There is no point beating around the bush illustrating why WordPress is the highly preferred content management software. It is a well-established fact that WordPress has become one of the highly preferred choice to run and maintain a website or blog. But once this choice is made, developers then have to take more difficult decisions. If you are wondering what those difficult decisions are, let us quickly introduce you to one of the trouble areas.
WordPress is a free and open source CMS thus there are many premium and free themes readily available. All you need to do is search for the ‘best WordPress themes’ on Google and get thousands of suggestions in seconds. But hitting the perfect chord and making the best decision that perfectly illustrates your website is not as easy as typing the keywords on Google.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Theme for Your WordPress Website
- List the features that you crave for in the theme : Themes come in various forms and if you do not know what you are looking for, it will become very difficult to choose a good theme. A single WordPress theme can have several things such as responsive and customizable layout, optional color schemes, customizable header and footer, readymade widget areas etc. The list is exhaustive and if you are not sure what you want, well you won’t be able to make a good choice.
- Choose Theme Depending On Your Need: WordPress had initially started as a blogging platform but over the years it has been started using extensively for website development. Websites as well as blogs are of various kinds, such as video blogs, photo blogs, online magazines, business sites, ecommerce platforms etc. Knowing the kind of website you want will be a crucial deciding factor on what theme will best suit your needs.
- Multi-Layered Support: Plugins are an important part of WordPress and with many third-party plugins readily available for WordPress, it is important to choose a theme which supports multiple plugins. A theme shouldn’t only support a line of plugins and features. Moreover, it should be supporting enough that even if you change it, the new theme that you select should be able to run the already existing features and plugins.
- SEO Benefits: A theme which isn’t coded well or isn’t search engine friendly, will spell disaster for you. Today the web industry works mostly on search engine results and thus it is important that the theme you choose gives you SEO benefits also. Though it often easy to determine whether a theme is SEO friendly (without accepting claims at face value), there are a few accepted guideline which are helpful. Try to find out the following things:
- Can titles and descriptions be set for every page separately?
- Is the theme using <H> tag for headings?
- Does the theme make the tags and categories visible?
- Does the theme have a clean and simple layout structure?
If you are assured of the above things, you can be confident that the theme you have chosen will have better SEO options.
- Price of the Theme: Premium themes come at a price while free themes are obviously free. After you have decided whether you want a premium or a free theme, you have to allocate the budget for a premium theme (if you are going for a premium one). Every business will only have an allocated budget for the theme and you have to choose one which meets your budget. You also have to find out the licensing terms of the theme. The question that needs to be answered is whether the same theme can be used for more than one site.
Additionally, you need to ask yourself some more questions to finally zero down on a theme. These include:
- Do the theme developers promise 24X7 support? This gives you assurance that you can find help easily when needed.
- Are you provided with the PSD files of the theme? If you are provided with the PSD files, you would be able to tweak the theme and customize it.
- Are you also provided with the source files? Once you have tweaked the PSD file, you will need the source file to implement the changes.
- What are the additional benefits you get on purchasing a WordPress theme?