Maybe you are considering a new website. Or, maybe you are considering just refreshing your site. Either way, you find yourself scrolling through the seemingly endless gallery of #WordPressThemes wondering how people narrow it down. Is it all just one big arbitrary eenie meenie miney mo, or is there more to it than that? I mean…come on! There are literally thousands of free WordPress themes and that’s not even including premium WordPress themes like those that #StudioPress offer as well. We can help you make a smart theme decision with a few simple tips.
Follow these 6 Tips for Picking the Right Theme:
#1 Desired Features
Write down a list of your must-have features including, number of columns and customizable theme colors that you must have in your new WordPress Theme. Remember: if your feature isn’t already included in the theme, this will require customization after-the-fact which often requires #CS5 and #PSP know-how to accurately tweak the code and design. This tends to be the case with the free themes in particular because they generally offer fewer customization options through the WordPress admin panel. So, try to find a theme that has as many of your desired features as possible. You can use the WordPress admin panel to sort by the specific features you are looking for. Select Appearance > Themes > Add Themes > Install Themes to display the feature filter.
We can’t stress the importance of pre-planning enough, especially when it comes to your site theme selection. As you may know, different themes are designed for different purposes.
For example, the Genesis Generate Pro is a WordPress theme that is built specifically for building your mailing list, and it doesn’t irritate your visitors with pop-ups and drop-downs that can be built into a website. The Generate Pro theme can be built with a standard home page below the optin instead of the blog page that is currently shown.This theme is fully responsive. To see the full demo, go to the Genesis Generate Pro WordPress theme demo.
The Genesis Executive is a great WordPress theme, it is only recommended for people who have a strong blog presence, and you must have pictures with your blogs, and these must be the correct size. With this theme you can link to other pages right from the front page. As you can see below, this one has a Call to Action Banner as well for your list building. This theme is fully responsive. To see the full demo, go to the Genesis Executive WordPress theme demo.
The Genesis Enterprise Pro is a nice clean WordPress theme that has a header, where you send them right to the prime service that you are offering. You also have a paragraph below the graphic to link to a page, such as a service There are 3 allocated slots to link to different pages/or services. This theme is fully responsive. Again, this theme is fully responsive too. To see the full demo, go to the Genesis Enterprise Pro WordPress theme demo.
Each theme is built with a different purpose in mind, so make sure you are absolutely clear on what you need from your site beforehand or you will soon find yourself scrolling back through the WordPress themes and shelling out more cash for a new site.
Navigation is absolutely critical to the end user experience and one of the most important elements of your site. You may only need a few simple navigation buttons, or you may need something more complex. Adding navigation after the fact can be difficult if you don’t have a grasp of PHP, so make sure your theme has what you need from the get go.
The Genesis Lifestyle theme offers two menus above and below the header that can be easily turned on and off. But, not all WordPress themes are this flexible, so make sure you understand this about your theme before you make your final selection. To see the full demo, go to the Genesis Lifestyle WordPress theme demo.
#4 Site Width, Layout, Spacing
A few WordPress themes allow you to change the width, layout and Spacing after the fact if you want to add or remove certain elements, but not all do unless you want to edit the code. Keep in mind future elemental needs. For example, if you plan on selling banner ads in your header, make sure you have the space the add these by choosing a theme that has space available for these like the News theme. Many people think it should be just the flip of a switch to change the size of a header, graphic, or even font, but depending on your theme, you or your designer or developer may have to tweak the code which isn’t something the average WordPress user has tons of experience with.
#5 Free vs. Paid
Budget does play a big factor in the decision to use free vs. paid themes, but there is more to consider than that. Free themes don’t tend to come with the same amount of support (if any) as the paid themes have. The trouble with free themes is that without that support, they may not be compatible when the next release for WordPress comes around. Just something to consider.
With the advent of Google’s newest algorithm change, responsive sites are becoming a must. Check out our Techie Tip on this, Google’s Deadline for Mobile-Friendly Website. Here’s the link for the mobile friendly test.
It’s a lot to work through when considering WordPress themes, but this should help to narrow the selection down. Happy theme hunting!
Have you thought through all the details needed to choose a new theme?