What Is A WordPress Theme & How To Choose A Good One

screenshot of wordpress theme development

As you step into the world of running a website, you’ll come across many different terms and even strange lingo. And it might even feel a little overwhelming at first. But just like everything else in life, if you take it one step at a time, you should reach your end goal.

So, this article is about taking away all the noise and technical terms. Instead, it will take a basic look WordPress themes and what they ultimately mean to you, the new website owner. And just for good measure, some additional tips and advice will be added.

What Is A WordPress Theme?

Essentially, a WordPress theme is the ultimate layout and design you choose for your website. Now, after you create your WordPress account and head for the dashboard, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to choose from thousands of themes that are WordPress-ready, in a manner of speaking. And yes, they usually require just a click to download and install onto your WordPress platform.

After the theme has been installed, you can tweak and change it according to your personal taste and the niche of the website. However, there might be some limitations, which brings us to the different types of themes on offer.

In addition to choosing a theme that will fit with your idea for the website, you will have to choose between a free, premium, or even a custom design. And yes, the choice you make is fairly important.

Choosing Between Free, Premium, And Custom Themes

Many individuals who are just starting out prefer to test the waters with a free theme first. This gives them an idea of the responsibility that’s waiting, as well as provides clarity on whether they should be investing money in the idea at this point in time.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with a free theme. They usually adhere to the requirements a good theme should have, and the extent to which you can customize the theme really helps to bring something unique to the table.

Unfortunately, free themes are limited on certain levels, and this usually includes user support. You also get to make more in-depth changes with a premium theme, which is something you have to pay for.

Alternatively, you can get a designer to build a custom WordPress theme for you. This is going to be the most expensive option, but then you know the theme will be exactly according to your niche requirements.

You have to decide how seriously you want to take this project and whether a free theme is the best place to start with. And if you decide you are very serious, then you will need this additional information.

What To Look For In A Good Theme

A good theme is based on certain elements, and even though you have yet to master the art of running a site on WordPress, these are elements you can quickly spot when trying out a theme.

The Loading Time

The last thing you want from a website is lag. Instead, you require the pages to load with ultra-speed and no glitches whatsoever. Unfortunately, there are several things that can slow down the site speed, and the theme is one of them. So when you notice a theme is lagging for no apparent reason that can quickly be fixed, it’s probably wise to keep looking.

The Responsiveness

So many devices are being used to access the internet these days. And all these devices are functioning on different platforms, as well as varied screen sizes. It is critical that the theme you choose is 100% responsive to all devices.

SEO Visibility

When you run a website, you want it to rank high with search engines. But this can’t happen if the theme of the site isn’t geared towards visibility. In other words, it needs to work well with important plugins and other SEO related factors.

Functionality

A website should be functional and practical at all times. Users shouldn’t be clicking all over the place trying to get where they think they want to go. And the theme plays the biggest part in how easily users ultimately navigate the site.

Stay Up To Date With Changes

As a last piece of advice, always stay up to date with changes to the theme and install them as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you leave your site vulnerable.