A WordPress theme is one of the most important things on your website. The theme decides how your site looks and makes it easier for visitors to access your content.
If you're building a WordPress website, congratulations! You will be joining the millions of users on the platform and the thousands of developers who are continually improving and updating it with new features. With so many theme options, you will find the perfect one for your site.
How do you choose a theme for your WordPress website after you must have chosen your best webhosting company? You’re going to learn all about WordPress themes, and the elements you should consider when selecting a theme.
What is a WordPress theme?
A WordPress theme is a group of files that work with each other to create the design of your sites, such as template files, fonts, stylesheets, and images. These files control how posts, pages, and graphics are displayed. Theme can also be used to change larger things like the layout, or smaller ones such as the colors of hyperlinks.
Understanding how WordPress themes work
Choosing a WordPress theme is essential for your website to function properly. WordPress themes can create customizable websites. WordPress is free and open-source, with an easy-to-use framework. In order to make changes to the site, the user must choose a theme and plugins that are compatible with the theme.
Themes and plugins allow you to manage the appearance of the site by changing layouts and having the site support specialized functions. WordPress sites vary in complexity depending on their combination of these elements, ranging from personal blogs to large corporate sites.
Changing your WordPress theme won’t change anything about the content stored in your database. Rather, the theme changes how the information is displayed to visitors on the website.
Which of the WordPress theme should I use
If you want to install a WordPress theme, but confused of which one to use, in this section we shall analyze in detail for you to make your choice
To install themes for your WordPress website, look for Appearances -> Themes in the left navigation. There you will see the default WordPress theme that comes with every installation. In my case, you will see the Astra theme but the new WordPress installations come with the default theme. You can also find pre-installed themes under the + block. SEE IMAGE 1 AND 2
The theme directory includes both free and premium themes. You can search by name, features, or color palette.
Activating a theme just means that the theme is enabled, as you can that the default theme is replaced with Astra. Next, you can customize its features to your liking in order to use it.
The best way to find a WordPress theme is from the global community of users and developers on WordPress. When you download a theme, it will come in the form of a .zip file. To install a downloaded or purchased theme, navigate to Upload Theme on the dashboard menu and upload the file to have the installer explore which features are necessary for your website.
Suppose you want to change your theme. You can do this and just activate it, but there are some consequences. For one thing, a new theme may not display your content in the same way and it may also not integrate well with other features or plugins of the previous theme.
Understanding the basics of WordPress themes
When choosing a WordPress theme, consider the site's purpose, skill level, and budget. A theme will depend on whether the site is for a personal profile or business. Responsive themes are important because they get used to different screen sizes. There are many customization options and templates to pick from when it comes to themes.
Choose a theme based on your niche
When you're selecting a theme, it's important to consider the type of website you'll be building. Is it going to function as a personal blog, or are you trying to sell your product online? If so, take into account the design and layout of other sites with similar purposes.
Different types of websites will have different layouts. For example, a news website may prioritize some pages that enhance readability, as opposed to an e-Commerce website which might have many columns for displaying products.
To find themes that are the right color, include the right fonts, or have a specific style for your site, you can filter searches on WordPress.org and search within your WordPress dashboard.
If you select the health filter, these are some of the options you get. If you select education instead, the options you will see will certainly be different.
When choosing which website theme to use, consider that multipurpose themes often work for more than one purpose. For example, the same theme could support both a portfolio site and a blog. Some themes are also designed to suit specific niches like agriculture or wildlife websites in addition to your site’s primary purpose. So, when purchasing a theme, always check its description and review what it is capable of doing.
You should check your theme to see if it has the features, you are looking for. For example, if you need a video background on your homepage, then make sure your theme can handle that.
Look for a theme that represents your brand and message. Consider color, layout, or font that reflects the niche you are trying to get attention from. Some themes might be eye-catching but hard to read, some others may not make the right statement for your brand.
Over 90% of people go online with their mobile devices. Sometimes Google will show you a mobile-friendly website's results in their mobile search, even if there are other websites that are better suited for a mobile device.
Today, if you're looking to build a website, it's important that your website theme is optimized for mobile users. Responsive themes can be automatically adjusted to fit the best on different screens.
Most themes on the market are mobile compatible, which means that responsive design is the norm. But you should always make sure your theme is compatible before paying for it.
For a quick test of whether the theme is responsive, resize your browser window. The layout should adjust to the width as you resize. For more thorough testing, use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. To do this, copy and paste the URL of the theme demo page into a new tab and hit enter.
Choose a theme that is compatible with popular plugins.
To customize your site, you need a theme and plugins. Nowadays, themes are really versatile on their own but they still require plugins to add every function that you want. Themes alone can’t do everything humans can read so it's still important to use plugins to make the builder easier to use.
With certain e-Commerce theme options, you will have instant e-commerce plug-ins already installed. But if you want more uniqueness or more features, it may be better to look into a dedicated plugin like WooCommerce, which offers many features in comparison to a theme.
Make sure that you are using WordPress plugins for things like website security, comment management, and e-Commerce. It’s important that your theme is compatible with the latest updates, so it can accommodate them as they appear. Most WordPress plugins have frequent updates, so make sure you have a compatible theme.
WordPress Page Builder
Page builders allow any beginner to thrive in the industry. You don’t need coding skills, and with sites like Squarespace, elementor, Gutenberg, or Wix there is no need to invest in premium templates or themed extensions to create a beautiful-looking website.
So, not all themes are compatible with every website builder. If you're using the Gutenberg block editor to build your site, then most themes will be compatible because it is WordPress's default way of building a website. But if you're using a third-party builder like the Bluehost Website Builder, you should really check if your chosen theme is compatible with such a builder or not.
WordPress theme features
To get the best WordPress themes on the market, don’t forget to look for features that would allow you to customize your site without understanding the code. One of these features is the page/theme builder.
If you would like a lot more options for customization, the default Gutenberg editor may not be the best option. Theme builders increase your customizations and include them in the description of themes.
The themes in WordPress have a variety of flashy layouts, animations, and eye-catching fonts that can be off-putting to users. While they may seem exciting at first, simplicity is often the best friend when it comes to designing websites for beginners.
Your theme should be easy to read and customize. You should look for themes with white space, and plenty of room for beautiful images. Your fonts should be easy to read and your customization ability should be plentiful.
Lightweight themes are more quickly loaded than heavier ones, which are a turn-off to the Google Search engine.
Tips on how to choose the right WordPress theme
WordPress is used by more than 75 million websites, so take advantage of this huge theme selection community when picking out one. The quality of the themes can often be judged on ratings and reviews left by users themselves.
To ensure a high-quality theme, check the ratings of the themes in the directory by hovering over the “more info” button. If a theme has an active installation and many 4- or 5-star ratings, it is safe to use. The same can be said for themes that are sold on third-party marketplaces: customer reviews can say whether a theme is good or not. Even if there are low ratings/bad reviews, creators of best-rated themes usually have some. If there are unusually high levels of these then you should consider other themes after reading customer reviews.
The theme being used on the site is also critical for SEO. A poorly-coded site can really hurt your SEO efforts, even if the site design looks great. Before looking for an amazing looking theme, always look at any reviews of it to see if there are any issues with SEO. Just because a theme maker mentions that their theme is good for SEO doesn't mean it will automatically perform well and the customer reviews can help determine all that.
If you want to host translated content, you will need a theme that supports translations. It’s typically self-described in the description of your theme and it doesn’t matter what language your site is at this point because creating quality content for one language is already enough difficulty. It's better to plan ahead and make sure your theme can handle multiple languages if that's your future vision.
How long will this theme be supported? After WordPress is updated with bug fixes, changes in features, and new languages, your existing website theme may not be compatible with the updates. Premium themes often receive more updates and support than free ones. Though many highly rated, popular free themes have been updated with more languages and bug fixes.
How to choose the perfect WordPress theme
Thousands of free WordPress plugins are available on the WordPress theme directory, as well as outside sources. Free WordPress themes can provide useful functionality to a website in just a few minutes.
Free themes also have high-quality standards. They go through a multi-step approval process before being listed on the official WordPress directory. This is because free themes are often built with beginners in mind, so they're very simple and easy to use.
But free themes usually don’t offer very many customization options, and they are often not unique because free themes are downloaded a lot. That is why if you want to make your website more unique then free themes might not be the best idea for you. Next to that, developers are less likely to offer upgrades or provide much customer support.
To solve the aforementioned problems, you may buy a theme with more functionality. There are many different customization options, as well as other useful features. You will receive individualized support tailored to your problem. Usually, the support cycle is 1-2 years and the average price is $57.74. Websites such as Mojo Marketplace and Envato offer a good selection of these premium themes to choose from.
One option for beginners is to start with a free theme and spend time learning. Once you have enough experience, you might want to move to a premium theme.
Perfect WordPress theme for your website as a beginner
Check out these free WordPress themes. They have premium versions you can purchase as well, but the free versions are chock full of features that are great for start-ups and small businesses with a limited budget.
Astra WordPress Theme
Astra is a fast and lightweight WordPress theme suitable for personal blogs, business websites, and WooCommerce storefronts. It comes with built-in Schema.org code and is Native AMP ready so the search engine will love your site. Astra offers special features such as compatibility with all page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, SiteOrigin, Divi, etc. Designing an online store? Check out Astra to get the perfect base!
You can find the best WordPress themes in Astra. Many of its users judge it as one be rated among the highest and fastest-growing of all WordPress themes available.
Astra is a popular WordPress theme because it takes minimal effort and allows you to build a professional-looking website. This WordPress theme can be used by beginners as well, and furthermore, it's one of the easiest themes to use.
The Astra theme has built-in speed boosts to ensure that your website is fast and your conversions are high.
The Astra WordPress theme has gained a million users and has a 5-star rating from users. A drag and drop website builder
Besides the average Joe, that's creating a WordPress website, Astra is also popular with agency owners. That's because it's easy to use and still provides the adequate speed. With pre-built themes and templates, Astra helps create customized websites with ease.
Astra Theme offers many beautiful website starter templates with different designs. The Pro version of this theme has a large library of templates, with some that are only available in the Pro versions.
Neve WordPress Theme
Neve is a theme that can be used on large and small businesses, startups, and personal portfolio sites. The fully AMP-optimized responsive Neve theme has a simple design with a highly SEO optimized code. Along with Gutenberg, it's been listed in the top Google search results when various users access the website. It is also WooCommerce compatible and free of charge, though it comes with some basic branding.
Why you should use Neve theme
They integrate with the most popular WordPress page builders and work well with Gutenberg.
An elegant, minimalist design with many pre-loaded designs that can be turned on in a few clicks.
The theme is quick, coming on in just 0.6 seconds and weighing in at only 28 KB if you did your image optimization very well!
Neve is great, and it's getting bigger and bigger every day. The new Pro version was released end of last year, so it's definitely worth checking out.
Although the WordPress official themes directory is so vast, it can be accessed from many places including Google, you may have noticed the most popular themes
Neve landed in the top ten of the WordPress themes directory, with 300,000 active installs. It is now among some of the most popular theme builders like Astra with 1 million active installs and OceanWP with 700,000.
Neve’s rating is 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 800 reviews. Users enjoy the program because it is easy to use and has plenty of features.
- Easily customizable
- Responsive WordPress themes
- Compatible with almost all plugins
- Light but quality for fast load
OceanWP is lightweight and extensible. It has been optimized for the fastest loading time on the market, with a responsive design for tablet and mobile compatibility. If you are a developer or blogger, this will be ideal for your needs. OceanWP also has features that best optimize it for SEO.
With OceanWP you can manage your website without any coding skills by just changing the design of the site with a click.
More plugins are available with OceanWP, such as Free Download Manager, New Tweets, and Widget Pro. You can also add more themes for free or for a price to the OceanWP Core Extension Bundle.
The WooCommerce integration is fantastic and has many tweaks built directly into the website, such as a shopping cart popup and floating bar. There's also a quick-view mode that allows customers to view products without leaving the page.
The only way to create a truly customized WordPress blog is by making modifications from the back-end of your website. The design that you can do on the homepage is limited, and it can be difficult to modify either the overall design or the layout of the page if you are a coder
But with OceanWP you can choose from many WordPress designs, The design can be imported into your website using the theme demo system.
A lot of website design templates are now specific, meaning they are designed for different purposes. For example, there are online shop templates, as well as corporate websites. OceanWP has many plugin extensions that can be used to add more styling options, widgets for page builders and post types. OceanWP also offers more than 20 plugins.
The premium extensions can be bought as a bundle or on their own. The cost is $9.99 per year.
It has over 700K active installations, a rating of 4.9 out of 5, and many positive reviews (over 5,000 reviews at the time of writing, our theme of the day is a must-have on the official WordPress directory).
Chique WordPress Theme
Chique is a fully responsive theme that gives your fashion blog a contemporary online presence, while still providing an attractive visual look with plentiful customization options to suit the needs of those in the industry.
I recommend free themes to beginners because they’re user-friendly and give you an idea of what it’s like to build a website. They also bring many features that you can explore. Once you have these ideas like knowing the best SEO plugins to use and know what you want, then you're ready to buy a premium theme.
Themes are vital to the success of your site. A theme should present your message in the best light, be easy to use and maintain, and welcome visitors with intuitive navigation and appealing content.
Thank you for reading, let’s have your thought in the comment section…. SHALOM