What is the WordPress theme?A WordPress theme is a tool made out of a group of files (graphics, style sheets, and PHP code) to change the layout and design of your website. Themes can control from your site layout to small details like your hyperlink colors.
When you first create a WordPress site, it will come with a default theme installed. You can change the theme in WordPress to match your needs and industry. Themes customize the appearance of your site, including the layout, typography, color, and other design elements suitable best to the business.
Why is it essential to select a theme?Your website is the virtual shop for your business, and Theme selection is as important as selecting a shop and its interior for the company.
If you’re getting started on building a new WordPress site, one of your first tasks is choosing a WordPress theme. After all, it dictates how your WordPress website will look to users and how you’ll represent your brand to the billions of worldwide internet users who may land on your website. Also, it helps make your website more attractive and easier to use and improves visitor engagement.
What to keep in mind while selecting your WordPress theme?Even if you’re a web design expert, by the time you go theme shopping, you should have planned out your site’s content to know what you are looking for. Choosing a WordPress theme can be overwhelming as WordPress is used to create all kinds of websites. That’s why each theme caters to a different market. There are thousands of different themes available – both free and paid – so deciding which one is the right and unique theme for your brand, here are seven important points to consider:
The theme should include all essential features.The first step to choosing a WordPress theme is determining which features are essential and which you can live without. Unless you know what you need from your WordPress theme, there’s no point in looking at them. Getting a feel for what you need from a theme allows you to begin shortlisting potential options.
When it comes to WordPress themes, less is always more. As you build your site from the ground up, the theme you choose should only have those features that assist you in achieving your goals, not the unnecessary ones that clutter the theme.
Tip: take a look at the websites and themes which match your operations and make a checklist of features you want to have in your theme.
The theme should be responsive.Using responsive themes, you can make your website suitable for whatever device your visitor uses to access it while retaining all the functionality and quality of the user experience. The mobile search results on Google show mobile-friendly websites first. Also, significant web traffic is generated from mobile and other handheld devices. Regardless of your site’s topics and demographics, all websites must be responsive and mobile-ready.
Most WordPress themes are already responsive by default. But there are still sellers who are selling fixed-width layouts that are not mobile-friendly at all. Make sure that the theme you are choosing for your website is responsive.
The theme should be secure.Cyberattacks and zero-day vulnerabilities increase the need for an ultra-secure WordPress theme. A theme can’t be 100% secure. However, you want to ensure that the theme has active development to keep the code base free of security vulnerabilities.
When it comes to WordPress themes, a secure theme does not have any (known) security vulnerabilities, is consistently updated, adheres to proper coding specifications, and is compatible with the version of WordPress and other elements of your site.
The best way to find a safe theme is to get it from a reputable source. Some platforms take the time to vet the themes they upload carefully, and you’ll want to use them whenever possible.
The theme should be cost-effective.Let’s jump right into the most crucial point in choosing a WordPress theme: how much does it cost?
When it comes to WordPress themes, you’ll find free themes and premium themes. It is easier to stand out with a premium theme because you have so much design flexibility. It allows you to create so many variations that when you’re finished, you’ll be unable to tell that you’re using a theme that is being used by others as well.
Some free themes have a Pro version, unlocking more features or priority support. The truth is, you get what you pay for. It’s more likely that free themes have been developed haphazardly, and you will be on your own. Free themes come with scant or no documentation or support. Just be aware of what you’re getting.
The theme should be fast.A feature-rich theme might be friendly but could also significantly impact site performance. Be sure to temper the urge to install every feature you think is fantastic, as these fancy features could also slow down your site. Plus, new code can increase the risk of security weak spots, as components are often built with a focus on performing a specific function, not necessarily keeping a site secure.
The major takeaway is that you don’t want a theme cluttered with features—this will only hurt you in the long run. It is simple: the more content you have on your page – images, files, and so on – the longer it will take for it to download. So the smaller your page size, the faster it will load.
Tip: Every theme has a demo site running the theme, so you can see how it works and looks. So the first thing to do is speed test the demo.
The theme should be easy to use.When choosing a WordPress theme, it can be easy to get tempted by various colors, font, animation, and layout options that may look exciting but can end up being off-putting to users. Remember, you’re designing a WordPress website for your audience. If there’s too much going on within your theme, you’ll end up confusing your audience, they won’t be able to find the content they’re looking for, and they’ll leave.
Look for a theme that has a design layout that helps you support your goal. It needs to look good but without compromising on usability and simplicity. Web design aims to help users find the information they need and help site owners achieve their goals simultaneously.
The theme should be easy to update.You need to update the theme you choose for your WordPress website regularly. Core WordPress software is constantly being tweaked; therefore, themes need to be updated periodically to solve any bugs or security issues and ensure the theme runs at its optimal performance level.
When choosing a theme, it is advisable to choose one that has been updated in the last six months. This indicates that the theme is regularly updated, so you’ll never install a theme that’s already outdated.