If you have decided that WordPress is the CMS platform you want for your website, one of the first big decisions you will make is what template to use. This doesn’t sound so hard until you start looking around and realize there are thousands of templates to choose from. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you through the template selection process.
Tried and Tested Themes
Always, always, always look at the rating of the theme, the number of installs, and the update frequency. You are looking for a theme that has a high rating, a lot of installs, and is updated regularly.
Paid vs Free
Just because a template is free or paid does not mean it is better quality, the difference is usually in available functionality. Determine what key functions your website must perform before choosing a template, and then look for a template that include as many of those functions as possible. But remember, often functionality can be added with plugins, so if a template is lacking in a few areas does not make it a deal breaker.
If you are looking through the free templates and are not finding what you need, it's probably time to look at paid templates. Select a theme that has good documentation. Paid templates often come with support and premium plugins not available for free templates.
Responsive and mobile friendly
While most Wordpress templates are responsive, not all are. Make sure you preview the theme on a mobile device and in multiple browsers to ensure the theme can translate well.
Most paid templates come with a page builder, a MUST have when creating WordPress websites, but not all do. If you are paying for a theme, I strongly suggest making sure it comes with a page builder. For free templates, a page builder can be added via plugins.
Choosing a Design
Keep it simple
The purpose of web design is to help users find information they need and to help site owners achieve their goals at the same time. If users can’t find their way around your website, it will create problems that could lead to a drop in repeat visitors.
Supports popular plugins
Plugins are an essential part of your Wordpress template, as they make it possible for anything on your site to get done. Plugins such as Gravity Form, Woocommerce, and Yoast SEO are key to making sure your website is customizable and has a clean layout. Making sure your template supports popular plugins is a big step to making your site is more efficient.
Wordpress is known for having plenty of SEO friendly templates, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are. Certain themes can generate poor HTML code. A well built theme and a good SEO plugin are the best strategy for SEO on your WordPress website.
Overall, Wordpress can be an excellent CMS to use for your website, but make sure that you choose a template you feel comfortable with. This choice can affect the entire look of your site, so remember these tips and your Wordpress site can attract some major attention!