Having a WordPress website is the most efficient way to start your online presence. Whether it’s a blog, online portfolio or product shop – WordPress is a way to go. And choosing WordPress theme is one of the first things you’ll have to do. It’s also one of the most important ones since all of your website design will depend on your chosen theme. Therefore, I’ve written this guide for you with all the things to keep in mind when choosing WordPress theme.
If you’re here to find a theme that’d be the best fit for your business, either scroll down for some theme suggestions or visit WordPress theme review.
Now, let’s get to the case!
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How to get started?
If you don’t have a self-hosted blog just yet, you can check out 5 steps to starting your own self-hosted website. This includes having a hosting and setting up a new WordPress installation. If you’re following my guide, it would take no more than a few minutes to make the setup.
Once your WordPress installation is all set up an ready to go – the next up is a choice of the WordPress theme.
And that’s what we’re here for!
What is a WordPress theme?
The theme basically is the style/design your website will be built upon. And there are tons of themes to choose from! Here’s what you should know about WordPress themes as a starter – I suggest reading this article if you have no previous knowledge with themes and you’d like to understand WHAT is that.
But if you’re ready to make the decision, let me advise you on what are the things you should pay the most attention to.
Before making any purchase, make sure to understand whether you’re buying a WordPress theme OR a WordPress builder.
The theme is a pre-made design that can be updated and adjusted, often, it includes a WordPress builder. While WordPress builder (Visual Composer, Drag & Drop editor or similar) comes with several Themes/Demo contents and unlimited availability to update your own website.
What to keep in mind when choosing WordPress theme
When choosing, make sure to check the following:
1. Your chosen theme should have several DEMO contents
Unless you have development skills or you are super tech-savvy around WordPress themes, make sure to have at least several Demo contents in the offer.
Demo content means that the website will be set up all pretty and nice, just the way you see it in demo samples, which will give you the option to still make any changes you want BUT the whole base will already be there.
And this is super important! You have to actually LIKE these demo contents. Not only in a “yeah, I might go with this” kind of manner but like “DAMN, I LOVE THIS!”. And the reason is rather simple – although you can change most of the parts of the demo content, you’ll never know when you won’t be able to change something or when the changes you had on your mind will look like complete crap.
So make sure to choose themes with at least several demo contents.
Another tip: the theme shouldn’t have TOO many demo options. You know the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”… And the same goes for choosing WordPress theme. If you’re building Shop, search for Ecommerce themes. If you’re building a portfolio, go for portfolio, etc. A theme that’ll cover it all might not be as good as the one that’s focusing on one specific field only.
2. Drag & Drop editor can be a huge advantage!
Most of the WordPress themes have one of the markets offered visual editors – also known as Drag & Drop builders – but there can be some outdated options or rather simple themes without any of these. If you don’t feel a need to have a fully customizable theme, you can survive without these editors. But it’s good to have them!
Drag & Drop is just as simple as it sounds, so choose a theme with it if you want to get things done easily and rather fast. To edit your website, you have to Drag & Drop all kinds of page elements: text, images, banners, empty space or any other elements you might want to have there. Demo content will have it all in place for you but in case you’ll want to change something, Drag & Drop is a good option to have!
The best Drag & Drop editor could be Divi from ElegantThemes. If you purchase this editor, you can not only get several Themes/Demo contents to choose from but also fully customize your own website. It’s a very popular option to online business owners and bloggers.
The most budget-friendly option is offered by Bluchic – all of their themes are based on Elementor editor which is also a great choice for a site.
3. Make sure to pick it in a decent price range
The price differences really can be huge and it’s important to understand what you’re going for.
- The simplest themes start at $12 but they can come with a lot of trouble and not exactly what you were going for…
- Normal themes start at the price range of $29 – $39 – and yet, you still have to be careful for the theme to have all the necessary features.
- The safest bet would be themes costing more than $49 – they usually have all the necessary features (and more) + their creators are high-class artists with a long-term background.
- If you’re purchasing a WordPress Builder instead, it’s worth a lot more since you have unlimited options to build your own website, any WordPress Builders/Frameworks would cost from around $120 up.
4. Your theme HAS to be responsive
I think most of the themes have this written almost along the title. It seems so obvious but it’s also super crucial! MAKE SURE that the theme IS responsive.
Having a responsive theme means that its design and functionality won’t be bothered by different screens and it will always work and look pretty. It’s really hard to imagine a theme that is not responsive these days. And in big theme markets like Studio Press or Tesla Themes this wouldn’t be a big bother. But if you’ve decided to purchase a theme from a smaller source, double check this feature!
5. Check out the Author of the theme
This is another important point to get a good working theme. In some of the theme shops, each Author has a rating or some kind of a review system where you can see how the theme has worked for others.
Yes, sometimes there are new creators selling their themes, without any reviews at all. That’s exactly what you should stay away from. I don’t want to discourage new creators but for you, as a website owner, it’s important that the theme comes from a trustful source.
Besides that, all themes have to be updated. Most of the private theme creators don’t do these updates or eventually just forget about them…
Here are a few things you should check:
- Author is a well-known creator with many other themes
- Author has good reviews/references
- The theme has good reviews/references
- There’s additional support for theme setup or documentation
6. Pay attention to the general theme info
Usually, along with the themes, there is a list of general info, for example, the latest update info, compatible browsers and additional comments that you might find useful to know. As long as all the information is stated and you don’t see something super outdated over here, it all should be fine!
Now you’re all set and good to go! Choosing WordPress theme is a responsible task to do but don’t get intimidated. After all, most of the theme authors offer theme documentation which explains most of the things you need to know about the theme. You can also always hire someone to set up a theme for you and make the general setup.
Suggested WordPress themes
I’m doing a lot of theme research for my clients so here are a few of my recent favorites.
FOR BLOGS / ONLINE BUSINESSES:
- VICTORIA // A bulletproof design solution for online business owners
- BLUEBIRD // Light & elegant solution
- ISABELLE // A great choice for online coaches
- SUAREZ // For those who prefer simple yet outstanding solutions
- SALT & PEPPER // Especially great choice for all visual bloggers (food, fashion, arts)
- REFINED // An absolute charmer! Light, elegant, with wonderful features.
- FOODIE PRO THEME // Elegant & simple – wonderful for any blog!
- iCOOK // A very simple option for those who focus on telling a story instead of visual enhancements
- RELIVE // A stunning storytelling theme to stand out with!
- COOK’D // Impressive visuals and nice features!
- ESSENCE // One of my all-time favorites! Simple yet super effective and offering many beautiful variations.
- CR8TOR // As the title suggests, this is a great theme for those who need to showcase their work!
- WORKER // Showcase your services and make it easy for your clients to reach you
- RESUME // A stunning way to show your Resume and lay out the portfolio
- DANTE // My favorite from Portfolio themes! Modern, simple and effective!
- WERKSTATT // More budget-friendly option for a creative and outstanding portfolio solution.
- ARGENTA// A unique and outstanding way to show off your portfolio & let people know about your offered services!
- OUTFITTER // A simple and highly visual theme with a clear goal to get more sales!
- SUPERSTAR // Modern and bold theme with many great features
- BISHOP // Give your shop a stunning feeling with this unique WooCommerce theme
- UNERO// Unusual and unique solutions for your ecommerce website. Simple, elegant but fun! My favorite from Ecommerce themes.
- VITRINE // Great ecommerce theme with various Demos to choose from. You’ll definitely find yours in here.
Are you experiencing dilemma or would like some additional tips on which theme to choose? Let me know, I’ll be happy to help you out!