Choice is great, but too many choices is.. well, confusing. When it comes to WordPress themes, there is really choice overload. With the tens of thousands of free and premium themes available, from different theme companies, theme resellers and theme developers, what do you do? Where do you go? I asked our friends at PressCastle for a little advice.
PressCastle is a new concept in WordPress theme distribution that categorizes and displays all of the best free and premium themes from all of the top theme authors and theme websites, all in one place. Think of it as the Tripadvisor for WordPress themes.
WordPress is the most popular platform, and that popularity comes with a price. There are so many themes to choose from. Over 5,000 themes at Themeforest. Over 3,000 themes at WordPress.org. Thousands more at Elegant Themes, Mojo Marketplace, AppThemes and dozens more websites. To choose the right theme, you have to know yourself, know your needs, and know your budget. At PressCastle.com, we gather all of the best of these themes in one location with some innovative segmenting and search, to help make the job a little easier.
Know Yourself and Your Abilities
Sometimes it may seem tempting to choose the latest, greatest premium theme with dozens of options and plugins and widgets, but is that the best choice? Do you have the skill level to turn a complex multi-theme into a website that works for you?
Maybe you will find it cost-effective to hire some professional design help, like WPSupportCenter.com, or it might make more sense to choose a theme designed specifically for your business segment.
A search at PressCastle.com shows that there is a theme custom-designed for just about any business, from restaurants to construction companies, and these themes come with the plugins and design to quickly have you up and running with little to no design experience.
Know Your Business
Though it might be frustrating, take some time to evaluate your business and compare it to how well it measures up to any theme you are considering. What do you expect to accomplish with your new website? Does this theme fit with those goals out of the box? Can this theme do the job better than what the competition is using?
Spend some time evaluating these questions and you will be able to choose a theme that works for you, instead of one that you have to try and fit your business into. There is a theme out there designed specifically for you.
Should You Hire a Web Designer?
What is your time worth? Could you find something more productive with your time than learning to install, set up, customize and SEO optimize your website? If you have it in your budget, you can save a lot of time, frustration and hair by hiring a professional to get you up and running. Even if you purchase a theme, getting it set up correctly and working efficiently can be confusing. Handling images, meta tags, permalinks and plugins may not be your idea of time well spent. That is when you need someone like WPSupportCenter.
However, if you have no budget, or you are a little web savvy, or you don’t mind a little learning curve, really anyone can learn WordPress. Most themes today come with deep documentation and support, and there are literally hundreds of websites dedicated to learning WordPress.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your WordPress Theme
Just a quick checklist to run down before you decide.
Will it set up easily?
Especially if you are going to go it alone, this is important. Most of the quality themes today come not only with the theme files, but also demo content and plugins, so set-up is important.
Don’t just take the word of the theme developer, read the support forums and customer comments to judge what other buyers think. Make sure the theme is well-documented, and make certain that the theme has been updated recently.
Is it easy to maintain?
WordPress and the internet are changing constantly. Therefore, all of the themes and plugins that you use will have to be updated to function along with those changes.
Will the theme you purchase update automatically, or will you have to download files and do it yourself? Is the theme author reliable? Check and see how often the themes in their portfolio are updated, and how they get the updates.
Even if you are going to install and customize the theme yourself, make sure you have a phone number or website of a reliable professional that can help you in an emergency.
Is this theme completely responsive?
It is the 21st century. You should not even be considering any theme that is not completely 100% mobile responsive across any device.
Google is now using mobile-responsive as a key ranking factor in whether your website will be served up as a search result, no matter what kind of device is doing the search.
Did you think it was going to be easy? There is certainly a lot more to consider than most people think when they first start considering shopping for a WordPress theme.
Evaluate your busness, your needs and your skill level (and budget) before you start shopping. This will help you avoid buyers remorse for choosing the wrong theme for your needs, and help to ensure that the theme you choose will be an asset to your business instead of an anchor.