So you’ve decided on WordPress for your new site or blog? It’s a safe call, after all, an incredible 50,000 new WordPress sites go live every single day, so they must be doing something right. As the most powerful site building engine on the planet by some margin, there is a whole host of widgets and add-ons that you can select, but the first decision you will face is choosing a theme.
A quick Google will bring you no shortage of options. In fact, there are at least 10,000 out there to choose from. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, here is our definitive guide to choosing the WordPress theme that is right for you.
You get what you pay for
Everyone likes something for nothing, and if you opt for one of the hundreds of free themes out there, you will definitely get something. It might even be something that is functionally competent and looks the way you want it to. The trouble is, there is no guarantee of that, and with a free theme, you are unlikely to get any sort of support, there is no assurance that the creator will support updates, and there is every chance that the coding could be glitchy.
In other words, you are taking a gamble. Sites such as https://www.codester.com/categories/33/wordpress-themes have themes for less than $30 that are fully supported, quality checked and regularly updated. When you look at it objectively, that is definitely worth the price of a round of drinks in your local bar. And you also unlock a far wider choice of themes to choose from.
Play with the demo
Those thumbnail images might look fantastic, but nothing is more disappointing than choosing a theme and finding that when you actually use it, it really doesn’t look or work the way you imagined. Another benefit of the premium themes such as those described above is that you will have access to some live demos, to get a proper feeling of what the theme will look like and how it will behave in action. Use these to the full.
Make sure it is responsive
This is 2017, and more people access the web from smartphones than anything else. They also use tablets, PCs, laptops and other smart devices. Make sure the theme works seamlessly across all platforms. Again, this should be a given with premium themes from reliable sources, but if you are going for a free one, check carefully, and then double check once your site is live.
Keep it on-brand
The funny thing is, you start out looking at themes from the perspective of whether they look right, and can end up so engrossed in the technicalities that what was once the main focus becomes all but forgotten. Your website theme needs to represent your brand and be aligned with offline branding, too. Keep this in mind throughout your assessment of themes, or you will end up diluting your brand image and confusing customers or visitors.