Design of a blog matters a lot for branding, and a good user experience. If you will notice, all popular WordPress blogs or Websites around, take good care of their blog theme. There are many free and Premium theme clubs out there, and you will be bombarded with 1000’s of options for a WordPress theme. Some of them will be free, and many of them will be premium. When you are finding a WordPress theme for your blog, along with the look and design, you should focus on many other aspects like support, upgrade and many more.
Here I will be sharing few things which you should consider before buying a WordPress theme. You can always go for a free theme, but I have already mentioned how premium themes are better than free themes, and why you should not download free premium WordPress themes. At this moment, my favorite theme framework is Genesis, and if you have a budget issue, I would recommend you to look at Elegant themes.
What to look in a WordPress Theme:
Believe or not but first impression is always based on looks. Before reading articles, visitor will first notice theme of your WordPress blog. Thus it is important that you select your theme according to your niche. If your blog is about blogging tips, technology, make money online then prefer to select a professional theme and if you have a personal or fun blog then you can go for a funky theme. Make sure that the theme colors should not repeal readers.
Themes are available in different layouts, number of columns but select theme which provides an easy navigation. Visitors should find it easy to navigate, subscribe to your blog and find it easy to search articles they are interested in. A theme with good navigation always helps you to reduce bounce rate.
WordPress theme should be easy to customize. There are many customizable themes available which are easy to modify according to your requirements and you even don’t have to learn lot of PHP coding or CSS for same. Even if you are not a geuniess in customizing theme then also you can play with themes if the theme provide you easy customization.
There are many themes which provide you useful features like managing advertisings, different comment styles, customize dashboard, customized error pages, built-in plugins or different options to promote your post via social networking websites. Such features are available in free as well as in premium themes, you can select one which suits your requirements. You can always achieve many of these tasks with the help of WordPress plugins. So, you may ignore this particular features.
Always prefer to have a theme by a developer who is active when it comes to support part. Make sure that developer update the theme on regular basis according to WordPress latest version and it must support the new features of updated version like widgets, tags etc.
This is again something that you should decide, if you want your theme to control your SEO, or you want a WordPress plugin to take care of SEO. Personally, here at ShoutMeLoud, we use Thesis to control SEO, but now we are making a shift to Genesis theme, we are moving data to WordPress SEO by Yoast. According to my opinion, it’s better to let a plugin control your SEO, instead of a theme. There are few more features which you should consider like loading time, responsive theme, support for child-themes.
No matter you select a free or premium WordPress theme but make sure that you go for best theme. What are your criteria to select WordPress theme for your blog? Do share with us.