WordPress is most widely used CMS in the world. There are millions of websites on the Internet built on WordPress.
I take it as a most powerful blogging platform which allows easy customization at beginner level.
The most popular blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable are hosted on WordPress platform.
A WordPress installation has two primary segments:
In this post, you will learn about the things that must be considered while buying WordPress Theme.
Do you know about the role of a WordPress theme?
A theme in any WordPress installation decides the layout of the blog or website.
How the site would look like to the readers, the theme layout takes this responsibility.
A quality Theme gives best user experience. Therefore, we should consider few things while choosing a right theme whether you about to start a blog or a website.
Most of the WordPress users don’t know what they should consider while buying a perfect WordPress theme.
This post is completely focused on the key points you are expected to consider while buying a theme.
1: Free or Premium Theme:
Being a beginner blogger, you won’t be ready to purchase a Premium theme.
(Truly speaking, I also find it difficult to buy a premium theme for my blog. However, after two months I bought a theme that was complementing to my blog.)
In this case, you can use a free theme. There are multiple options in the WordPress.org. You can go there and choose one relevant plugin for your blog.
It was earlier when you were able to get only poorly coded free themes. Now the WordPress developers have created several good quality WordPress themes for the users. They made them available to the world through the WordPress community so that anybody can download them.
Some of the premium theme developers like MyThemeShop is also offering free premium looking theme in the WordPress.org.
Well, premium themes have more advantages over free ones. While I tried to find the pros and cons of paid themes, the cons were only a few.
Read below what were those pros and cons.
Pros of premium themes:
- You get frequent updates with the premium themes corresponding to the WordPress version.
- Premium themes are less common compared to the free themes, so you get able to set a unique style apart from other blogs.
- Premium themes come up with the ultimate customer support in the form of online chat, email ticketing system, and forum support.
- Several in-built features that reduce the need to install extra plugins.
Cons of Premium Themes:
- The price varies from few dollars to $100+ that might not be affordable by everyone.
- A lot of features may confuse the users.
There is no any fixed criterion to prove free themes dangerous for the users. While premium themes come from the trusted sources, you needn’t take worries about them. On the other hand, free themes are required to have several precautions before using.
(I have recently seen a hacker attack in the blog of my friend, and she was using a free theme).
2: User experience must be the Priority:
Google also gives much importance to the user experience. If your theme is offering great user experience, it will reduce the bounce rate as well.
The WordPress theme you want to install should be responsive to the handheld devices like tablets, smartphones, etc.
(According to a post on Search Engine Land, the mobile searches are growing much faster than the anticipated. Google also declared its Mobile friendly update recently.)
However, now most of the Premium WordPress Business themes come with the mobile responsive feature. If this feature is absent in the theme then, it may raise a red flag. So, it’s better to check the mobile friendliness through this tool. Read our detail guide on Why responsive web design is important?
3: Check for the Feedback:
Take the feedback in the form of user experience. If you prefer a buy a theme, you should first check for the feedback in the public forums.
This is an awesome method to get the most genuine suggestion regarding any WordPress Theme. Social media also play a vital role in it.
For example, you can join the Facebook groups and can ask group members for their unbiased suggestion regarding any theme you choose to buy from a certain vendor.
Whenever I decide to change the theme of my blog, I turn my face towards FB groups and most of the time I get the best advice from the bloggers who already used the same theme.
Many times, plugins might create conflict with the theme. I have also experienced this situation in which a plugin destroyed the CSS of the theme.
You should closely look in the support communities for any such incidence and read the complete thread to know the reaction of commentators.
4: Seo Friendliness:
Do you know what SEO factors make a theme SEO friendly?
These are: loading time, clean coding, are a few factors that make a theme seo friendly.
Well, in the present time, almost every theme you buy or a free theme from WordPress.org is seo friendly.
You can read the description of the theme to check the SEO friendliness.
The SEO friendly themes assist in ranking your site in the search engines.
Before purchasing a theme, test the speed in Pingdom. It’s widely accepted a tool for the site speed test. Put the Theme demo URL in it and see what comes in the states. If the theme’s loading time is high, avoid using the theme.
5: Identify Your need:
You must be aware of your theme.
What do you expect from a theme?
How many navigation menus do you want in the theme?
Do you need a customized footer?
What’s your niche?
The availability of the font types.
Background color customization.
Formatting style of the content is according to your requirement or not?
Layout and number of columns.
Is theme having best ad placement spaces?
All these things matter a lot when you choose a premium WordPress theme for any website or a blog.
6: Easy customizable or not?
This is the crucial area to evaluate any premium WordPress theme. I also feel stuck sometimes when couldn’t find an essential setting.
Well, premium themes come with the complete documentation so the users can get most out of the theme. If the documentation is accessible to you, read the entire details mentioned in it.
If the theme vendor has attached a video demo, users are expected to watch it. It contains the configuration and other related info that may help you deciding a right theme for your site.
I have seen few theme vendors offering customization with the demo theme. If you are getting such facility, I highly recommend you go for it. Make all the changes that you want to see on your site and compare with your expectations.
7: Look into Existing Support:
Support is the backbone of any business. With better customer support, a company can win the millions of customers and can gain mouth publicity.
The premium theme vendors make efforts to deliver best user experience through the themes. They release frequent updates to remove the bugs within themes. Nevertheless, some issues might occur and may create trouble for users.
In this situation, the customer support comes into the scene and takes over the responsibility to remove the users’ troubles.
A reputed theme vendor, offer the customers support via different means. They could be via email ticketing system, live chat, and community support in which the company developers remain active to give the proper answers to users queries.
Better customer support is the best side of premium themes. You get the complete support throughout your subscription period.
You can also interact with the customer support before buying a theme. Ask more question about the theme you want to buy. They can also tell you about the attractive discounts so that you can save the money.
I have tried my level best to include all the points that a person should consider while buying a premium WordPress theme. There may be some more important points that you consider while purchasing a theme. Share those things in the comment section below. It would add value to this post.
A theme should reflect better user experience and will improve the engagement with the readers. These are the real characteristics of the ideal theme.
If you find this post informative, and you feel it improved your knowledge about WordPress themes, don’t forget to share it on your favorite social media networks. Spread the words and let others know about it.