Things to Consider Before Choosing a WordPress Theme
1. Responsive Design
One of the features that isn't optional anymore. Many users are switching devices from desktop computer to tablets and mobile phones so your website has to display properly on each one. You can easily filter themes and avoid those which lack responsiveness.
Most theme companies, like Template Monster for instance, build only mobile-responsive themes. The folks at dessign.net specialize in responsive themes as well! This should be the case with any high-quality theme shop.
2. Compatibility Across Browsers
Make sure the WordPress theme you're thinking about appears well across different browsers. As your users use various devices, they also have different browser preferences. The theme may look awesome on your current browser, but it may not perform well on others.
WordPress themes developers usually test their themes, but if they don’t mention it in the theme description, you may try a simple test by trying it on different browsers such as popular Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox. Use browser compatibility tools to save time!
3. Easy Customization
The customization options vary from theme to theme and by changing a few features, you can create diverse layouts without any knowledge of coding or CSS.
To find out how the basic layout do look, spend time on trying demo versions. Keep in mind that a variety of functionality is not an essential part of each theme, but could be useful depending on what you want your website to do.
4. Loading Speed
Website speed today is one of the most significant factors affecting conversion rate. Most people won’t waste their time on a website that takes ages to load.
Average user expect loading time up to only 3 seconds. That’s why you should be thorough when choosing a theme because the problems with load performance may destroy the beauty of well-coded and good-looking site.
5. Customer Support
If you go for a premium theme, customer support is usually a part of the package. It can be email support, a call center, or even a forum and tutorials.
6. SEO Friendly
Many vendors say their themes are “SEO-friendly," but they may be full of mistakes! On the one hand, it´s a good sign that a developer has considered SEO, but on the other hand don’t trust it 100% until you've investigated yourself.
7. Support All Essential Plugins
The popularity of WordPress stems from a robust plugin library. Some of them are necessary for every website, so don´t forget to check if your theme supports all plugins you might need to use in the future.
A user-friendly design means people will enjoy their visits to your website. Many themes come with plenty of colors, layouts and features which may be useful, but in the end your want to focus on simple design.
9. Updates and Security
Your theme should automatically update with new core updates of WordPress. Undoubtedly, the most important reason why WordPress is launching updates is security.
Make sure your theme comes with regular updates, otherwise you put your website under risk of threads and security vulnerability.
10. Read What Others Think
Reviews are always a good way to assess quality. Many vendors offer an option to filter themes by ratings. Customers' past experiences can help you to find potential problems before you choose the theme.
How to Choose a WordPress theme – the next steps
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to help narrow down the selection process and answered the question of how to choose a WordPress theme for your business. One of the great things about WordPress is its flexibility if you decide to change themes after a time.
But one of the key things to remember is thorough and constant testing. When choosing a hosting solution, it’s advisable to choose one such as WP Engine which has Staging, a special development area where you can undertake website tests on updates, etc, without impacting on the user experience of the live website.
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