my site? However, the change went smoothly.
If you are totally new and feel like you are learning a foreign language, I’d recommend making your best shot at picking a free theme at first. Try it out and learn what you like and what you don’t like.
Then, start the search for the perfect theme. It might now be time to upgrade to a paid theme, especially if you find one with all the features you really like. As most paid themes offer support, that in itself may make the purchase worthwhile.
Then, if you have a question you can go right to the source — the theme developer — and get an answer to your question.
Take the time to find exactly what you want before changing. Visit other sites and when you find ones you really like, ask the owner what theme he’s using.
Here are the references I used for this post: