Are you planning on getting your WordPress theme/template to fire up your new website but you’re drowning in an ocean of ready-to-go and interesting free theme/templates? What should you choose? A free one or the premium themes?
No matter what you choose or how you want your website to look, there is some basic yet very important stuff about WordPress themes that you should definitely keep in mind. Because when you decide which one suits you and your website, there is no turning back! It will be what your users see all the time and it represents your thoughts, ideas, work and how creative you are in showing them.
If you give us a few minutes of your time, we are going to underline some very key points that are going to have an enormous impact on your decision and maybe not right now but in near future, you’re going to feel so relieved that you dedicated some of your time to read this post. So, let’s begin.
⦁ Simplicity is the key
Whatever theme you are using, just keep it simple but use quality plugins. You ask why? Well here are our reasons :
First off, everyone can understand and relate to simple and minimalistic designs but not all are going to like a theme that is complex or sophisticated where the buttons are not where they’re supposed to be or the whole thing looks like a big mind-twirling puzzle they need to solve before they get to pages they really want to instead of just simply one-clicking on some button and being navigated to their desired page.
Also, simple themes are usually cheaper helping you save some money for other parts of your website. Additionally, speed is nothing to take lightly and using a simple template will ensure that your website won’t malfunction and everyone will enjoy scrolling your web pages and going from one part of your website to another without worrying about being slowed down.
Some may say that a simple WordPress theme doesn’t have enough features and what you can do with them is limited. There is no point in arguing with that but what we want to pinpoint is that with a simple theme comes only a few (maybe even one) page of settings that you need to fill out and a big chunk of your time won’t into figuring out what different customization panels do and how they work.
Another thing worth mentioning is that complex themes bag up a lot of different plugins making them less compatible with the latest WordPress version and that means you need to spend a good amount of your time on fixing this issue later on.
⦁ Fast & swift
Time is of the essence. We live in an era where everybody craves speedy stuff, devices and want to have the fastest connections to the digital world. They don’t want to be the last to get into the party. Talking about being super-speedy we got a little fact you ought to know. A good portion of users expects a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Although there is a no definite number on how fast a web page has to load up before it’s called a slow-runner but we think that something between 3 to 6 seconds is still not too shabby but after that six seconds people are more likely to close your web page and probably never go back to it, either.
Slow loading websites can be a result of a poorly designed and developed theme. Pick your theme wisely cause if you don’t do so, there’s no turning back. Well, there might be some ways to fix that but why even go through all that trouble when you can avoid it?
There. If you are on the about to chose a new theme and that theme has a demo site attached to it, you can run it through some webpage speed testing tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and get a grip on how fast that theme might work.
There are some other online tools too for more detailed and precise measurement of a webpage loading speed such as Pingdom Tools, GT Metrix or Webpagetest so be sure to run your desired theme with test website through them before getting it.
Don’t forget that some types of plugins will cause a change in this number. Security plugins, Back plugins, SEO plugins or E-commerce plugins can cost you a few precious seconds but there’s no rule on “how much” they are going to affect your website. For a more comprehensive conclusion on this matter make sure to check out the chart in Themeisle’s post explaining plugins’ effect on websites.
⦁ Use an SEO friendly/SEO optimized theme/template
Want to pop up higher on Google search? Do you enjoy being in Google’s spotlight?
Although this sounds really nice and tempting there’s no actual evidence that a specific theme/template is going to directly bust up your SEO ranking and bring a whole lot of audience to your website. Sure, themes are a big part of a website and they affect the integrity and the structure of one and they most definitely have an impact on the websites loading speed but nonetheless, if there is something wrong with your theme/template’s structure, your SEO ranking will most definitely take a hit too.
That’s why when you are going through different WordPress themes you are bound to come across the word “SEO friendly” or “SEO optimized” in almost every description. The main purpose of a WordPress theme or even template is to make your website look good and being SEO-friendly comes as a side goody.
Vlad Olaru, CTO & Co-Founder of Pixelgarde has an insightful comment on this manner :
“A WordPress theme does not represent a WordPress based website. It is a very important part of it but it has its limitations. A template can’t account for a bad server, not using a cache plugin or not writing relevant titles and content. “
Thomas Usborne, founder, and developer at GeneratePress expresses his thoughts on the subject as :
“Content is the most important factor when it comes to ranking high, so the best thing a theme can do is keep things fast and let the content do the rest of the work. “
To sum up this section, healthy theme structure alongside well-designated content means better SEO resulting in higher standing in Google searches.
⦁ Try not to confuse the search engines
As all seems nice and clean to the human eyes, search engines hawk deeply through the structure of a website and narrowly scanning all the codes.
Search engines don’t really see the website. Instead, they see the code behind it. If that code is not well entered and HTML tags aren’t correctly placed, search engines won’t understand what the website is trying to tell them.
For example, many templates could be using multiple H1 tags to style text on the homepage. Good for design, but bad for SEO. Hell, many templates could be ignoring the headings altogether, leaving your pages with just the title tag. Google can still understand the text, but the important content won’t be highlighted anymore.
The structure is also closely related to speed. The code has prioritized the loading of the visible content. This content is often referred to as ‘above the fold’. Even if your website loads fast, if certain elements that are towards the bottom of the page are loaded before the ones at the top of the page, search engines will notice it and consider it a bad practice.
⦁ Make things ultra-easy for every kind of user
I can’t stress this enough but you need to choose a responsive theme so it will work efficiently on all devices! This way all its menus and widgets are easy to navigate and won’t suddenly disappear. Some features like fluid site grid and flexible images can translate to none-desktop devices.
Right now more than 60% of people use their smartphones to surf the internet and get the information they’re looking for and if your website doesn’t load well on other devices, you can lose more than 50% of the traffic.
Nobody’s going to give your webpage a five star if they constantly get held up at every page or so some pages are cut in half with some content missing!
So, don’t make things hard on your webpage and let it load easily on other devices without any hiccups.
⦁ It’s all about looks
There’s saying that beauty comes from the within but unfortunately, no such thing can be said in this post’s case, here beauty shines on the exterior of a website and with a fair amount certainty, I can say that it’s all about the looks. In short, keep it simple but not too simple, okay? An unappealing design will steadily deteriorate your brand reputation and all that you have created for your brand will be lost if it’s not displayed in shiny mesmerizing webpage design.
For example, simple flat designs seem the more convenient way to go for your website won’t always guarantee more user engagement and better overall user experience and it even sometimes bores them. In other words, if you are planning to create a flat website, think again, please.
⦁ Believe it or not, font and color do matter
Having a visually appealing website is the first step in attracting more audience to your website meaning not only the theme that your are picking should be eye-catching but also the font and color of it do need to go with it the design.
Starting with the color of your theme. As much as we respect your choices but there are few things you need to remember. Your logo’s color must match the color scheme of your pages. If you are going with neutral colors, a splash of lively colors here and there will not do you any harm. Don’t forget that its statically approved that between dark or light, lighter colors are preferred by most people but sticking to dark colors isn’t something we don’t recommend.
Now that we have covered colors, let’s see what’s good and what’s not.
I’ll make this short. Your choosing font should be simple, sophisticated but at the same time easy to read. Some of the best fonts in recent years are Open Sans, Josefin Slab, Arvo but try to stay away from these notorious fonts: Arial or Helvetica. Let’s just say they just don’t have a good reputation amongst users!
⦁ Don’t let your website go out of date
Who likes it when your website is out-dated and starts to bug and eventually crash. Constantly check for new updates for your theme on the market you got it from. This way you can make sure that your website is working at 100% capacity and its compatible with the latest WordPress releases and can support the newest plugins. Besides, it always a great feeling when you have the latest version of everything, doesn’t it?
As you know, not all WordPress themes are 100% safe and sometimes hackers can crack the codes and mess up with your website, go for your personal info and even have a go at your customers. By keeping your theme updates you will make sure that you have the best possible security ready and your information and other people’s won’t easily get into the hands of some mischievous hacker. Please note that by never missing an update, it’s guaranteed that your website will stay compatible with all other devices too, such as mobiles, tablets or other gadgets and you will make your web site’s user experience memorable and enjoyable.
⦁ List of features
WordPress themes/templates will give you a lot of features and options to chose from, almost so many that you will definitely tear your hair out trying to decide which one to keep and which one to delete. There’s nearly no cap on the number of features you can get for your theme but it will most definitely have an impact on your website.
Here are some popular WordPress theme features that you might consider necessary :
• Social Sharing Features
• Multiple Page Styles
• Auto upgrade and support
• Numerous widgets
• Theme Customization
These are just a few, there are a whole lot more out there that you can choose from but before doing so take your time, pour yourself a hot coffee and cross out what you don’t need because too many features on your website ends in it costing you more money and increasing the load time of your webpage.
⦁ Pick a theme that satisfies your needs
Before clicking on the theme shopping link, plan out what kind of theme you need that serves your content strategy and your business the most. Out there on the internet, there is a huge amount of themes available at a single click but when you are reading the description section you will come to see that they are categorized into different groups such as tourism, health, car or etc. This indicates that they are specifically designed for some businesses and wouldn’t probably function as well for other fields.
So, first, go through with all your plans and thoughts and even write down what you really have in mind and want to do with your website. Take your time, the more you put time into this the clearer your mind will be when it comes to picking the right theme.
After deciding what you really need, remember to read the theme descriptions thoroughly and if even possibly more than once and try to make a list of the ones that you find interesting. We know that this is probably going to take a lot of your time but trust us, it’s worth the pain.
⦁ Buy from a liable source
Think of your theme as a car! You don’t want it breaking down in the middle of the street or on the road leaving you stranded and possibly mad. Getting themes from a reliable source is a must if you don’t want to see your website working like a Swiss clock.
So trade carefully, buying from unauthorized marketplaces can possibly lead into some trouble with the theme/template and utterly with your webpage but it also sends a negative message to your users or customers showing them that you’re not reliable and your website isn’t worth the trouble.
Fortunately for you, DigiAdviser only gathers the very best work of the very best designers and before pinning them up for you to see, all are tested and precisely checked for any bugs. The support of DigiAdviser will make certain that any confusion goes unresolved.
⦁ Keep the database clean and in order
This isn’t really related to your theme and its target at your WordPress database. Every content that you upload into your website is stored in the WordPress database. From themes to plugins and comments, all of the information piles up in the database tables and over time some junk files might be created that start to clog your webpage and make it load slower.
By removing the unnecessary files from your WordPress and also having a well-designed theme with the perfect structure, you can open up some space for your webpage to breathe and boost it up. You can find some online cleaning tools out on the internet too that can manage the database tables and help you monitor them every day so not even a single junk file can hide from you.
These are just some very important points that you should remember before getting your WordPress theme. Of course, some may disagree with us and emphasize that maybe looks are more important or SEO should come first or even what the heck, just go with the one that catches your eye. While what they say is very much true but nonetheless, we firmly believe that you should consider all parts before getting into a new world that you are not too familiar with.
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