One of the commonly asked questions about WordPress theme: How can I choose a perfect WordPress theme for my site? or How do I know which WordPress theme to choose?
I can understand that one of the most challenging tasks for beginners is selecting a perfect WordPress theme. This is due to two reasons.
- Firstly, WordPress is the place where you will get thousands of themes, among which some are free, and some would ask for money. So, either you may choose a free WordPress theme or buy a premium WordPress theme.
- Secondly, once you decide to use either a free or a premium theme, then your next job is to find a perfect theme within the free or premium themes.
If you have not decided yet between free and premium, I recommend you to first go through the Free vs Premium WordPress Themes – What Would you pick? Once you are done there, follow this article.
In this article, you will be going to learn 11 tips for selecting a perfect WordPress theme for your blog or site. Furthermore, in this guide, you will learn more about why do you need to choose a perfect theme for your site.
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Select a Perfect WordPress Theme?
- 11 Tips For Choosing The Perfect WordPress Theme
- Choose a Theme that Satisfies the Purpose of Your Site
- Theme Should be Fully Responsive and Mobile Friendly
- Choose SEO Friendly Theme
- Theme Should be optimized for Speed and Performance
- Check Ratings and Reviews
- Is Your Theme Developer Provide Support?
- Is Your Theme Always Remain up to date?
- Check Compatibility Before Choosing a Theme
- Common Customization Freedom
- Is Your Theme From a Reputed Theme Provider?
- Choose a Theme that offers Money-Back Guarantee
Why Should You Select a Perfect WordPress Theme?
Now, you might think that what is the use of being careful while selecting a WordPress Theme for your website? Well, let’s talk about why should you need to choose a perfect WordPress theme.
- Let me tell you when I was started my first blog, I used to change the theme a lot. But after some time, I realized that changing themes frequently is very bad for user experience and SEO. Then very next day, I have moved to Authority Pro from StudioPress. Till now, I am using the same theme. So, the idea is that you have to choose a perfect WordPress theme for your site once and let it go. This is good for both user experience and as well as SEO in the long run.
- The theme plays a very integral part of your website or blog, and the overall presentation of your site depends entirely on the theme you are using.
- Although there are thousands of WordPress themes available in the market, most of the themes do not have complete customization options. In that case, you have to depend on third-party plugins or developers to achieve the perfect design of your site. However, using too many plugins can lead to security breaches on your website, bad performance, slow loading speeds, and more. So, you have to find a perfect WordPress theme that satisfies all purposes of your site.
- You have to be acquainted with the fact that presently several websites are functioning, and most of them are created using WordPress. So, in this competitive market, to achieve a unique design of your site, you need the right theme for your website.
- Then again, you will find some WordPress themes that will give you an outstanding look to your website, but it may make your site slow. In today’s fast-paced life, no one has the patience to wait for any slow website.
11 Tips For Choosing The Perfect WordPress Theme for Your Blog or Site
Let’s now talk about the ways that can be utilized to ensure that you have chosen the best theme for your WordPress site.
1. Choose a Theme that Satisfies the Purpose of Your Site
You have to select a theme that fulfils all the purposes of your site. Make a list of features that are essential for your site and then choose a theme that offers all the essential features needed for your site. Let’s say, you are interested in the news site or photography blog. So, you have to make sure that the WordPress theme has all the essential features you need for a news site or photography blog.
Note: Do not choose a theme that offers lots of extra features.
2. Theme Should be Fully Responsive and Mobile Friendly
You need to choose a theme that has fully responsive and mobile-friendly layouts.
The responsive theme is a theme that adjusts in all sizes of devices like mobiles, desktops, laptops, and more.
The search results of Google tell that websites that are responsive and mobile-friendly get more visitors than a site that is not responsive. Presently, it has been also observed that more than 50% of internet searching occurs from mobile-only. So, there is no space left to discuss on this topic whether your website to be mobile-friendly or not, it is obligatory now. Therefore, before choosing a theme, make sure it is responsive and mobile-friendly.
If you want to check whether your site is mobile-friendly or not, simply open your website in various devices (mobile, laptop, desktop), and make sure your site automatically adjusts different devices of varied screen sizes. Also, there are many tools like Responsinator, Google Mobile-Friendly-Test, Am I Responsive available. Using these tools, check whether your site is responsive or not.
Look at below the mobile-friendly test result of our site (wpnewblogger.com) using Google Mobile-Friendly test tool and Am I Responsive tool. Note that wpnewblogger.com using Authority Pro from StudioPress.
3. Choose SEO Friendly Theme
WordPress theme plays an important role in SEO. You will find many WordPress themes that look good but poorly coded with HTML. So, you have to be sure that your theme is optimized for SEO. If you are a developer, analyze your theme’s source code to find out whether your theme is optimized for SEO or not. But, if you are not a developer, follow the following checklist to make sure your theme is optimized for SEO.
- The theme should be compatible with the popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO.
- It will able to generate proper HTML5. Use online tools like W3C Markup Validation Service or Theme Check plugin to check your theme status.
- The theme should support Schema.org markup, Breadcrumb navigation, and more.
- The theme should be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
4. Theme Should be optimized for Speed and Performance
Page speed is an important factor for ranking and your website theme plays an important role in this. As already discussed above, you find many themes that offer lots of features but they make your site slow. It means that theme is not optimized for speed. So, you need to choose a lightweight theme (e.g. StudioPress themes) that is fully optimized for speed and performance.
To check the loading speed of your site, after installing a WordPress theme, check your site loading speed using tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Insights. Make sure your site is loading speed <1s without content and <2s with some content.
The speed test result of wpnewblogger.com using Authority Pro from StudioPress is given below (with content). Note that wpnewblogger.com is hosted with SiteGround and using the WP-Rocket caching plugin.
5. Check Ratings and Reviews
A WordPress theme’s quality can easily be judged on the basis of ratings and reviews provided by the previous users. If you read carefully reviews of a theme provided by the theme users, it will give you an idea about the pros and cons of that theme.
For the premium theme, you will find customer reviews on the official site of the theme. You may also search in Google to see some reviews of the theme you have chosen. For a free theme, you will find reviews and ratings just below to download section. Try to pick a theme that got good reviews and ratings. Note: It is ok to choose a theme that got a few bad reviews as it is common on the internet.
6. Is Your Theme Developer Provide Support?
Theme support is another most important factor you should consider. There are thousands of free themes available in the WordPress theme directory but the only problem arises when you need supports. No guaranteed support is available in case of a free WordPress theme. In rare cases, you will get support from the developer of a free theme.
You would be in great problem if you mess up your WordPress theme; either you have to figure it out all on your own or to solve the smallest problems finish off paying a third-party developer.
However, in the case of a premium theme, developers usually offer 24/7 supports including every piece of information including proper documentation, video guides, and email-based supports.
So, the bottom line is that you have to choose a WordPress theme that has excellent customer supports. This is one of the reasons why we always recommend the premium theme.
7. Is Your Theme Always Remain up to date?
You have to choose a theme that always remains up to date for better compatibility and security of your site. So, before selecting a theme, go to the official site of the theme and check the previous history of the theme update. For, a free theme, you will find previous updates below to the download button.
8. Check Compatibility Before Choosing a Theme
8.1. Browser Compatibility
As your site will be accessed by everyone, it is quite logical that people will use various browsers to visit your site. You might find that the theme you have chosen works fine from the browser you are accessing, but it may not work properly with others. Therefore, before selecting a theme, you have to make sure that your site should be compatible across various browsers.
In order to check cross-browser compatibility of your theme, open your site in different browsers, and make sure your site looks the same across various browsers. There are also lots of online tools like CrossBrowserTesting, LambdaTest, Browsershots available for cross-browser testing. You may use them to check the browser compatibility of your site.
8.2. Check Compatibility With Plugins
To run any WordPress site, you need to use some WordPress plugins. And the beautiful thing is that the world of WordPress can completely be explored after you start making use of the plugins available. So, before you decide to go with a theme, check whether it supports all the latest plugins which are mostly used.
8.3. Is Your Theme Compatible With Page Builder?
Your site theme should be compatible with various page builders like Beaver Builder, Elementor, Site Origin, Visual Composer, Divi.
9. Choose a WordPress Theme That has Atleast Common Customization Freedom
Before choosing any theme, check carefully the customization options of your theme. The theme should have common customization of freedom. The list of basic customization tools is given below.
- Site Identity ( Logo, Site Title, Tagline, Site Icon)
- Background Customization Options
- Menu for different locations
- Widget areas
- Homepage Settings
- Site Layout
- Content Archive Settings
- Header/Footer Scripts
- Support AMP
- A field for Custom CSS/JS
- Related Posts
- Translation Ready Theme (Only need if want to create your site any other language, apart from the English language)
10. Is Your Theme From a Reputed Theme Provider?
There are plenty of WordPress theme providers and developers out there. However, it is also true that not all the WordPress theme providers offer themes that are up to the mark. So, it is always safe to choose your theme from reputed and reliable WordPress theme providers like StudioPress, Elegant Themes, Themify, MyThemeShop, ThemeIsle, etc.
11. Choose a Theme that offers Money-Back Guarantee
The money-back-guarantee policy only comes with premium themes. We strongly recommend buying a theme that comes with a money-back guarantee policy. You will get time to check the theme with your site.
If you have any further queries on how to choose a WordPress theme for your blog or site, please write in the comment box below.