One of the questions I am often asked is, what is the best theme for your WordPress theme? The simple answer is no theme is better than any other, I know of highly successful blog built on the standard themes that come preloaded with a fresh install of WordPress and I know of others that use predesigned themes and others using full custom designed themes. You want the theme to match your technology needs as well as impart a specific feeling to your audience that matches the niche you’re trying to represent.
Keep It Simple
It’s often tempting to select a theme with lots of bells and whistles but my experience tells me that the more of these features you have, the more potential things you have to go wrong and cause conflict. Current trends indicate that, clean lines and simple colors are more popular than busy themes that can distract from the main purpose of the blog. The theme needs to evoke the right feelings in your audience, while also providing you with the tools you need to do your part, and present the content as your audience wants it.
When Selecting a WordPress Theme Consider Your Industry
Given the prolific amount of themes available, for most businesses you don’t want to even consider a full custom developed theme, you also want to avoid selecting a theme that you need to change dramatically using PHP or other code. The best theme for your business has already been made with your industry in mind. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and waste money doing so. Plus an added advantage is that by choosing a theme that already has your industry as a focus, and by avoiding all that computer coding you can make changes and updates easier, at less cost as the core of WordPress is developed.
Choose a Responsive WordPress Theme
One of the local businesses that I know here in Perth, just had a new website developed costing thousands of dollars with the end result being a reasonable looking none responsive website. Given the usage of mobile devices to access the Internet this is simply money wasted as at some point in time, when they realize they are going to have to make it responsive, either that or the website will simply be a complete failure.
Don’t waste your time, money and end up with a website almost guaranteed to fail, get yourself a responsive theme that will work properly with mobile devices. Remember if they cannot access your blog and read it easily on mobile devices, you’re going to lose a lot of your audience to your competition.
Read the Fine Print
This is especially true with free themes, but, always read the rules and terms of service of every theme that you want to use. There may be limitations, or you may learn that the theme is no longer being supported and updated. You want to use a current theme that will continue being safe for a long time, which is continually being updated to keep it working properly and that is legal to use as you want to. If you are in business you should avoid free themes and instead look at purchasing one, they aren’t expensive and you will normally end up with a quality theme that is well supported.
Understand Which Features You Need
Do you know what you want? Do you know what your audience wants? Do you want one column or two? Do you need the ability to download PDFs? Do you want to put up a lot of videos? Do you want a discussion board? Do you want a certain color? Ensure that your theme is capable of adding the functionality you want, or already has it built in to start with. The more features you can have before customization, the better but remember that those features often mean longer load times and can cause plugin conflicts.
Know the Purpose of Your Blog
Each blog should have a purpose, a point for being if you like. When you can identify the point of your blog, it will be easier to determine which features are most important. It will also be more likely that you can identify what will make your audience feel impacted by the look of your blog and as a result your blog will generally be more successful.
Determine Your Budget
While you can get some awesome free themes from the WordPress.org website, consider purchasing a premium theme because you’ll get more support, help, and updates to keep your blog safe. There are premium themes within a wide price range and let me repeat and earlier statement, every business should use a purchased theme.
Check Other Users Ratings
Once you’ve a shortlist of several themes that will work in terms of features, colors, feeling, functionality and budget, check the user ratings to ensure that there is nothing that stands out like poor customer service or compatibility issues with plugins you know you want to use. In other words, go visit support forums, check the questions being asked and the answers being given, the time frames, etc… and judge for yourself if the theme you want to use has issues and is well supported.
If you keep all these factors in mind, you’ll have a better chance of picking the perfect theme for your website that conveys the message you want to impart to your audience and works well on the back end too. Just remember there is no answer to what is the best WordPress theme, if there was everyone would use it, so select one that works best for you and your audience.