Let’s assume you read our article on choosing between a pre-packaged, out of the box, theme versus custom development and you’ve landed firmly on the side of purchasing a WordPress theme. With all of the themes that are out there, it’s easy for information overload to set in. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to find a theme that’s a great fit for your business and your message.
Guideline 1: Choose A Theme Niche/Style
Try and get a sense of what industry the WordPress theme is geared toward. There are a lot of niche themes out there; themes geared towards bloggers, photographers, lawyers, artists, and so on. If you can find a theme that’s designed for your industry, you’re more likely to find something that does everything that you need it to do. You can also ask others in your field what themes they are using.
Remember, if you’re going to purchase a theme, you have to be okay with others within your industry possibly using the same theme you’ve selected.
Guideline 2: Thoroughly Explore The Demo
A theme should always have a working demo link. Spend a lot of time putting the demo through the ringer. Check out every page variation and functionality available. While you’re at it, read the theme documentation. That should give you a sense of what options are available for customizing the theme and how difficult those customizations will be.
Guideline 3: Read The Reviews
Many WordPress theme resellers provide a review system. If the theme is easy to use or if it’s buggy, you’ll know it pretty quickly from the reviews. Also, if you can, look for examples of other sites designed with your chosen theme. When looking at a theme demo, keep in mind that optimized content has been used for the sake of a nice demo. Looking at some “real world examples” gives you a better sense of how the theme will actually play for practical purposes.
Guideline 4: Note Number Of Theme Purchases
Take note of how many times the theme has been purchased. Is the theme a top seller or does it have just a handful of sales? A theme that has been purchased thousands of times provides some peace mind, as you’ll know that others have had success with the theme. Conversely, you’re taking a bigger risk by opting for a theme that is brand new.
Guideline 5: Focus On General Layout, Not Colors & Fonts
Colors and fonts are the easiest things to change on a website and most themes have built-in theme options for making changes. Layout is a little tougher to change around and most themes are limited as far as layout options. If you find a theme that generally has a layout you like, you’re on the right track.
Picking the right theme is a big deal for your company. Settling for a theme that isn’t a good fit can lead to a lot of frustration and wasted time. Take your time, do your research and don’t jump at the first theme you find. Remember, we can help with all things WordPress from training sessions to custom development.
If you run into problems choosing the right WordPress theme, just email us. We’re happy to help you with your research and selection.