How To Choose The Right WordPress Theme: The way your blog looks can make or break it. You might be a top-class writer, with high knowledge of the subject you write about. You might be an SEO-expert. But all these things won’t matter if the design of your blog is not good.
In fact, when it comes to the design, good is not enough. They say the first impression is the last one. It holds good for your blog as well. Before people even read your content, they will notice the way your blog looks. And if they are not impressed, they will just hit the back button.
But how do you design your website? You do not have the necessary technical knowledge nor do you have any designing skills.
Well, if you are using a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have nothing to worry about. Because WordPress offers thousands of themes for any kind of blog you host. In this article, I will tell you everything about WordPress Themes and how to choose the right WordPress Theme for your blog.
How To Choose The Right WordPress Theme?
A WordPress Theme is a collection of files (graphics, templates, stylesheet, code, etc.) that makes the entire design or look of your website. Each and every element and section of your website, be it the header, footer, sidebars, their location and width, colors, fonts, background, color of hyperlinks, etc. are determined by the WordPress Theme you use.
With WordPress Themes, you can control, manage and change the way your website looks without having any knowledge of coding or design. All you have to do is install and activate the right WordPress theme and then make the necessary changes from your WordPress admin area.
WordPress has a large repository of free themes – the WordPress Theme Directory – from where you can install themes for free. There are hundreds of themes for any type of website you want to build, be it a personal blog, a blog to showcase your photographs, or a fashion or food blog.
Before moving on to how to choose the right WordPress theme, let’s see how to install and customise them.
How To Install Free WordPress Theme?
From your WordPress admin area, go to Appearance > Themes. Then click on “Add New” from the top of the screen.
You will be directed to this screen from where you can preview the themes and install them.
The Preview option gives a general idea about how the website is going to look.
You can install multiple themes at the same time. You can also search for any particular type of themes, like Photography or Food, with the search option on the top right corner.
Once you install the theme, you can click on the “Live Preview” and see how exactly your blog is going to look. You can even make the necessary changes and see if the features provided by a particular WordPress Theme meet your needs, before you “Activate” it.
Once you choose a WordPress Theme and activate it, make sure you delete the other themes that you had installed. To do that, go to Appearance > Themes. Here, you will see all your installed themes. Click on the theme that you want to delete. Scroll down and click on “Delete”.
How To Customize Your Theme?
In order to customise your theme, go to Appearance > Customise. From the left side of the screen as shown below, you can make the necessary changes, for every section of the blog. You can also see how your site is going to look in a desktop, a tablet or a cellphone.
Once, you have made the changes, just click on “Publish” and the changes will be saved and published.
You can also change or modify the WordPress Themes by:
- By installing various plugins,
- By adding codes to functions.php file.
How To Choose The Right Free WordPress Theme?
With all the free WordPress Themes available, from very minimalistic ones to the ones with great features, it might get difficult to choose the right theme for your blog or website. So, here I am to help you in choosing the right WordPress Theme for your blog. Read on to find out how to choose the Right WordPress Theme:
1. Make A List Of The Features You Need
This is the first step towards choosing the right theme for your site. With all these free themes available, you will be tempted to install a theme that offers lots and lots of features. But before you do that, think for a moment if you would need them.
So, it is always better to start off with a list of features that you would like to have. Having unnecessary features, that you probably won’t use.
For example, if you have a site about ‘blogging’, there is no need for a theme that has lots of colors and or very complex layouts.
For most of the sites, a simple theme works the best.
2. Check For Reviews
Checking reviews of the themes can help you decide whether or not you should install it. Whether or not the theme has good documentations, support, active community/forums, advantages and disadvantages of the theme, etc. can be known from reviews of the theme given by people who have used it.
3. Make Sure The Theme Is Responsive
The theme should be such that the site is mobile-friendly. A theme may look good on desktop but that’s not enough. A major percentage of the traffic comes from mobile users. In order to ensure they have good experience, your site should be easy to use across all sorts of devices, be it desktops, smartphones or tablets. This is what a responsive theme provides.
You can use this tool by Google to check whether or not your site is mobile-friendly.
4. The Theme Should Be Compatible With Various Browsers
Make sure your theme works perfectly fine across all major browsers. Many people choose a theme that works absolutely fine in the browser they use. In this process, they forget about people who use other browsers to surf the net.
5. Check If The Theme Supports Important Plugins
What makes WordPress such a powerful CMS is the availability of plugins for every thing. But not all themes support all plugins. So, while choosing the theme, check if it supports the most important plugins, Yoast SEO.
6. Theme Should Have Readable Font
Sans Serif fonts are the easiest to read. Choose a theme that supports Sans Serif fonts. No matter how many great features a theme has, if people are unable to read the content on a site, it’s of no use.
7. Theme Should Be SEO-Friendly
Even some great-looking themes can generate poor HTML code, which may create problem in optimizing the site for Search Engines. So, make sure the theme you choose is SEO-friendly. If you do not have the necessary knowledge to deduce it from the source code, at least make sure you read the theme details properly. Many theme designers mention if or not the theme is SEO-friendly.
8. Consider A Premium Theme
If you have the budget, go for a premium theme. This will ensure:
- Better documentation and support
- Improved and regular updates
- More flexibility in terms of modification
- Better features
I hope I have been able to explain the basics of WordPress Themes and how to choose the right WordPress Theme for your blog. If you have any question pertaining to how to choose the right WordPress Theme for your blog, feel free to contact me or drop a comment below. I will definitely reply at the earliest.