Choosing the right theme is a crucial step when developing a WordPress website. Themes now go beyond simply changing the look of your website (ie layout, graphics, css etc) but are more like an integrated software and now come with an assortment of plugins & functionality.

A common mistake made by businesses or individuals selecting WordPress themes is that they are influenced mainly by the stock photos that come with them. So if a cooking company would choose a theme it would likely include cooking stock photos or a construction company would likely select a theme with stock photos of construction.

The right way to choose a theme

Ignore stock photography

Instead of looking at the stock photography used in the template it would make more sense to look at functionality, support, plugins, layout and downloads/reviews to see how credible the template is. The stock photography that come with WordPress themes can be purchased for only dollars from sites like dollarphotoclub.com and istockphoto.com.

Does it include a page builder ?

WordPress themes typically include page builders which allow website administrators to easily manage the layout and elements on their web pages using an easy to use drag & drop interface. When using these page builders to add elements on page they generate what is called a shortcode which is essentially just a special tag that gets translated into different content on a webpage. Switching themes can have detrimental effects because the shortcodes can no longer be translated and aren’t compatible with the new page builder associated to the new theme.

3 of the top WordPress templates currently found on themeforest.com are below with their associated page builders:

The 7 -> Visual Page Builder

top-page-builder-plugins-wordpress-visual-composer

Enfold -> Avia Layout Builder

avialayoutbuilder

Avada -> Fusion Core

fusion-builder-wordpress

The most commonly found WordPress page builder is the Visual Page Builder plugin. If you purchase a template and it doesn’t have a page builder then I highly suggest purchasing this plugin and installing it.

Typically I ask my clients to choose a WordPress theme from themeforest.com in addition to two or three websites they find aesthetically pleasing. This helps me to gauge the type of design they are aiming for. In most cases I’ll use one of WordPress’s top selling themes since they are flexible enough to achieve almost any look your going for. In fact, I can show you examples of sites I’ve developed using the 3 themes mentioned above and how they look nothing like their demo version.

Spread the love