How To Choose A WordPress Theme? Pick The Good & Right Ones

How to choose a WordPress Theme

If you are wondering how to choose a WordPress theme for your site, this is a checklist for you.

But before I go ahead and tell you all about it, let’s answer an important question that I often encounter, which is – “Can I use WordPress without a theme”?

The answer is no.

In short, without themes, it’s not possible to design your website.

Another question that I often get asked is – “Is choosing the right theme all that important”?

The answer to that is, “yes”.

If you do not choose a theme wisely, you will end up with a site that is either slow or doesn’t look good.

It may also lack the features that are important for your niche.

So, let’s get started and know all the steps required for choosing the right theme for your site.

Decide on the features you need for your site

Your site is an extension of your business, right?

So, the design of your site should be such that it has all the necessary features needed for your business.

For example, if you have a car dealership showroom, your site should have features like vehicle comparison, loan calculator, search filter, etc.

Or, if you are in the service industry, there should be an appointment booking facility on your site.

So, when choosing a WordPress theme, first decide on the features you need on your site.

features

Simplicity is the key

simplicity

Having the right features on your site will certainly make your business shine.

But having too many features is overkill.

Some themes come with so many extra features that you do not need them all.

Having all these features will make your website too complex to handle.

Your potential customers may leave too soon as they will get frustrated with all the extra features like pop-ups, banners, sliders, etc.

They are important features to have in some niches but they may not suit yours.

So you should be careful about that!

The theme should be fast

Google prefers fast websites.

Website speed is a part of Google’s Core Web Vitals score.

Fast websites are easy to work with, right?

And fast websites depend on a lot of factors, one of which is your WordPress theme.

If a theme is poorly coded, your website will not be able to pass the Core Web Vitals score.

Remember, if there are a lot of features in the theme, there will be a lot of code too.

So, choose a theme that is lightweight and fast in order to pass the Core Web Vitals test.

speed

Is it responsive?

responsive

Your WordPress theme should be responsive for all devices such as mobiles, desktops, laptops, and tablets.

Among these, you will get most of the traffic from mobile devices.

However, you cannot do anything yourself to make your theme responsive.

The theme itself needs to be coded well for responsiveness.

So, before installing a theme, do check that it is mobile responsive.

The good news is that most of the themes are responsive these days.

Can it be customized easily?

Most of the themes can be customized to a certain extent like colors, typography, headers, footers, etc.

Some themes also may have extensive customization options as to page layouts, sliders, sidebars, author boxes, etc.

The best themes are those that give you the freedom to customize everything.

With the best themes that have extensive customization options, you can build the website of your dreams.

So, more customization options are definitely good for you.

customize

Can it be easily translated?

translate

If you have a global business then you need a website in multiple languages.

The WordPress theme as such should be translation-ready.

Even if you do not have a global business now, it’s always a good idea to have a translation-ready theme because nobody knows what will happen in the future of your business, right?

Does it support all the plugins that you need?

As much as you need a WordPress theme to design your website, you also need plugins.

If WordPress themes are for designing a website, plugins are for having functionalities.

As an analogy, we can say that WordPress themes are the design or look of your car and plugins are the engine that drives the car.

All websites need plugins for security, SEO, cache, and backups.

These are mandatory plugins for every website.

Besides these, you may also need a plugin for some particular features that you need on your website.

It may be tables or e-commerce or lead generation forms, etc.

There may be different plugin brands for each job and the codes may be different for each of them.

So, before deciding on the theme, you should check that it plays well with the plugins you want to install.

plugins

Does it have malicious codes?

security

As a rule of thumb, you should never install pirated or null themes.

These themes may contain malicious codes by which it will be easy to hack your website.

Sometimes, legit themes themselves may be insecure due to poor coding standards.

You can test a theme for security issues online with Sucuri.

Is it regularly updated?

If a theme is not regularly updated, your website has a risk of getting hacked too.

But, most importantly, a regularly updated theme means, you will have fewer bugs and more features.

As WordPress is always evolving, it is important for WordPress themes to remain updated with the latest releases.

update

How is the customer support?

support

If your website breaks, you may need help.

You may seek help from your host, the theme developer, or the plugin developers.

Getting support for free themes is somewhat difficult because free themes do not have any obligation to help you.

This is not the case for a premium or a paid theme.

They must absolutely help you because their business depends on it.

So, check that the theme has a good customer support team to help you when you need it the most.

Check the ratings and the reviews

Last, but not least, before installing a WordPress theme, check the rating and reviews of its users.

You can avoid a lot of trouble later by just looking at what other users of the theme have to say.

ratings

Free vs Paid

If you are on a budget then you have to install a free theme.

But, my advice will be to choose a freemium theme, instead of a completely free theme.

Freemium themes are those themes that have both free and premium versions.

There will be fewer features, but you will get a theme that is well-coded and regularly updated.

You may also get a bit of customer support.

With completely free themes, there is no guarantee that it will be updated or the developer will be keen to troubleshoot your issues.

And if you have the budget, then buy a premium theme considering all the points in my checklist above.

Premium themes will give you peace of mind in all respects but do your due diligence first before buying one.

FAQ

Which WordPress theme is best for beginners?

The WordPress theme that is best for beginners will depend on your niche. However, you can choose a multipurpose theme like Astra which has a lot of templates.

How do I choose a WordPress theme 2024?

You can choose a WordPress theme in 2024 by first deciding on the features you need and then doing your due diligence.

Do you need to choose a theme in WordPress?

Yes. You need to choose a theme in WordPress because themes are the structure or the design of your website.

What is the best WordPress theme in 2024?

The best WordPress theme in 2024 is difficult to find out as there are different themes for different niches. However, you can choose between Astra, GeneratePress, Avada, Soledad, etc. 

What is the simplest WordPress theme?

The simplest WordPress theme is GeneratePress.

What is the most used theme?

The most used theme is Astra.

Which is the best free WordPress theme?

The best free WordPress theme is Astra.

What is the best premium WordPress theme?

The best premium WordPress theme depends on the niche. Some very good multipurpose themes are Astra, GeneratePress, Avada, Soledad, etc.

What makes WordPress themes so popular?

The reasons that make WordPress themes so popular are easy installation and customization processes.

What is the best WordPress theme for a blog?

The best WordPress theme for a blog is Soledad.

What are top five most popular WordPress themes?

The top five most popular WordPress themes are Astra, GeneratePress, Avada, Soledad and Divi.

What is the fastest WordPress theme?

GeneratePress is the fastest WordPress theme.

How to choose a WordPress theme Summary

  1. Decide on the features needed for your website according to your niche.
  2. Choose a simple theme.
  3. Check the speed of the theme.
  4. Check whether it is responsive.
  5. Check whether it can be customized easily.
  6. Check whether it can be translated into other languages.
  7. Check that it supports all the plugins you need for your website.
  8. Check that the theme does not have security issues.
  9. Check that the theme is regularly updated.
  10. Check that it has good customer support.
  11. Check the reviews and ratings of the theme.
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