There are hundreds upon hundreds of WordPress themes to choose from these days. With so much choice, how do you go about choosing a theme for your blog?
How to Choose a WordPress Theme for Your Blog
First things first, have a think about what your website needs to be able to do.
Perhaps you need your blog to have a certain layout, or a slider at the top of the page, or lots of options for placing email opt-in forms around your website.
Rather than list out an entire bunch of different features, try to think of one or two main features that you need to have. This will enable you to be more focused when searching for your perfect theme.
Its important that your blog also looks good. A well-designed blog looks more professional and inviting to potential readers. And of course, you want to be proud of your blog and happy to show it off.
Before you start looking, have a look around for inspiration. Is there a particular look you like? Does your theme fit with your blog’s brand?
How unique do you want your blog design to be? Theme marketplaces are great for giving you a large selection of themes to choose from but you also have to be prepared for the fact that a hundred other people may have the exact same theme as you do.
Also, have a look at how easy it is to customise your theme. Premium themes should give you good options for customising colours and fonts etc. which makes it easy for you to get your blog to reflect your brand and inject a bit of your own personality into it.
It is possible to create a blog for next to nothing these days and there are many free themes available. However, free themes tend to have limited customisation options, no support and few updates.
If you can afford to invest in your blog a little, premium themes offer more customisation options and are generally of better quality. They are more regularly updated and therefore more secure.
The other option is to purchase a DIY theme like Divi. Divi is a drag and drop website builder that enables you to create a completely custom design.
The positive to this is that it gives you the freedom to create a completely custom website even if your technical skills are limited.
The downside is that you need to invest a lot of time into building your blog, which could be spent actually writing, and if you are not particularly design savvy, you might end up with a less-than-attractive website.
These days, over half of all web users view websites on their mobile phones. That means that you absolutely cannot get away with having a blog that isn’t mobile responsive.
When choosing your theme, carefully read the features to make sure that it is responsive across all devices – desktop, tablet and mobile.
Security is a very real threat to websites, even small ones. It becomes even more of a threat when your blog becomes well established and you are generating significant traffic.
WordPress is constantly updating in response to security threats and bugs and you need to make sure that your theme is doing the same too.
To determine how good your chosen theme is in this area, check out the reviews and see what other people are saying. Try to steer clear of themes that have few reviews or haven’t had many downloads.
Make sure that your chosen theme offers after-sales support. This means that if your theme isn’t working properly or you have having trouble with it even a few months down the line, you will be able to contact the developer to fix any issues for you or help you fix them yourself.
SEO is hugely important to your blog. Over time, you will begin receiving more and more website visitors from Google when people land on your page after searching for certain keywords.
You don’t have to be particularly technical to be able to optimise your website for SEO. There are great plugins, such a Yoast, that help with this and talk you step by step through what you need to do.
When looking around at different WordPress themes, make sure that your chosen theme is compatible with these plugins.
Most themes include a demo site that allows you to see what the theme actually looks like in use. Spend some time looking through the demo site. Check that it works well, looks the way you want it to and that it includes all of the features you need.
Spend some time going through the customisation options. Check that you have all the options you need and that it is easy for you to customise.