If you’re designing a new WordPress website or planning to redesign your existing site, one of the first decisions you will need to make is about the theme you need to install.
According to W3techs, WordPress is the most popular CMS, with over 59.4% of market share, far ahead of Joomla, with 6%, which comes a distant second. With an ample choice of themes and new ones being launched each and every day, choosing the right theme for your website can be a challenge.
Here are essential criteria which SEO experts Sydney recommend in choosing a WordPress Theme that’s right for you:
Choosing the Right Category
Themes are grouped into different categories like blog, business or eCommerce which indicate the kind of website they have been designed for. For example, if you’re planning to sell beauty products, you would search for a theme in eCommerce theme.
On the other hand, if you’re an engineering company you would choose a business theme. A dress designer or business coach could choose a theme from the blog category.
Design and Functionality
The second factor to look into is the general design and functionality of the theme. Observe if the homepage has been designed to have a slider or if the posts have their featured images displayed.
An important feature to look out for is theme options, particularly if you have no HTML or CSS experience. The theme options are what would allow you to customise both default functionality and design of your theme.
At the very minimum, web marketing experts in Sydney recommend choosing a theme that allows you to choose different colour and background schemes, upload your logo as well as provide different forms for your typography.
Reliance on Built-in Plugins
Another important aspect to consider is whether or not the theme is dependent on a plug-in to achieve its full capabilities. A classic example is the Divi theme which relies heavily on the Divi page builder plug-in to function. if you’re opting for such a theme, be prepared to work with the plug-in it relies on.
SEO experts in Sydney recommend that you avoid themes that come bundled with plugins. While it might seem like a great idea when you buy a theme that provides you with a premium plugin for free, you will not be separate the plugins from the theme.
The importance of separating plugins and themes is that if a plugin causes your website to malfunction, you can simply deactivate it. However, that’s not possible if the plugins are baked into the website.
Sidebars are great places to display specific kinds of content or installation and you want to make sure that the theme you choose has the kind of slides built in that you want as an example if you’re planning to display some information at the bottom of your website ensure that the theme you choose has a to the sidebar.
The number of page templates or layouts offered by the theme should also be taken into consideration. It is often a good idea to choose a theme that offers at least two different layouts, one being the default template with a left or right sidebar and the other a full-width template with no sidebar.
Documentation and Support
Documentation and support are usually available only for premium themes due to their price and a higher level of sophistication.
If you’re choosing a premium theme make sure documentation and support are provided by the developers.
Most people nowadays use smartphones to browse websites which is why SEO experts in Sydney and around the world choose responsive themes to ensure their website looks amazing, not only on a desktop or laptop but also on a mobile device.
The goal of responsive design is to avoid unnecessary resizing, zooming, scrolling, or panning which can be frustrating for anyone viewing the website. It is hard to navigate websites which aren’t optimised. Potential customers who leave your website moments after they click on a page can result in a considerable loss in potential sales.
Responsive website designs enable automatic resizing of a website, scaling it up or down to match the device on which it is being viewed.
Choose Themes Which Provide the Functionality You Need
When looking at a demonstration of a theme, you may find every single thing that the theme can do such as transitions and little widgets that do neat little things. Don’t get so distracted by shiny things that you don’t notice how well it’s actually created and how good the structure of the theme actually is.
The reason is the content for your website is not going to be the same as the content in the demo, so what you need to do is look for a live site that’s actually been built using this theme. Imagine how the website would look with your content in it.
Also look at the structure and try to determine if this theme is flexible enough to look the way that you want it to look. For example, most good demos are going to show you different types of page layouts that are available. Make sure these are as flexible as possible.
Look for Themes Outside Your Industry
Web marketing agencies in Sydney, suggest looking outside your industry or your topic for a WordPress theme. Most business owners tend to look for themes that are specifically built only for their industry.
While you could design a functional website with this strategy, often the best themes are usable by any industry and a lot of times when you focus on one specific industry you tend to not get the best choices available to you.
Look outside your topic and outside your industry to find a WordPress theme that will ensure your website stands out from others in your industry which look like clones of each other.
These are some important guidelines to follow when choosing your theme. If you want to ensure you’re making the right choice you may wish to consult with SEO experts in Sydney or your local area to help you choose a theme that’s perfect for your business.