Creating your company’s website is a big project. This is true no matter what kind of company you operate: a manufacturing firm, a retail store, a business consultancy, or a software development company. The process includes multiple components: developing your message, writing the copy to express it, creating an easy-to-navigate structure, and coming up with a design.
If you’re using WordPress to create your website, you can also pick a theme and build up from there. It’s a simple way to get your website started and achieve good results in no time. Besides, there are many to choose from, so there’s definitely one right for you. Naturally, having some criteria to narrow down the theme search will help. Here we examine a few of the most important factors you should consider.
If you find a theme you like the look of 100%, great. Otherwise, you’ll need to do a bit of tweaking to make it perfect for your business. So, seek out a theme that makes it easy to do, using the WordPress Customizer. This feature allows you to change the look of your theme without having special technical knowledge.
Using the Customizer, you can change things like your site identity, including the title, logo, and favicon. You can also change colors, navigation menus, widgets, homepage settings, and custom CSS code. When looking for a theme, find out exactly what you can customize so you’ll know what the options are before you install.
If you like the theme’s design, don’t worry too much about functionality. You can add features later on through plugins. For example, if you want an events calendar as part of your website, you can add it in later with a plugin like The Events Calendar. This strategy might seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but keep in mind that it can help you be more flexible if you want a different design or different functionality later. The two are separate so you can switch one out without affecting the other.
Make sure the theme you pick includes a responsive component. Your visitors must be able to view your website on any device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, and especially on smartphone screens.
If you happen to find a theme that incorporates both the design and functionality you want, that’s great too. For example, Airi was developed to integrate with the WooCommerce plugin for ecommerce options. Similarly, Astra includes integrations for WordPress course plugins.
The key to finding the right theme on this measure is to know what you want your website to do. Spend some time thinking about what actions you want customers to be able to perform and examine similar sites to get an idea of what works well. Having a vision prior to your theme search will go a long way toward helping you create a successful website.
Some WordPress themes load more quickly than others. For most uses, you’ll want to find one that doesn’t cause delays. To find out how fast a theme loads, navigate to its demo page from GT Metrix, then look for bad requests, poor CSS lines, and so on. If you have the technical know-how, you might be able to fix these issues. If not, it’s better to find a different theme.
Themes range in cost from free to around $100. Establish your budget before you start your search so you can immediately rule out themes that are out of your price range. If you’re in the enviable position to have a much larger budget, you might consider custom WordPress theme development, which can cost between $2,000 and $5,000.
Before you make a final decision about which theme you’ll use, check the developer’s support policy. Most premium themes offer 6-12 months of support and updates, with the option to renew. Support for free themes is less consistent. Some developers offer it only via the WordPress.org forms, while others don’t offer any at all. You can find the support policy for each developer on their website.
You’ll also want to check the level of support. Some developers will help with the theme itself, though not with integrating plugins.
Before You Buy
Another indicator you should examine is reviews. For free themes at WordPress.org, reviews are posted on each listing page. For premium WordPress themes, look in the sidebar on the corresponding ThemeForest page. As with any kind of purchase, check the comments to see what others have to say about the theme, including its performance and support quality.
Also, check when the theme was last updated. Themes should keep up with changes to WordPress software, so, if the last update was more than six months ago, think about using one that’s updated more regularly.
WordPress is a highly flexible and reliable website development platform that can serve as the foundation for your company’s online presence. Your theme will impact what you’re able to do (or not do) as you use your site in the years to come. So, think carefully about what you need to best serve your customers and which WordPress theme will best meet those needs.