There are thousands of WordPress themes out there, and you can rest assured that one of them will be absolutely perfect for you. But when you’re looking for your theme, you’ll need to shop around to find that perfect theme. You don’t want to have to redo your whole site in a few months’ time because you’ve decided you actually don’t really like it! You also want to steer clear of choosing a theme that will require extensive modifications, which can be costly both in terms of time and also in terms of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are six things that you’ll want to think about before settling on a theme:
Free Themes Versus Paid Themes
There are tons of free themes, and depending on what your site’s purpose is, you may find that they do exactly what you need. But there are tons of paid themes as well, and there are some pros and cons to each type. Obviously the pros of the free themes is the cost, but often free themes are more difficult to modify or don’t have all the features that a paid theme would have. Paid themes are also typically less popular, meaning you can create a site that looks totally unique, and they’re updated more frequently so that your website stays as safe as possible.
How Secure the Theme Is
Believe it or not, you need to worry about the security of your website in the same way that you need to worry about your computer contracting viruses! If you aren’t careful, your domain could be hijacked or a whole other host of unpleasantries. To start with, make sure you’re only downloading themes from trusted sources. And make sure to actually use the available security plugins and a secure login combination. You should also be using a VPN, especially if you’re blogging on the go via public WiFi. Believe it or not, hackers lie in wait in places where public WiFi is used, and they’re masters at cracking your internet connection to steal your information. A VPN will give you an encrypted connection that helps ensure that anything shared between your computer and your blog—e.g. your username and password—isn’t floating around for just anyone to see.
The Type of Content You’ll Upload
Although it may seem as if no matter which theme you use you’ll be able to do everything you want with your blog, this is actually not the case. Just because you’re able to upload videos and photos on a certain theme, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best theme if you’re going to upload copious amounts. Different themes load at different speeds. And if your site takes forever to load, you’ll find that a lot of potential visitors are put off and will either close out of the page immediately or fail to return with any frequency. Key things to look out for are themes with an excess of features such as sliders and animation; simpler themes tend to run faster. And sometimes themes just aren’t coded well or haven’t been updated in too long. Read through the reviews, and see if there are any issues with the themes you’re interested in, especially if you plan on paying for them.
Your Target Audience
You’ll want to choose a theme that is geared toward your target demographic. Although you may personally like a flashy, neon, graffiti-style theme, this may not be the best option if your website is meant for a professional purpose. On the other hand, if you choose a stodgy, stuffy theme for your travel blog, you might turn off some of your potential readers. It’s that age-old adage: you can never judge a book by its cover, except people frequently do so anyway. Try to get in the heads of your potential viewers and create a site that you think they’ll want to visit.
How Easy It Is To Modify
Especially if you’ll be creating the site wholly on your own, you need to make sure the site is within your abilities to edit. But even if you’ll be hiring someone to edit it for you, you need to make sure that it’s relatively easy to modify. If it’s too difficult to make changes to the site, it may be impossible to make the site look exactly as you wish it to, and some web designers might charge more if the site is tricky to modify. Again, make sure to read the reviews prior to selecting that theme, and one easy rule of thumb is to make sure to choose a theme that doesn’t require huge changes.
Other Blogs in Your Field
One of the great ways to get inspiration for your blog design is to look at other blogs in your field. If you’re creating a travel blog, search for travel blogs and see what others have done. If you’re creating a website for your dentistry practice, ditto. Take note of things you like and dislike about each of them. Imagine yourself as a potential site visitor and see what features make the site easy to use and what features make you dislike that site. And try not to make your site too similar to sites that are already established; you want to make sure your site stands out so there’s a reason people visit your site rather than your competitors’ sites.
Choosing your WordPress theme can be a fun process, allowing you to play around with the look of your future site to get the exact look that you want. However, if you’re not careful and selective, you might find that the theme you thought you wanted isn’t actually the theme that’s best for you. Make sure you’re fully thinking things through though, and you’re sure to be right on track to build a great site that you can proudly share with the world.