August 15th, 2019
Choosing a WordPress theme can be really difficult, but before you can do that, you should really pay attention to the following 10 things.
1. What do you need your WordPress theme for?
Many themes look great at first glance. But not all are suitable for your website. The basic requirement when selecting the appropriate WordPress theme is that the theme should be suitable for the orientation of your page.
If the core of your page is the blog, you should choose a theme that focuses on blogging. And again, you may want to create an online shop; your theme should be compatible with the corresponding shopware (e.g., WooCommerce) or even developed specifically for it.
If you are a photographer, look for an attractive gallery where you can present your pictures effectively. If you want to work with landing pages, they should already be available as a draft in your theme.
2 What Features do you need?
What features you need on your site really depends on your business and online marketing strategy. Here are a few features that may be important to you:
- Can the menu bar also be placed on the page?
- How important are pictures on the page?
- Would you like to have a slider on the start page or not?
- Can a logo be integrated into the page?
- Should an online shop be integrated into the site?
- What options do you have for visually highlighting your achievements?
- Should your page be a one-pager or consist of multiple pages?
- Can a newsletter be integrated into the site?
- Can social media like Facebook and Instagram be integrated into the theme?
Check thoroughly if your theme really includes the features you need. Some functions – such as a gallery – can of course also be added via plugins. Find out in advance if integrating the most important plugins you need is possible.
3. Is the theme optimized for mobile devices?
More than 40 percent of all page views were made in 2018 via mobile devices and tablets. Nowadays, it is a must that your site is responsive.
This means that the page automatically adapts to the size of your device. Smartphone users have therefore displayed a different design than visitors who access your site via a laptop.
Thus, the content is displayed optimally to all visitors – regardless of which device they end up on your page.
Have you ever surfed the Internet with your smartphone and ended up on a page that was not optimized for mobile devices? Probably yes.
And you probably left the page quickly and read on another page – like most of us. If your site is not responsive, you will lose many visitors – and thus potential customers.
Most of the themes being developed today are responsive. Nevertheless, make sure that this is true for the theme of your choice – and that the mobile view looks great and meets your needs.
4. How long is the loading time of the theme?
If your site loads for more than 3-5 seconds, many visitors will be jumping off again. The result: You then access the pages of your competition that load faster.
This criterion may initially seem unimportant, but it is not: The load time of your page is a crucial factor for your success on the net.
Find out about the loading times before buying your theme. For example, you can find hints in the reviews of your theme.
Even the theme already gives you hints: A good theme will provide you with several customization options. Some themes, however, are completely overloaded, which also increases the load times.
5. For eCommerce: Is the theme compatible with your shopware?
If you run an eCommerce, your WordPress theme should necessarily be compatible with the corresponding Shopware.
If you want to run an online shop via your WordPress site, the corresponding Shopware plugin should be easily integrated into the site.
In fact, ideally, your theme was developed specifically for setting up an online store. In this way, you prevent later problems and technical difficulties.
Because these cost you not only nerves but also pure money. This is especially annoying when they can be avoided in advance with the selection of a corresponding theme.
6. How versatile are the customization options via the customizer?
The customizer allows you to customize WordPress themes to your requirements further. In this blog I explain where to find it.
Via customizer you can, for example, change the menu bar, the color scheme or the fonts – and of course much more.
However, the scope of these customization options is dictated by the theme itself. Some themes give you a lot of options; others are very limited in scope.
Before you buy the theme, get an idea of how serious the customizations you want to make to this theme – and whether the customizer gives you the opportunity.
Of course, you can also directly incorporate changes in the CSS code, but this is far more complicated than simple adjustments in the customizer.
7. How good is the support?
Especially if you are ready to pay for a theme, you should before hand find out how good the support is. This saves so many time and frustration when problems occur – even at the very beginning when you set up your page.
Check-in advance: Is there a support forum for the theme or the respective theme provider? Are customers being fobbed off with a hotline or are there really helpful, individual solutions? Does the support itself respond to customer criticism, or is it uncommented on the net? Are errors in the theme ignored or fixed?
If you are unsure, just contact support before you buy (maybe with a technical question such as “Does the theme work with plugin xy?” You’ll see if and how quickly you get an answer and how helpful it is.
Yes, maybe the pre-purchase support is better than post-purchase support, but if the support is already bad before you buy it, you probably will not be better after the purchase…
Attention: Premium support is included in the purchase of the theme for many themes only for a limited time.
8. Are there regular updates for the theme?
A good indicator of the quality of WordPress themes is regular updates. The digital world is changing rapidly – and your theme should move accordingly.
For example, if you had bought a theme a year ago, it probably would not be compatible with the new WordPress version 5.
Therefore, a good theme developer offers an update for his theme so that it works well with WordPress 5.
Of course, this also applies to plugins: If WooCommerce or Shopify publish a new version, you still want to use them without any problems.
If your theme is updated regularly, you know that it will not be out of date in three months. Because if you buy a theme for your website now, you probably want to use it for a few years.
Again, buying a theme will usually buy the license for free updates only for a limited time, for example, half a year.
Check-in advance how long updates are included in the price and what costs you will have to expect in the future.
9. How well does the WordPress Theme for Online Marketing work?
Today, a good online marketing strategy can hardly go the distance of most companies. This means, among other things: they operate data analysis, search engine optimization, and possibly also landing pages.
So make sure that data analysis tools like Matomo or Google Analytics, SEO plugins, social media features, and more are compatible with your theme.
If you want to set up landing pages, these are ideally already created as a draft in your theme. Again and again, we come across landing pages on the net, which do not correspond to the design of the website.
Thus, the product or service does not really look round – a clear barrier to purchase.
10. How do other users rate the theme?
Especially for larger themes, you will find many reviews on the Internet.
Read these reviews through carefully and check especially the criteria that are relevant for you: How easy can the theme be set up? Where do difficulties arise? Which plugins work with the theme? Which plugins are there problems? What are the page load times? How well does the support work?
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