As a web developer, you will certainly notice that there are more than 10,000 WordPress themes currently. These amounts will confuse you, so you should know how to pick one that is best for you, right. In the following information, you can learn how to select the best theme for you. Therefore, make sure you read all of the following information.
Free Themes – Pros and Cons
Nothing wrong with free themes, they don’t necessarily have any huge disadvantages over paid themes. You don’t have to pay for any advertising on your site or branding. If you find that the free theme can fulfil your need, go for it, you can always upgrade it to premium later.
- High security and good quality coding if you choose a free themen from the official WordPress directory
- Often simple, lightweight, and easy to set up and use.
- Lots of people use the same themes so your site may not look unique
- Limited customization options
- Limited support
- Fewer updated than premium themes
Premium Themes – Pros and Cons
Generally, big sites or company will use premium themes, if you’re setting up a site for your business, you have a blog with a large following that you want to move to WordPress, or if you want to make any kind of income from your site, you might want to think about choosing premium from the start. Moreover, having a premium theme also will give you a unique theme. However, this doesn’t mean that a premium theme is always better than a free theme. You can still find some badly coded and slow to load premium themes out there.
The price of a premium theme varies from just a few dollars to several hundred. Besides, high price doesn’t guarantee the quality. Therefore, you have to be smart in choosing the right features of your theme.
- More features
- Unique design
- More frequent updates
- Advanced customization options
- Developer support.
- Not always more secure or better coded than free themes
- Some premium themes are bloated and slow to load
- Not free
- Most premium themes ask for a recurring payment to keep receiving support and updates.
After knowing the pros and cons between free and premium theme, now it’s time to choose your WordPress theme design. Here is some guidance for choosing the right theme.
- Fit for Purpose
When choosing for a theme, it is not for beauty only, but the main purpose of your site is also important. For example, if your content is mostly text then you’ll want to choose a theme that’s designed for a good reading experience. However, if you want to display more images with a focus on visual content don’t choose an image-heavy design, although it may look pretty.
- The Importance of Responsive Design
As so many people are using smart phones and other small screen devices to access the web, it is necessary to use a fully responsive theme. Make sure you’re happy with how the site looks and works on mobile as well as full screen.
- Keep it Clean and Simple
To set a style that will be suitable for a long time, you better choose a simple design that can showcase your content. In fact, overly designed themes go out of fashion very quickly.
Instead of focusing on the images, it is also important to look at the layout and spacing of the site. Some themes may look amazing in preview, but when you substitute in your own images, they’re not so impressive.
- Theme Features and Plugin Compatibility
Another aspect is to consider the additional functionality of the theme. Many premium themes come with all sorts of bells and whistles, which may or may not be useful for your personal needs. Besides, premium themes tend to have more advanced and extensive features. Some common features of premium themes include:
- Image or featured posts slider
- Social sharing icons, menus, and widgets
- Custom page styles (different layouts for blog, gallery, about, etc.)
- Mega menus
- Retina-ready (theme looks crisper and more detailed on HD displays)
- Custom shortcodes (to easily add buttons, styled links, icons and other design elements to your site posts and pages)
- Ecommerce features
- Translation ready
But, be careful when choosing a theme with too many features. You can usually use a separate plugin to do the same job, so never base your choice on features alone.
We cannot neglect the SEO standards which will make your web easily to be searched for when someone searched for a related term. Therefore, make sure that your site is marked up properly with meaning using the correct code for page headings, image descriptions, etc.) And that it loads quickly. To find theme that is SEO friendly, you can do your own research and read some real reviews from people’s experience.
All the above tips lead you to one thing that you should know which theme that has a good quality and suitable for your needs.