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Explicit Guide on How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme

The contemporary web offers a number of choices of platforms to launch websites, as well as the features that can be added to enhance their performance. Powering more than one-third of all web projects launched worldwide, WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS trusted by millions of users worldwide. So, how to make the right choice and pick the best web solutions for your future online project? Let’s find answers to this question in this post.

As you could have already guessed, we are going to talk about WordPress themes. There are loads of places where you can grab ready-made modern website designs to build your site. Their styles, features, cost and included options vary.


Free or Premium WordPress Themes?

Gone are the days when something available for free download was considered as a product of poor quality. Luckily, now we have a wide selection of both free and premium ready-made themes that we can use in a number of ways. Whether you opt for a freebie or a paid solution, there are always pros and cons that can influence your decision making.

As a rule, theme providers launch free website templates each time they want to present a new feature or tool to the audience.

Freebies lure more users due to the possibility to download them for your own collection without any investments. As a rule, theme providers launch free website templates each time they want to present a new feature or tool to the audience.As soon as you try something for free and enjoy it, you are like to have a desire to learn more about the opportunities that a premium version of the same product provides. More often than not free WordPress templates include the basic functionality that can be found in any other item of the same kind. A couple of layout options, free plugins, and a standard set of widgets – that’s exactly what most of the freebies provide. If you want more, you need to go premium.

One of the top reasons why premium WordPress themes are a better alternative is the availability of the regular system updates. Due to the quick growth of the content management system, new features are being rolled out of the regular basis. You can buy a theme today and new functionality rolls out tomorrow. So, when going premium you can rest assured that your website will include the trendiest and the most advanced functionality only.

While freebies feature more traditional, tried and true designs, premium themes boast more versatile designs. This grows chances that even if you pick a pre-designed web solution to create your site, you may be confident that it will have a more recognizable look and stand out of the competition.

Premium WordPress templates are also better documented and feature professional technical support that is ready to provide qualified assistance in a number of questions regarding the use and installation of the chosen design.

Unlike freebies that commonly feature attribution links that appear in the footer areas, premium themes are free from such links appearing over here and there within the interface of your future website. Also, if you are looking for a modern website design, you probably want to go with paid WP Themes.

There is always a different side of the coin. In addition to a number of advantages of using premium templates, there are some drawbacks that are also worth to be mentioned. First of all, that’s the cost.

Unlike freebies, premium WordPress theme can be downloaded for a certain fee only. Additionally, premium themes include lots of features. From one hand, this can be qualified as a benefit. However, more often than not, many of those features are simply unwanted and you will hardly ever use them on your site.

So, how to understand what will work better for you – a freebie or a paid theme? Pay special attention to the quality of the code during the decision-making. Also, take a look at the user testimonials since nothing will introduce you to the real state of things better than the reflections shared by the real customers.

Responsiveness

responsiveness

It’s of crucial importance to make every element of the design of your website mobile-friendly. Whether a user browses your page from a smartphone or a tablet, your website should display every single piece of content properly. So, when choosing the perfect WordPress theme for your website, make sure that it runs on the fully responsive framework. It should contain Bootstrap in its core, so you will be able to rest assured that every piece of content uploaded to your site will scale up and down to all screen sizes automatically.

WordPress Themes Speed

The speed at which a website loads is important not only in terms of the user experience but also for a higher ranking of the web page in search engines and conversion rates. The number of features added to your web page is one of the pre-defining factors influencing the loading speeds. Generally speaking, there are three key factors influencing the page loading times. These are:

    • The abundance of features. A template that includes 10 different sliders, dozens of pre-installed plugins, and lots of animation effects will hardly load fast.
    • Too many large file formats. Avoid using WordPress templates that include too many page-width background images, background videos, and photo-heavy galleries on the preview pages.
    • Poor coding. Just like the aforementioned two factors, the coding practices used in the theme are of significant importance when it comes to the page loading speeds. As a rule, poor code suggests that a web page hasn’t been updated for a long time. So, whenever you look for a WordPress theme that will be the best choice for your online project, make sure that you check its update history.

How can you know how speedy is the chosen template before you decide to download it? View its live demo. There are a number of tools that you can use for the purpose. One of the most popular and reliable options is Pingdom Website Speed Test. Simply enter the URL address of the demo version of the chosen template and see how long it takes to load all content and how many HTTP requests are made.


SEO

When used with the right plugins, WordPress is known as one of the most SEO-friendly content management systems that you can work with. Theme providers usually upload their products with the extensions that provide for a better performance on a page in the search engines. When not included, the themes should support SEO-friendly plugins. So, when choosing the best WordPress theme, make sure that it falls under the SEO-friendly description, thus you will know that the developers of the templates considered making it search engines friendly.

You can also find out if the chosen template is SEO-friendly while installing MozBar extension to Chrome web browser. This lets you check the live demo if the selected theme.

UX

UX

There is a good saying – first you judge how nice, then you judge how wise – that can be also applied to the web design. The design of your site is of crucial importance. This is one of the factors that will influence the UX of your site. So, choosing the best WordPress theme, pay attention to the way its pages are designed. The notion of a good design can be quite subjective. While minimalist designs work for one webmaster, the same approach won’t work for the users who prefer more animation-rich solutions.

A well-designed website is not cluttered and doesn’t have every piece of data imaginable within the same interface. Searching for the best professionally designed theme it’s always a good idea to go to the sites where the best designers sell their themes. ThemeForest is one of the first marketplaces to which webmaster refer when searching for the professionally designed themes.

Additionally, always check out the live demo of the template before you decide to download it. Scan the pages thoroughly. Is it easy to navigate and scan through the content? Does is bring the main focus of attention to the focal points? Is the layout spacious enough so that the web users can come across the necessary data effortlessly?

And finally, make sure that the theme will perform in all web environments perfectly well. This refers to both various types of devices and web browsers. A theme built with accessibility in mind grows your chances to built a user-friendly site that will attract the web audience and make them keep coming back.

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Security

There are so many factors that can affect the security of your websites. Those may be third-party extensions that you add to it, the hosting provider, the length of the password, and so much more. How can you know that your website will be protected when built with a specific template? This is when user testimonials will come in handy. No one will tell you the truth about a chosen item better than the users who have already tried it. Unless you buy a theme from a reputable marketplace like ThemeForest, it is better not to pick designs with a few downloads and no customer reviews. Before making the buying decision, evaluate a WordPress theme on community sites like ThemeForest, see what other customers say about its performance and security, and make your choice afterward.

bugs

If a template has some bugs and security issues, then customers are likely to mention this is their reviews, so that other customers will be aware of the security loophole in the future. ThemeForest also lets clients rate designs so that people can see how well any chosen theme performs in general.

Theme Customization

There is a growing tendency of simplification in web design. More and more often developers of website templates produce items that can be customized without the need to touch a line of code. Almost all contemporary WordPress templates include dashboards, which make it possible to apply direct changes to the layout without touching the style sheets.

WYSIWYG editors are in big demand also. Integrated into templates, these allow even those users who have little to no coding skills personalize pre-built layouts without any extra help. Everything is made simple and intuitive. Any kind of changes brought to the template is revealed in real-time, thus letting you save loads of time on running other tasks rather than stare at the monitor waiting for changes.

Not only beginners can benefit from using WYSIWYG editors. These help experienced webmasters save loads of time of the modification of ready-made themes.

So, if you want to speed up and enhance your workflow, look for the themes that come integrated with visual page builders.


Final Thoughts

From the first glance, there might seem too much to consider when picking the best WordPress theme for your site. However, after you look through several suggestions on the community sites or marketplaces you will find out that all of them are interrelated. A theme with a properly designed layout will provide the web audience with an enjoyable browsing experience. Responsiveness and cross-browser compatibility will grow the user involvement. When spiced up with the intuitive navigation and a spacious layout, you may rest assured that a website created on the basis of such a theme will be in demand with the web audience.

One more pro tip that you need to keep in mind when choosing the best WordPress theme for your site is learning more details about a person or a company that produced it. If the developer of the ready-made themes is reliable and reputable, then the web design stuff that he produces will be of higher quality than theme providers that cannot boast the proper reputation.

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