How to choose a WordPress theme
WordPress is one of the most popular ways to build your own website. With it comes a whole host of themes…but how to decide between the thousands on offer?
Read on for my tips on choosing a WordPress theme that is perfectly suited to your unique business.
*Disclosure: Some of the links listed are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, I wouldn’t recommend them if I haven’t used them and believe they will be of value to you.
Just the job
Your first question may be, how to choose a theme that matches my business personality?
By browsing through Themeforest* under the WordPress tab you will be able to identify a theme that fits your purpose . Hit Browse All Items and use options to refine what you are looking for in terms of purpose, style and functionality.
Generally my goto from Themeforest is Jupiter X by Artbees, it uses Elementor page builder which means it is highly customizable but a bit of learning curve.
Another favourite of mine is Elegant Themes* when you select to view all categories, you can refine what you are looking for by selecting a category that matches your purpose. When you select one it will display all the pages available for that layout and you can view a live demo. Divi itself is a page builder too but I find it a quite intuitive and easy to use.
Responsive and friendly
Your theme must be responsive (works on any kind of device) and user-friendly. However your site is accessed, your menu should be easy to find and navigate, with clear layout and fonts.
It’s good to check out a theme on both your phone and a desktop to see how it translates across devices.
Also, see how it measures up on different web browsers.
Full speed ahead
There’s nothing more frustrating than a website that’s slow to load – speed is of the essence!
While some themes may look beautiful, they may hold up your site. Opt for simple themes that don’t use unnecessary features such as animation that can slow loading right down.
Use Google Page Speed Insights test the page speed of the demo site.
Easy does it
You don’t want to be stuck with a theme that you can’t change easily as your business grows.
Familiarise yourself with the editing function, and ensure that it works for you.
You can also choose a theme that supports WordPress Customizer, allowing you to customise your theme easily. Look for ‘customizable’ in the tags.
A helping hand…
Know that some of the older themes won’t necessarily come with support, so it’s worth checking out whether your chosen one does.
Online reviews will tell you whether other users have received a good level of support and guidance.
For simple issues, find out whether there is a good self-help guide or even video tutorials.
It’s all about reputation
Check out your theme’s reviews (which you can find on themeforest) before you make your decision. You can also get the inside info on forums to help inform your decision.
If the theme you like is a new one and doesn’t have many reviews yet, try searching for reviews on its developer’s previously released themes.
Keep it current
It’s essential to know that your theme is regularly updated by its developer to keep up with any changes in WordPress software. You can see when a theme was last updated on its page on on themeforest or WordPress.org.
Reject any themes that haven’t been updated within the last six months.
Try before you buy (or download for free)
You can easily try out a demo version to see if the theme lives up to your expectations.
Test it as if you are your own customer. Ask yourself whether it’s easy to read and navigate, would effectively showcase your work or product and fits your brand image.
Check out the competition
Be inspired by what your competitors have achieved, making note of which themes work well for them.
But by the same token, ensure that your theme sets you apart and shows your business off as a unique venture that is one step ahead of the competition.
I hope this has helped you have an idea on how to find and choose a theme that will represent your business and create a business of your dreams.