How to choose a WordPress Theme?

Don’t be daunted by all the choices and not knowing which Theme to choose. We all started in the same place, so sit back and do research. Discovery is exciting and know one thing many of us have been here too.

How to choose a WordPress Theme?

How to choose a WordPress Theme?

How to choose a WordPress Theme?

WordPress Themes is the biggest issue I have encountered in WordPress Website Maintenance and hacked websites. WordPress Themes are either WordPress created and updated or are from the many 3rd party suppliers/developers who create themes either as a full-time business or as source of passive income. Website Themes must be updated and constantly developed to meet the ever-changing market requirements, change in technologies like PHP upgrades and to match the never sleeping “nevermissatrick” hacker community looking to exploit any vulnerabilities in outdated theme code.

Don’t be daunted by all the choices and not knowing which Theme to choose. We all started in the same place, so sit back and do research. Discovery is exciting and know one thing many of us have been here too.

 

The WordPress Plugin Directory is the largest directory of free and open source WordPress plugins.

 

WordPress Plugins and Themes

Themes – mainly change how your website looks and feels.
Plugins – mainly change how your website functions.
There are approximately 50 000 free WordPress plugins and 5000 free WordPress themes and many many more Premium Paid Professional Plugins and WordPress themes in the repository to choose from.
The WordPress Plugin Directory is the largest directory of free and open source WordPress plugins. 

I have manged many websites and a common issue is where web developers/designers have handed over to the client but without the premium theme updates enabled or themes that were once supported but no longer are. With constant changes to the WordPress Architecture like jQuery or updating of PHP causes the website functionality to stop operating optimally if not actively developed. Some Theme developers only allow 1 Licence 1 Website where as Elegant Themes are 1 License. Complete Access. Unlimited Websites. Unlimited Users. WordPress core is updated to fix bugs, security flaws and vulnerabilities, themes that are no longer compatible to latest version of WordPress architecture become vulnerable to hackers and/or have functionality issues.

Is the theme right for your requirements? Install several themes to see which architecture suits you. Change the themes and use Theme Checker Plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/theme-check/. Check the speed of each theme too https://gtmetrix.com/.
Please remember to change the themes before going live and use Coming Soon plugin to hide the front end from the user. Don’t be shocked when there are a major layout changes between different themes and the website layout and look changes. If you don’t want to waste time testing choose Elegant Themes.

 

“Your subscription has expired. You must renew your account to regain access to product updates and support. To ensure compatibility and security, it is important to always keep your themes and plugins updated. “  

 

How to choose a WordPress Theme?

Features: Make a list of features you want for your website that best represents your brand and your target market. Themes are created for very specific market segments from minimalist Photography to busy Magazine to clean Corporate to converting Ecommerce. Use the WordPress Feature Filter to customize your search for free themes based on specific features you want. You need to consider the demographics of your target audience and the functionality of the website to match the user. Consider easy to read fonts, how images are displayed and Accessibility. Themes Are for Design, Plugins Are for Functionality.

Budget: I have used both free and premium themes. At start-up and with the steep learning curve I made used of the extensive range of free themes, once I was settled and confident, I chose Premium Elegant Themes and the Divi builder.

WordPress Theme Developer? I chose Elegant Themes after extensive research and recommendations. Elegant Themes are fulltime WordPress theme and plugin Developers who are not only proud of their work, Elegant Themes actively develop their products to not only the changing market and to future requirements. They are aware change is constant.

Speed:  is now a major factor in how Google ranks websites in search results SERPs. Don’t choose a bloated theme. Install several themes then run https://gtmetrix.com/ on each theme to check the results. Some themes can be 50% slower than others due to coding or the way code is rendered.

Mobile Friendly. Responsive websites are now standard requirements. This is now a must considering 92% of internet users are connecting via mobile while 53% of all web page requests come from mobile phones. Choose a responsive theme https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Accessibility. This is now becoming a standard for websites like Responsiveness. Soon Accessibility will be law so best start the best practices now. The elderly now were once the intent pioneers, the Differability community are also customers that many website owners overlook. Do it because it is the right thing to do.

Page Builders. Many themes have their own page builder plugins that are tested and optimised for the theme. I prefer to use the same Developer for the Theme as the Page builder but it is not necessary. Page Builder Plugins I trust: Divi, Beaver Builder, SeedProd, Elementor, Visual Composer Website Builder, Themify Builder.

Support and Development. I recently took on a website where the theme was no longer supported by the theme developer, with the changes to PHP the theme functions ceased to work. The owner could not edit pages correctly as some of the themes core functions no longer worked. Eventually the website that had faults causing a fatal website error. The Theme was not compatible with an installed plugin. Check ratings, installations and reviews under the download button. Check the support page for unresolved issues and how responsive the theme support is. Check the social media accounts are still active and check when last the theme developer posted new updates or answered questions.

Premium theme keys for updates. This is a problematic issue I have faced with WordPress Website Maintenance, is the misunderstanding between the developer and site owner. This is on old school issue on the part of web developers and/or web designers who don’t want to offer Webmaster or Website Maintenance services but won’t give up the website control. I believe when you develop a website, you know very well that the theme will need updates to carry on functioning securely. Most developers delete or change the themes update keys even when the customer has paid for the premium theme as part of the quote. I use Elegant Themes as they offer multiple websites 1 License. Complete Access. Unlimited Websites. Unlimited Users. Join 806,875 customers and get access to Divi, Extra, Bloom, Monarch and more. Power your entire team and build unlimited websites. The ultimate WordPress toolkit awaits. https://www.elegantthemes.com/about/

Please note if you choose a free theme do not expect great support or development of the theme.

I recommend the responsive versatile Divi Theme and Divi builder from Elegant Themes.
The Divi Theme is the ultimate all-in-one website building solution for WordPress. It comes with the Divi Builder pre-packaged and wraps it in a fully customizable theme that works perfectly with all builder elements. Divi is a completely new website building platform that replaces the standard WordPress post editor with a vastly superior visual editor. It can be enjoyed by design professionals and newcomers alike, giving you the power to create spectacular designs with surprising ease and efficiency.

Divi fully integrates and complements WooCommerce.

How to choose a WordPress Theme?

Please note that the plugins and themes can have security vulnerabilities and bugs that can cause conflicts in the installation so please keep all the components updated and only install from reliable providers. WordPress allows you to create stunning websites that rank, using just your web browser and not having the experience to code. WordPress is open source, free, easy to learn and use, completely customizable and you are in control of your own content. The software is released under the GNU Public License making it free to download and free to use.

 

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