Choosing the perfect theme is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make while starting a website.
Most beginners feel overwhelmed when it comes to selecting a theme for their WordPress site. There are thousands of free and paid options. Each theme looks better than the other. How do you choose the best theme for WordPress?
In this article, we will help you make the right choice for your business and how to choose the best theme for WordPress site and What are the things to be considered while selecting the WordPress theme for your website.
When you’re new to WordPress, it can be hard to pick a WordPress ideal theme that fits the content of your website. Even for an expert WordPress user it sometimes requires a great deal of effort to find the right theme for his website.
The first steps to take when choosing a theme for your website is to define the required functionality and the tone, look and feel of your site. This can help you select a theme which will make the right first impression on your users.
Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind when selecting a WordPress theme for your website.
Preparation is Half the Battle
Before going out looking for aesthetically beautiful WordPress themes, it is best to first define your needs. In order to find out what to search for, decide what the most important aspects of your website will be. To help you get started, here are some questions you could ask yourself:
- What type of website do I want?
- What is the purpose of my website?
- Do I want my website to include a blog?
- What do I want my future website to be best known for?
- What kind of customization options are important for me?
Simplicity is Key
Having a simple and clean WordPress theme instead of a visually complex one comes with a whole bunch of benefits. Firstly, it makes your website visitors focus on what’s important: the content of your website. Moreover, minimalist WordPress themes make people stay on your website longer, click more links and spend more money.
If you’re still not convinced you should have a simple website, read this study that says that simplicity makes people happier. Who wouldn’t want to have happy website visitors?
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Business Goals
A mistake many people make is jumping straight into choosing a theme, or going by design alone, which can lead to a lot of frustration. Before you get to the theme, you need to think about your business goals and how your website can help you work towards them.
To get on the right track, here are some important questions you’ll need to answer:
- What are you selling?
- What are the requirements for your website?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What are the browsing and buying habits of your customer base?
- How can you keep the focus on what matters?
What Are You Selling?
This one sounds obvious, but many people lose focus of what they’re actually offering to customers, and so what theme will work with what they’re selling and the purpose of their site. Build your website with your product or service in mind — for example, you may have a video tutorial business, but also sell T-shirts as a secondary strand of the business. In this case, the homepage focus should be the tutorials.
On almost every page, you should be funneling as many visitors as possible to your main source of income, not toward your secondary streams.
What Are the Requirements for Your Website?
This is a bit more difficult to answer, because it requires you to look at things from an administrator’s point of view. The first step is to separate front and back-end functionality. Think about what features are essential to your visitors, then figure out what you’ll need to do to make that happen in the back end.
For example, if you’re blogging about recipes, you may want users to be able to organize them using certain criteria. So, if you want users to be able to order recipes by cooking time, you’ll need to have a filter on the front end, but also a facility in the back end where you can specify the cooking time for each recipe.
Remember that WordPress only supports a limited amount of data out of the box: If you’re working with a more niche setup (beyond the likes of real estate listings, recipes or reviews), you’ll most likely need to add custom fields to get the result you want.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
A competitor analysis is an important part of any business plan, showing you how you stack up against the competition in everything from market share to product quality. When deciding on a theme, looking at your competitors’ websites will give you context, let you gauge your minimum viable product, and help you to figure out what your target audience is expecting from you.
This doesn’t mean you should just copy what your competitors are doing, though! A competitor analysis should give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t, so you can make an informed decision on your site (and learn from others’ mistakes). Don’t be afraid to do your own thing.
What Are the Browsing and Buying Habits of Your Customer Base?
It won’t hurt to learn a bit about customer habits in the online world. Don’t forget that how you browse a website is not necessarily how others do things and — more importantly — not necessarily how your target audience will do things.
Being aware of certain aspects of behavior, such as the paradox of choice, will help you to make better decisions when building your site. The more freedom of choice you give to people, the less likely they are to make a good decision, which leads to no decision at all.
Don’t get sidetracked by fancy visuals, eye-candy and other distractions. For example, many articles have claimed — and every user test has shown — that large automatic sliders are useless, yet many people choose to include them on their website because they look good.
Figure out who your target audience is, research them, talk to them, conduct tests, and ask them what they’re looking for and how they’d like to use your website. Get feedback before you start, and your site will be more likely to appeal to them.
How Can You Keep the Focus on What Matters?
This is one of the most important aspects of building a website. Developers and website owners tend to lose track of the site’s goals, but you’ll need to keep them in mind if you want your site to achieve them! Remember: Your most likely end goal is to sell your product or service — making a beautiful website is only a means to that end.
Does research say your beautiful slider is completely useless for conversions? Get rid of it. Do psychology and surveys say your ideal color scheme should be dark blue? Ditch your modern interface and work some of that blue into it.
Don’t confuse a high visitor count with a successful website. At the end of the day, your customer count is what matters — which is where conversion comes in. After all, it’s better to have a website that converts 30% of its 10,000 monthly visitors than one that converts 3% of 50,000.
Invest Your Time
Once you know your business, make sure to invest some time in choosing a theme. Because of the vast number and cheap pricing of themes, many people assume this is an easy task that should take a couple of hours at most.
Even coders who are experienced in making and selling their own themes may find it difficult to make the right choice, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right first time. You won’t usually be able to live-test your theme, so you’ll need to put in considerable research time.
You may even need to buy a couple before you arrive at the perfect one. Don’t let this put you off: A quality custom-designed and built site will cost you at least $5,000 for the most simple (and upwards of $10,000 if it’s more elaborate); a theme, on the other hand, will cost you $55 to $150. If you stand to save somewhere between $4,850 and $9,850, putting in a day or two’s work to get it right is well worth it.
Theme Must be Responsive- It is not a Optional Requirement Anymore
Nowadays, with the continuous growth of mobile device usage, having a responsive web design is a must. Fully responsive websites provide a better user experience and responsive design even increases your search engine rankings, along with several other benefits.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to go responsive. Luckily for you, Template Monster has a large collection of responsive WordPress themes.
Testing a Theme for Mobile Readiness
The easiest way to test whether a theme is responsive or not is by resizing your browser screen. As you resize your browser screen, you will notice that the theme’s layout will adjust itself to the screen width.
For more thorough testing you can copy the URL of theme’s demo page and paste it in Google’s Mobile Friendly Test page.
Should you buy a premium theme or go for a free one?
If you don’t have many plans for customizing your website, and you simply want to post your ramblings about your trip to Portugal, go for a free theme. I’m not saying free WordPress themes are bad, but you take a higher risk when you put one on your site. Most don’t offer support or updates, while free themes are often extremely hard to customize and hack into the code.
If you are building a website for a business or you plan on making any serious money with your website, I can’t state how important it is to buy a premium theme. You might be saying, “$60 for theme? Why would I do that when I can get one for free?” Well, you don’t know how lucky you’ve got it.
Years ago these $60 beauties didn’t exist. You had to call up a programmer to develop a website from scratch and end up spending thousands of dollars. Themes usually run from $50 to $100, and the theme creators often provide wonderful support for when you have problems. It’s your livelihood, so make a WordPress theme part of your budget. It’ll end up being a small part of it anyways.
Price Says a lot About a Theme
In the world of WordPress, there are two types of themes: the free ones and the paid ones. Both have pros and cons. Typically, premium themes offer more personalization options and, thus, more freedom. In addition, developers of paid themes usually offer consistent updates and support options. Most of the times, developers of free WordPress themes don’t offer updates and support at all and don’t make it easy to customize your website’s theme to set it apart from other websites that use the same theme.
A huge benefit of free WordPress themes of course is the price, but, although price doesn’t necessarily indicate quality, overall, I would recommend picking one of Template Monster’s Website WordPress theme.
Compatible with Different Browsers
When you choose a theme, it is the most important point that you need to consider as your visitors are using different browsers and devices to access your website; therefore, selecting a theme that supports with different browsers would be a right choice.
You need to ensure that your website appears same in every environment and works efficiently without any hassle. It would be quite difficult to do in case if your theme doesn’t provide that functionality from the get-go.
Some of the different ways are there to know that whether the theme you have selected has cross-browser and device compatibility built on it or not. You can check the live demo on different browsers and the simplest way is to check out the information in the theme’s promotional materials.
Easy to Customize
Today, a customization dashboard is extremely common in a lot of themes. It will solve the problem of having to make direct changes to style sheets. Along with it, some of the plugins like Visual Page Editor, etc. have made it easy to develop complex page structures without having to touch code even.
However, some of these WYSIWYG editors are limited, but eventually, you will find it beneficial to get a website appearing attractive with least efforts. In case, developers have a demo of their administration panel to show, it would be recommended to ensure that you can customize everything you need to in the theme so that you can make it as you want for your business.
The real power of WordPress comes with WordPress plugins. These plugins make it possible for you to do anything with your WordPress site.
While there are plenty of WordPress plugins, some are must-have WordPress plugins for every websites. Like Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, etc.
Make sure that your WordPress theme supports all popular plugins. If you are unsure, ask theme developer about it.
Lightweight Themes are Great
There are a lot of WordPress themes out there, of which some are lightweight themes and of which some are feature-heavy themes. It is highly recommended to go for the lightweight ones as they load faster. Fast loading WordPress themes not only improve the overall user experience, but also are known to improve your conversion rates and your rankings in search engines, like Monstroid 2 Lite.
DON’T CHOOSE A THEME WITH A FONT THAT’S HARD TO READ
This ties back to capturing your visitor’s attention quick so they won’t abandon your site. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to navigate your site. Make your fonts simple, sophisticated, and readable. The most popular fonts on the internet in 2016 were Open Sans, Josefin Slab, Arvo, Lato, and Vollkorn.
If you’re familiar with CSS, it should be easy to go in and adjust the font, although some free themes might be limited in customization — something to note during your theme selection process. (For a good read on choosing unique and readable fonts, see Stop Using Arial & Helvetica.)
SEO-friendly Themes are Worth the Search
WordPress is one of the most SEO-friendly content management systems out there and great themes make it even more so. Picking a SEO-friendly WordPress theme is crucial in order to get found online. For WordPress beginners, it can be a real struggle to dive into a theme’s code and analyze its SEO friendliness.
If that’s the case for you, I would recommend to trust a theme developer on its word when he states that his theme is SEO-friendly. For more info about what defines a WordPress theme coming with pages optimized for SEO, take a look at this blog post.
Customers can Help you Get an Idea of What Theme is Best
If you would like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with a WordPress web developer theme or if you’re not sure if a theme is secure to use and if it will be be a great fit for your website, just look at the reviews and ratings of users of that particular theme. For an overview of high-quality WordPress themes, you can also visit this page on which Template Monster showcases all of their bestselling WordPress themes.
Ratings and Reviews
Another solid indicator of a WordPress theme’s quality is ratings and reviews provided by their users. If the theme is sold on a third-party marketplace, then you will see customer reviews.
For free WordPress themes, you will find the ratings section just below the download button. It will show the number of reviews and stars given by users. If you click on 5 stars, then it will show you all the reviews that gave the theme 5 stars.
Researching the Author
The general quality of an author’s work, his/her Twitter profile, Facebook profile, Github projects and other online presences may shed some light on the quality of the theme. If the author is well known, has a bunch of followers, has some open source projects and is generally active in the community, it’s a good indication that quality work is to be expected.
If the author’s followed on Twitter by a large company or prominent person in the WordPress ecosystem (Automattic, Matt Mullenweg, Human Made, WooThemes, Tom McFarlin, Andrew Nacin, and so on) you can count that as a good point, too.
Translation + Multilingual Ready
A large number of WordPress sites are not in the English language. You may be creating a website in a language other than English. Maybe you have plans to create a multilingual WordPress site in the future.
Make sure that your WordPress theme is translation ready and supports multilingual WordPress plugins.
Page builders are WordPress plugins that allow you to create page layouts using drag and drop user interface.
Many premium WordPress themes come with page builders pre-installed. Some of these page builders are used by that theme developer only.
Using such a page builder to create landing pages can produce a lot of unwanted code. If you ever switch the theme, then those pages will require a lot of cleaning up.
You should choose themes that are shipping with one of the most used page builder plugins. You can also purchase these page-builders separately to use with other themes as well.
The Best Places to Find WordPress Themes
Fortunately, you have loads of companies to choose from during your WordPress theme search. I’ve compiled a few of my favorites. These premium WordPress theme creators have been around for quite some time and they have their business infrastructures built around offering quality support and stable themes for just about every industry.
Top Online WordPress Theme Marketplaces to Find the Best Themes are given below:
ThemeForest is the top dog in the WordPress theme business. The website is flawless for finding something that fits your site, and they have a few other company sections for items like stock photos, audio clips, animations and more. All of these categories are under the overarching company called Envato, which is a booming marketplace for verified sellers to upload and sell their best stuff.
It is the second largest online marketplace for wordpress theme. You can find more than 1,400 WordPress themes at TemplateMonster. That’s an impressive amount of themes, but are they any good? In this TemplateMonster review, we’ll look at some of their best WordPress themes, the other services they offer, and whether they represent good value for money.If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme, then this review will help you decide whether browsing TemplateMonster’s large library is worth your time, or whether you should focus your attention elsewhere instead.
TemplateMonster launched in 2002, and have since become one of the largest website template marketplaces in the business. WordPress themes were added to the marketplace in 2006, and there are now more than 1,400 of them. Each is available exclusively from TemplateMonster, and has been created by a team of in-house designers. You won’t find these themes anywhere else.
We’ll look at the pricing details in more depth later on in this review, but their most popular WordPress themes are available for purchase on an individual basis for around $75. Optional upgrades are available for each theme purchase, including theme installation and web hosting. At the time of writing, TemplateMonster didn’t offer a membership option or theme club that would give you access to all of their products for one price.
As well as the standard licenses, TemplateMonster do offer a buyout license that lets you take a theme off the market and ensure you’re the last person to download it — something you may want to consider if you’re looking for a unique design for your WordPress website.
You might notice some Mojo Themes ads if you install WordPress through Bluehost. Bluehost realizes that the Mojo Themes options are some of the best on the market, with choices for landing pages, eCommerce, BuddyPress, photography and more.
I’ve used Mojo Themes a few times in the past, and the support is wonderful. I had problems with one of my templates so they credited me back and let me choose any theme I wanted from their database.
MeridianThemes has some great themes for food and lifestyle bloggers. They currently have 9 premium themes in their portfolio.
StudioPress, famous for its Genesis Framework, is lauded by the top bloggers in the world, and I even use it on my personal blog. The framework comes with child themes for the ultimate customization and stability. In short, the Genesis Framework is so popular because it’s secure, super fast, great with SEO and simply beautiful. WPKube is powered by Genesis framework, you can read our full review here.
The folks at Elegant Themes knew what they were doing when they named the company. The themes sold here are, well, rather elegant. If you want to grab the attention of your viewers go with one of the striking themes from Elegant Themes.
You will also be happy to know that they have a number of powerful WordPress plugins such as Bloom and Monarch. The company blog is always active and they’re known for offering top-notch support. If you decide to with Elegant themes, don’t forget to use our 20% off coupon code.
I’ve personally never used Themify, but a few blogger buddies rave about the company’s solid prices. Themify packages all of its themes and sells them for only $79 (at the time of this post). You can find unique and stylish themes for things like eCommerce, magazines, portfolios, and more. Use our exclusive Themify coupon “wpkube” to get 20% off.
There are plenty of free WordPress themes available with new ones being released on a daily basis. That’s why we regularly publish the list of our favorite free themes in our showcase section.
Some of the popular item that can be recommended for you are:
- Themeforest ecommerce theme
- Best Health and Medical WordPress Themes For Hospitals, Doctors, Clinics & Blogs 2018
However, as we have mentioned above that support is one of the most important factor to consider when selecting a theme. Free WordPress themes do not come with guaranteed support and updates.
Most premium WordPress themes offer 1 year of support and updates. Here are some of the theme shops that we highly recommend.
WordPress / Corporate / Business
116.8K SalesLast updated: 15 Jun 18
- Over 300 ready to use pre-built websites
- Easy 1-click updates of theme and plugins
- Instant and always up to date updates
- The Most Customizable Theme on the Market
- 6 Premium Plugins + Tons of Premium Content
- $39! Complete Toolkit at Incredible Price!
Introducing Hotel WordPress Theme
Hotel Luxe is the biggest hotel WordPress theme for those who want to build any kind of hotel website. It’s a one-size-fits-all for all types of hotel, resort, B&B, chalet, studio apartment, hostel, etc. Its original goal is to help you rmanage your rooms listings, customer bookings and reservations online, pricing plans. With its stunning design & incredible user experience, you can build your dream hotel website and attract more clients.
Flatsome – One Page Muse Template
Flatsome is a flat Adobe Muse Template with colorful full width background images. Colors, images and content or all very easy to customize without writing any code. Visit the Adobe website to learn more about Muse.
- Tablet and mobile versions included
- Sticky menu
- Flickr widget integration
- Working Contact form
- Use over 100 fonts from Typekit
- Drag & drop your content
- It includes multiple designs within the one package
- The X theme also includes a powerful set of options for customising the stacks which goes a long way to ensuring no two installations of this theme will look the same
- X now includes an impressive, purpose built front end page builder tool called Cornerstone
- You can find out more about Cornerstone later on in this review, but for now, let’s just say it’s an impressive 100% front end and intuitive WordPress page builder tool that makes it very easy to create your own custom page layouts in no time at all.
Finding a theme shouldn’t be a rush job — getting it right can take literally days of searching, narrowing down options and testing. Do put in the effort, though, because the theme you choose will define your users’ experience and your own workflow (both of which are mission critical).
Remember that fit is almost as important as quality — just because you’ve found a good-quality theme, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Also, just because a theme isn’t appropriate for your goals, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad theme.
Hopefully, we’ve given you some pointers and tools to better gauge the potential of a theme, and you’ll now be able to make a better decision for your site.
Happy theme hunting!