How to Choose a WordPress Theme for Your Website

How to Choose a WordPress Theme for Your Website

When you are looking to get your business online, there are several points you would need to think through and organise: your domain name, your web hosting, which platform to use (WordPress vs, say, Wix or SquareSpace), and if you did choose WordPress – what theme to use. There are 1000s of themes you can get for your WordPress website, many are free and included in the WordPress theme library. And many are premium (i.e. you have to pay for a license) which you can buy online. So how can you choose a perfect theme for your business?

Free themes vs Premium themes

Most of the free themes are quite basic in their functionality. They don’t offer anything extra to what WordPress CMS can do on its own. And their primary objective is to make your WordPress website look pretty or suitable for your business branding.

Most of those themes were designed for a blog – so their homepage might be designed to show blog posts rather than your business information. And althoug you would be able to create pages – you won’t be able to easily put together more complex layouts and designs.

Free WordPress themes are great though if you are just looking to get started quickly, and want to put together a small and simple website to tell the world that you are online! Plus get started with your own blog πŸ™‚

Premium themes come equipped with all sorts of additional features. And the choice here is really determined by what you need your site to look like, do and sell.

You could get a WordPress theme with built-in page builders, membership sites, ecommerce functionality, real estate listings, business directory, restaurant menus, event management… And that’s all on top of the standard features included in the free themes.

So if the plan for your website is more than just a couple of pages and blog – a premium WordPress theme is what you might be looking for.

Premium WordPress themes options

Now if you just run a Google search for a “premium WordPress theme” you will get millions of results. So how can you choose a perfect theme for your business?

There are a few ways how you can narrow down the search:

1) Particular functionality

Although there are millions of premium WordPress themes, there aren’t that many themes for a very particluar narrow functionality. Do you need your theme to list properties? Or support a particular data feed, plugin or system? Or integrate with a certain online system? These options will narrow down your search quite a lot.

2) Cost

Some themes can be purchased relatively cheaply – under $50. Most of themes from ThemeForest will be in the category. Some themes require a framework plus a child theme together (like Genesis, Headway, PageLines) – these would be more expensive. Cost however isn’t necessarily the representation of quality or features here – but generally speaking more expensive themes will have better support, functionality and SEO-friendliness.

3) Ease of use

OK this is quite subjective and you might completely disagree with me here, especially if you’ve been using something else successfully and have had good success with it! But my preference is OptimizePress (or Profit Builder theme as an alternative) for website that require standard pages, blog posts, and landing pages (to promote information products, webinars, freebies). OptimizePress can also run a full membership website. For an ecommerce theme I’d go for a theme integrated with WooCommerce from ThemeForest – Enfold or Avada.

What’s Themeforest and does it have good themes?

Over the years of building and maintaining WordPress websites for my clients I’ve tried and tested many themes from Themeforest. It’s basically an online marketplace where small independent theme designers and developers can sell their WordPress themes (and other themes, plugins and creations). Themeforest handles the selling and delivery process, but all support and development is down to independent developers.

And this can present a problem – sometimes.

If the developer stops running their business or removes support for their theme – you have nowhere to turn but to get another theme and start again.

So it’s important to read reviews carefully, check through the forum and questions already asked – has the theme been downloaded by many people? Are their questions and reviews positive? When reading the page with theme’s information, has the developer created regular updates for the theme? Do they offer support? How long have they been in business?

Although your investment of $50 might not be a lot to risk, the time you will invest into customising and setting up your theme can be considerable. And if you then have to start from scratch – this can be all in vane.

That’s why do your due diligence carefully before committing to purchasing and starting to work with any themes.

What’s my favourite WordPress theme?

Personally and at this moment in time I really like working with OptimizePress.

Personally – because it’s based on what sites I need to create for my business and for my clients. For your particular business requirements it might not be as suitable.

And at this moment – because in 6-12 months time another theme might appear that will be even better than OptimizePress, you never know πŸ™‚ And several years ago I really liked Genesis themes – before OptimizePress got built up and developed to the level it’s at right now.

I’ll do a full post and a video review about OptimizePress – so stay tuned, sign up for email updates below and I’ll send you the link right to your inbox!

Over to you…

What do you think of WordPress themes? Which one is your favourite and why? Share in comments below!

And if you have any questions about the themes, frameworks and how to choose the best one for your business – feel free to get in touch directly and I’ll be very happy to help you!

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