WordPress is the most popular Content Management System today. One of the basic elements of a WordPress website is the theme. It doesn’t matter if you are building your first website or you are just trying to refresh the appearance of your old website, choosing the right WordPress theme and understanding how this process works is crucial for the transition.
If you are not a professional web designer, you might be confused by some of the terms that you will encounter during this process. If you want to finish this process smoothly, you should take a few things into consideration.
What exactly is a WordPress theme?
In case you decide to create and manage a website with WordPress, selecting a theme is a must. To put it in simple words, the theme acts as a skin of your website. When you create your WordPress website, you will notice that it looks a little bit generic and very simple. Once you install WordPress you will get the default theme and you can choose between few other free themes and you can easily switch them. WordPress provides these themes for free.
A theme makes your website unique and special. The theme you choose will determine the way all of your content including posts, headers, sidebars, pages and comments is displayed and organized. This is the first thing that your visitors will notice.
With the help of the theme you can manage the appearance of the footer, the header, the menu bar and any other element of your website. The theme will also determine how your blog posts will appear, how your logo and banner will be displayed and set the colors for different elements of your website. The visual appearance of your website is directly related to the theme you choose.
Choosing a theme
While it is true that the price of the theme should not be the main factor that will affect your decision, it is also true that WordPress themes can be separated into different groups depending on their price range.
For instance, there are dozens of free themes that can be found on different websites including WordPress marketplace. Both free and paid themes come with certain advantages and disadvantages, but the fact is that paid themes are a great option because you won’t need the services of a web designer. Of course, you might still need them for modifications, but you won’t have to hire them to start your website’s design from scratch.
A few things you should take into consideration
Keep in mind that every theme is unique and not all of them can meet the needs of every website owner. Although website owners have different requirements and desires, there are few things that each of us should take into consideration before purchasing a theme.
Match Theme to Purpose
To start with, it is a good idea to determine whether the theme matches the purpose of your website. As we said before, there are many online marketplaces offering WordPress themes and most of them have categorized these themes depending on their purpose – photography, ecommerce, real estate, sports etc. There are themes that can be used in few different areas too.
How Many Images Do I Need?
Another thing that you must determine is whether you will need many unique images or not. There are some themes that have a lot of blank spaces where you need to place original, high-quality photos/images. If you choose a theme like this, you must first find suitable photos.
What’s the Support Like?
Furthermore, there are many theme vendors that provide active support to buyers for days or even weeks after they have purchased the theme. On the other hand, some vendors don’t provide support other than pre-written guides.
The theme you choose must be responsive and there is no room for any compromises when it comes to this feature. Once you install the theme, the theme must be viewed in the same way on every device including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. The same goes for the appearance of your website on different browsers. It is better to use a theme that looks the same on all browsers because people today use more than just Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Finally, you should get a theme that promises regular updates. WordPress is a platform that is continuously upgraded and your theme must follow these changes too. This is especially important for the security of your website.
One of the best things about WordPress is that you can change the theme whenever you want and replace it with another one. The trends in the world of web design are changing and there are many websites that like to follow these changes.
However, although it sounds easy, switching themes is a complex process. After almost every change, you will have to adjust certain elements of the website. It usually takes hours to adjust the new theme because it is almost impossible to find a new theme that is compatible with the old code. This is where experienced web designers can help you.
WordPress Theme Customization
The good news is that website owners can choose between dozens of great themes. However, this high number of themes makes the process of selection a little bit difficult and confusing. This is especially true when we know that there are many free themes too. One might ask why people use paid themes when they can use free ones. Well, one of the reasons is the chance to customize themes.
In order to change and adjust free or cheap WordPress themes, you will have to spend hours even on the simplest elements. These themes were created quickly and that’s why this task is so daunting.
On the other hand, so-called premium themes are packed with many features and the process of customization is very simple. You might have to spend some time to learn how things work, but after that you will be able to make any change you want quickly.
We hope that this article will help you select the right WordPress theme.