Takeaway: Themes are complicated. Do your research.
Picking a theme is a big part of what we do here at Elegant Themes, so I’m going to share some tips with you on how to pick a good one.
Section: If you’re on the fence about whether you should pick out a theme or buy one already designed, take into account the extra cost and time that it will require to customize your own theme once it’s done.
Section: There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to choosing between themes. Sometimes simple is best, but sometimes elaborate can give your site just that little bit more curb appeal. That being said, even if you like the look of both versions of your site immediately, the average person might only take notice of the plain version first and vice versa…you’ll need to think about that too!
Takeaway: Pay attention to colors in design elements (like backgrounds) when deciding between themes for your site…if orange is used much in an element and it isn’t something related specifically to SEO, you may want to consider avoiding a themed site until some modifications are made or an alternative color scheme is decided upon by the developer (i.e., orange decorations have become rather popular lately because they don’t appear as heavy on most mobile devices).
WordPress themes are complicated.
They’re not just a pretty face and some code, they’re one of the most important SEO elements as well. When you’re choosing your theme, keep in mind that it’s going to be there every single time you look at your website, so you’ll have to spend a lot of time with it.
WordPress themes come in three main varieties: free (usually with ads), premium (no ads) and fully custom-built by an expert developer (the cost depends on how much work is involved).
Sales or a cute design?
First and foremost, don’t pick a theme because it’s cute. Cute doesn’t pay the bills. Do some research on what makes for an SEO-friendly theme (hint: if the first thing you read about it says anything about how “SEO-friendly” it is, that’s probably not true). Google has some recommendations for picking a good theme, which we’ve summarized below.
Look at the features of your chosen WordPress theme and make sure they meet your needs before purchasing:
- Is there enough room on each page for all of my content? If not, can I add more columns or move things around so that my content fits properly within its allotted space?
- Is there an easy way to upload images without having to use FTP or other complicated software? If not, how easy is it going to be once I start using this website regularly?
Pick a theme that has been around for a while.
A theme developer’s level of experience and skill is an important factor to consider when choosing a WordPress theme. The best way to test a theme before you buy it is by looking at the developer’s other work, which you can usually find on their website. You can also search for reviews online and see how long the developer has been around in general.
If you find that a lot of people have complained about bugs or other issues with this particular theme, then it may not be worth your time or money–especially if there are similar themes available from more established developers.
Does the theme come with support or is it a one-and-done deal?
You want to make sure that if something goes wrong with your site, there is someone there who can help you fix it. Some themes even offer upgrades and added functionality over time, which can be very handy if something changes and your theme doesn’t fit anymore.
The best way to find a good theme is by doing research. Look at what other sites are using and see if they have any recommendations. If you’re not sure where to start, just ask! We love helping people find the right theme for their business so feel free reach out with any questions or concerns 🙂