While WordPress provides the foundation, a good WordPress theme provides the look and feel for your website. Some themes are better than others, in fact, there are some themes that I always use while others I stay away from. The themes I don’t like are difficult to change, use non-standard layouts, have poor integration with plugins, and just look bad. Read on to discover the characteristics of a good WordPress theme.
The first thing to look for in a theme is responsiveness. Stay away from any theme that is not mobile friendly. Test prospective themes on desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone screens. Does the theme appropriately adapt to the screen size? Another item to check is whether the theme slows down on mobile devices. Some themes run slower on smartphones due to the background running of screen dimension calculations.
Next, look for a theme that works across all the major browsers. Test the theme on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari as a minimum. Include Internet Explorer and Edge if most of your website visitors come from Windows-based machines.
Look for a theme that is easily changed. Most good themes allow the changing of web page elements through custom settings. Try changing different elements on different pages. Stay away from themes with a rigid layout.
A good theme is also quick loading. Look for themes that load in 2-3 seconds. Some themes are known for slowing websites down (mostly through poor coding and optimization).
A good theme is SEO friendly. Ensure that you have control over popular SEO items such as headings, meta data, image alt attributes, etc.). A well-designed theme makes it easy for web crawlers to traverse a website.
When choosing a WordPress theme, look for a professional design. The theme should look good. This includes imagery, typefaces, layout, and colour scheme.
Finally, consider the price. There are a variety of theme options available. These include free, freemium, and premium options. There are a few free themes that are decent. But most free themes are lacking in the type and amount of support provided. A single developer develops most free themes. Freemium themes are a little better, but it seems that the feature you need most requires an extra payment. Premium themes typically have a team of developers behind them and the support is much better. I use a variety of premium themes and am incredibly happy with how solid the code is, and the level of support given. When looking for a good WordPress theme for your website, ensure that you include the characteristics mentioned above.
Need help selecting a good theme?