Choosing a WordPress theme is, in a nutshell, overwhelming. It would be easier to just close your eyes and pick one at random, but this is hardly the right way to go about setting up your online presence.
On the plus side, design is subjective, so not all themes will appeal to you or fit in with your brand. So, over and above design, what else should you look for when choosing a WordPress theme for your site in 2021?
To help make this decision a little easier, we’ve outlined some key considerations for you.
What to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme in 2021
1.Customisation is Key
The more you can make your WordPress site your own, the better. A theme will never look exactly how you want it to straight out of the box, so you will need to spend time on customisation either way. However, if you are looking for very specific features and functionality, make sure the theme has strong customisation options available. You may also want to consider how many of the customisation options are free and which options you will need to pay for.
2. Go for Something Lightweight
You are going to find some impressive theme options out there but keep in mind that your theme will affect your site’s performance and page load times. A theme might look amazing but if it ends up impacting the user experience, visuals won’t mean much. Site performance also impacts your SEO efforts, which means you might lose out on large volumes of new traffic if you choose looks over speed. Fortunately, most theme creators offer access to demos, which should give you a good idea of how quickly it loads. Reviews are also a reliable source of information.
3. Check Responsiveness
It’s very rare for a theme to not be responsive but it does happen. Too much of today’s traffic comes from mobile devices, so for the sake of your customers and your bottom line, make sure the theme you have in mind is responsive. Again, if you are unsure, grab a mobile device and access the demo to find out.
Recommended Read: Key Things to Look for When Selecting eCommerce Hosting
4. Themes Don’t Equal Functionality
When choosing a WordPress theme, keep in mind that themes are for design. Yes, some themes do offer some impressive functionality, but plugins offer this too. If you find a theme you really love but it doesn’t have all the functionality you’re looking for, remember there are always plugins too. However, you don’t want to install hundreds of plugins either. Ideally, you want a theme that offers most of the functionality you need as well as one that meets your design requirements. Plugins can do the rest of the work in terms of functionality.
5. Read the Reviews
You can tell a lot about what you can expect from a WordPress theme by reading through reviews. One or two negative reviews doesn’t mean this is the wrong theme for you. But, if every second review is negative and for good reason, it’s best to continue your search.
6. Is Support Available?
Generally, whether you install a free or paid theme, there is some support available. Naturally, if you going to pay for a theme, make sure sufficient support is a given. In other words, make sure it is included in the price of the theme. Support for free themes is also available if the developer is invested enough in what they created. We also highly recommend paying attention to when the theme was last updated. If it’s been months or years, it means the developers aren’t very involved in the maintenance of the theme anymore.
Free vs Paid Themes – Which is Better?
Just because a developer charges for a theme doesn’t mean it’s better. There are countless free themes that offer more than enough customisation and functionality options to create a well-designed site that performs well.
When choosing a WordPress theme, try not to get too hung up on whether you need to pay for it or not. Rather choose a theme that meets your specific requirements and one that you know you will receive support with should you need it.
These tips will put you on the right path to choosing the ideal theme for your new or existing site. If you need any assistance with maintenance and general support along the way, you know where to reach us.