Are you bored of the phrase - WordPress theme development? You shouldn’t be! Because its here for long.WordPress development over the years has certainly gathered a few followers. Yes, that’s a hint of sarcasm. As every credible web developer will tell you, there’s none better CMS or a website design platform than WordPress; at least that’s what the status quo suggests. Gone are the days when WordPress was simply considered as a one trick pony having been labelled suitable only for informational websites.
Given the nature of themes available, you will often feel spoilt for choice. You have my guarantee that you’ll find something to your liking; just need to do the dirty work. However, before you settle down with one, you need to consider a few parameters that will do you good.
Pre-requisites of Settling Down For A WordPress Theme
Know What Website Type You Require
This is kind of a no brainer, isn’t it? First things first, you need to know what you want. Are you looking to serve customers? Are you looking for a website that showcases your skills? Are you looking to sell products/services? Are you looking for a simple blog? Would an informative website do the trick? Do you require a portfolio? Do you require a hefty e-commerce website?
These are some questions you need answers for before starting.
Know The End Game
Know what your customers are like! And I can’t say it enough. At the end of the day if you have customers per se, they’re everything for you.
Do your due research in finding out the targeted demographic, their likes and interests, age bands, taste, shopping behaviour and more.
Know Your Short Term & Long Term Goals
Before settling down with a theme, you need to know if you’re in it for the long haul or if you’re just following a passion temporarily and doing something for yourself.
This will ultimately define the amount of work you put in your website.
Here are a few tips which will come in handy with the WordPress theme decision making process:
1. Device-Optimized In Nature
- Opt for a theme which is device optimized in nature i.e. the theme should appear in an optimized manner irrespective of the device being used to load it. Capiche?
- Be it a tablet or a smart phone or a desktop, the website experience of the user should be perfect, he/she shouldn’t have to zoom in or out of anything.
- Ideally, the website should load in a smart phone browser as an app.
2. Functionality Galore:
- Look out for a website theme which is high on functionality.
- Even if you have to sacrifice on the aesthetics a bit, it will be a worthy trade. At the end of the day, UI should be your priority. You want visitors to come back don’t you?
- Internal linking should be smooth enough; menu properly laid out; easy transition from one element to another; lack of complexity – these are some of the key factors.
3. Customization Proficiency
- Unless you’re a hardcore web developer yourself, look for a website theme which can be easily customized.
- Trends change, patterns change, visitor behaviour changes; in this sea of variables, change is perhaps the only constant.
4. Light in Weight
- Just like humans, websites tend to appear better when they’re light in weight.
- This helps them to load quickly which slows down the bounce rate; helping not only on the lines of SEO, but gives users an experience to remember as well.
- Hence, try and go for a theme which is not too complex and high on images/videos, so that the page load time is substantially quick.
5. How Many Current Users Are There
- Before settling down with a theme, do give a quick glance to the ‘Active users’ segment.
- This will tell you how popular the theme is; if it all it is.
- This is a good barometer of the website theme as a whole; not about following the herd, but about picking a solution which is right.
6. Room For Scalability
- Sooner rather than later, if you’re serious about what you do, you would want to scale up your website.
- Adding information be it text, images or videos is the only plausible way forward.
- You might want to take a different road altogether and sell to international customers.
- Hence, a website which is high on scalability is the need of the hour here. Simply having that option is a comfortable buffer.
7. Theme Age
- Check the age of the theme before making the decision.
- Not saying that older themes aren’t as effective; but once you’re in the market for a website, why not has the latest kid on the block?
- Just in case a theme is old and you still like it, check out how often do the developers roll out updates. If the number is consistent and periodical, you’re in safe hands.
8. Invaluable Customer Reviews & Feedback
- Last but not the least, check what existing or past users have to say about a particular theme.
- There’s no better survey available as only the real-time users will be able to tell you about any chinks present and how to resolve them.
Hope the tips will help you to select the best theme for your WordPress website.