choosing a wordpress theme

Choosing a WordPress theme is a major decision which can impact the success of a website.

With literally thousands available on Themeforest.net, it can become both overwhelming and time consuming trying to find the right theme.

Choosing themes simply based on the stock images that are used in their design is a bad idea. While it might look attractive on the frontend, it may be buggy, have technical issues and be a nightmare to work with.

Before purchasing a theme, you should first ask yourself ‘what is the intent of the website?’ and make your choice according to theme specifications.

Themes don’t just control the look of a website anymore as several are built for specific functionality and come loaded with feature you may or may not require.

The following guide will provide helpful insights in helping you choose the perfect theme for your future website.

Free Themes vs. Premium Themes

There are plenty of free themes available online which might be adequate if you’re looking to just host a personal blog. They are typically limited in functionality and support.

Premium themes on the other hand are paid themes that typically cost around $50 USD. If you’re looking to launch a professional website or ecommerce store this is an investment that can supercharge your online presence. Premium WordPress themes are typically come loaded with features and responsive support in case you have any questions or issues.

Consider Functionality & Features

If the purpose of your website requires specific functionality it’s important to consider a themes functionality or features.

Looking to start an ecommerce shop? community website? job listing portal? You can probably find exactly what you’re looking or one that can be customized by a web designer or WordPress developer who has an understanding of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and PHP.

When choosing a WordPress theme you’ll want to consider what plugins are included or which ones it’s compatible with.

Check Reviews & Comments

wordpress theme reviews

Premium themes found on themeforest.net typically have a 5 star rating. It’s certainly something you’ll want to consider before buying.

Much like any reviews online, they should be taken with a grain of salt as some might be fake. What I recommend is reading the comments to see what actual certified buyers are saying. If there are several complains or lack of responses then you may want to avoid buying it.

Test WordPress Themes Thoroughly

It’s important to test themes thoroughly after you’ve made your purchase.

All themes come with a money-back guarantee. So if you purchase a theme and find that it doesn’t suit your needs, support is poor or difficult to work with; you can ask for a refund.

You’ll want to make sure it meets the following:

  • Easy to use dashboard
  • Isn’t bloated or loads slowly (test on gtmetrix.com)
  • Compatible with necessary plugins
  • Adjusts to all device sizes (mobile/tablet/desktop)
  • Does it work on all browsers

Is it updated frequently

Similar to WordPress plugins, themes typically provide the date of their last update. If a theme hasn’t been updated in a long time this could be a red flag which could mean it has been abandoned by the author, may not be compatible with future releases of WordPress or pose a risk for security vulnerabilities.

Where to Buy WordPress Themes

If you’re looking to buy a WordPress theme I recommend the following 5 websites:

1. Themeforest
2. Elegant Themes
3. Mojo Themes
4. Theme Trust
5. WooThemes

Recommended Themes

WordPress themes have evolved a lot over the last decade. From providing a fixed or limited design, they can be customized easily using a drag-and-dop page builder that allows you to arrange elements on page without any custom code.

Three premium themes which I’ve used on several projects and recommend are: DIVI, Avada and
Enfold. The all come with easy to use page builders that allow developing beautiful landing pages easily and in little amount of time.