How to Find The Right WordPress Theme

WordPress Theme
What to consider when choosing a WordPress Theme

Choosing the Right WordPress Theme Seems Pretty Straightforward.

  • Check what template designers have to offer for free and as premium solutions.
  • Check the reviews of other users.
  • Download or buy what you like.

But there are more things to consider. Some premium themes offer an unlimited license. Some are limited to one site only. Others are absolutely unlimited, for all your own websites and even for client projects.

In my opition, the following aspects are of great importance when you are looking for the perfect WordPress theme:

WordPress Theme Support, Community And Documentation

Imagine you want to change some details within your template and it just does not work. You will have to examine the CSS code of your WordPress theme. When this occurs, it is very handy to have access to a wiki, manual or to a customer service area.

Support tickets are great as long as you are a paying customer and support is fast. But what if the theme is free one from the official WordPress theme repository? What if the author or other users do not respond? This is a serious problem.

Check The Theme Author’s Communication Habits

Try to find out what you can excpect in terms of service and also community before you buy. When checking a theme on ThemeForest (affiliate link / advertisement), e.g., you will get an impression about the volume of conversation and about the communication habits of the theme author because many support questions and WordPress theme presales questions are discussed in public. If you notice that the author is taking ages to respond you would better get another theme and not his.

Divi Support Forum: 30,000 Results When You Search For “Footer”

I can give you an example. When I login to the ElegantThemes members area and perform a random serarch in the support forum, let’s say: footer – I get more than 30,000 results. This seams overwhelming, but I can narrow these results down by performing a search within search results. In most cases, there was a user with the same problem before. And in many cases, there is a relatively new support thread.

Elegant Themes Divi Support Forum

Elegant Themes Divi Support Forum

This is something I especially like about the Divi Theme (Affiliate Link / Advertisement):

The community of this WordPress Theme is big enough in order to get answers to questions relatively fast.

WordPress Theme Search: Other Important Aspects

Responsiveness

Every WordPress theme author states his theme was responsive. But it’s the details which matter. You might want to check if the WordPress theme delivers Responsive Web Design the right way by navigating to the live demo with several of your devices. Different browsers on your computer, your smartphone, your pad. This way, you get a real impression of the CSS’ responsiveness quality.

Configuration options

Sooner or later you will be adjusting layouts and menus. There are some on-board features in the WordPress core which enable you to do so. But if you want to customize your website in great detail, your WordPress theme makes the difference. WordPress themes come with an own menu called “theme options”, enabling users to set many different kinds of details which have a huge impact on your site’s overall appearance. There are huge differences in the quality and flexiblity of these configuration menus.

More aspects to consider when choosing a WordPress theme

  • A page builder, if needed. Many WordPress themes come bundled with a Page Builder, or there is a compability statement for a page builder they recommend. This is an extended version of the editor for posts and pages working with easy-to-use modules. Nice to have! But be careful. When you are using a page builder, it is often a problem to move away from it because it stores its complex layouts in proprietary ways, e.g. as shortcodes.
  • Optimization for a certain purpose: There are really great themes for special kinds of projects. E-Commerce themes, directory site themes, community themes optimized for BuddyPress, and so on. Especially on ThemeForest (affiliate link / advertisement), you can find really interesting specialty themes on which you can build your business or project with ease.

Over at my Lots of Ways GmbH agency website, I have put together a blog posting with some more tipps you might consider when choosing a WordPress theme. If you are a WordPress beginner they might be helpful if you are searching for the perfect WordPress theme. And as always, feel free to ask questions in the comments below or drop me a line at b at jodeleit dot com or on Twitter.

Bernhard has been working as a tech editor for 10 years, then became a communications specialist. In 2011, he founded his own agency Lots of Ways. He is blogging and working with WordPress since 2006.

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