Do a Google search for WordPress themes and you can spend an entire day surfing websites. Heck, you don’t even have to turn to Googe, just do a search right from the dashboard of your blog. Every Tom, Dick and Harry designer who wants to promote his design skills has created a theme – some free, some expensive, some good, some…not so good.
Here are 10 tips for choosing the right WordPress theme for your blog or website.
- Choose a professional looking theme if you’re planning to make money. That might mean a well-made free theme and it might mean you need to spend a little money on a premium theme. Just remember – you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
- Does it promote your brand? You’ll see the popular free themes in use all over the web – your visitors will, too. If you’re using your blog for business you’ll want something you can customize to promote your brand.
- What themes are your competitors using? You definitely want your blog to stand out from the crowd.
- Is it coded for SEO? A theme can look awesome for your visitors and be a total mess where the search engines are concerned. Look for themes that are coded for better SEO.
- How are you planning to monetize your blog? If you’re planning to add banner ads in the sidebar then you’ll want a theme that has at least two sidebars so you have room for your categories, archives, and other popular widgets, too. Can you easily add sales and landing pages? Will it support scripts so you can add opt-in forms?
- Will your company logo work with the theme? Some themes are easy to customize, like Atahualpa or Thesis. Others require you to mess around in the code and that can be a real hassle. If you’re going to use your own logo make sure to choose a theme that blends well.
- What if you have a problem? Some of those free themes floating around the Web are older than the Internet. Make sure you choose a theme that has support available in case you have questions.
- Is it widget-ready? Widgets make a huge difference. With widgets everything is drag-and-drop. Without widgets? Be prepared to do some html coding.
- Some free themes are simply vehicles for the designer’s own affiliate links. Some themes also contain links in the footer which you can’t remove unless you pay a fee. Be careful. Choose themes from reputable designers and make sure you know what you’re getting.
- Test it out first. If you find a theme you like, give it a test run. To install most themes you just have to click a button or two. Try it out. Scroll through the navigation. Check out how everything lines up. How do your images and videos look? Is the theme overwhelming your content? If you don’t like it, just deactivate and then delete the theme and go find another.
If you like shopping then you’ll love trying on new blog themes. Some blog owners even change their themes to reflect the season. Your blog will go through many stages of growth as it matures, just like a person or a brick-and-mortar business. So don’t worry. If your blog grows out of this theme, you can always just install a new theme and freshen it up.