What to look for when Choosing a WordPress Theme
When building a WordPress site, your first major consideration is choosing a good WordPress theme. The right theme is what gets your new blog off to a great start. You want a theme that not only looks good but that is easy to work with. It must have all the features you are going to want. So let’s explore some of the main criteria you should be looking at when selecting your WordPress theme.
Why you should search for the right theme
Some beginners don’t realize that you have thousands of choices for your WordPress theme. When you install WordPress, you get a default theme that actually looks pretty good. You even have a few different choices for the header image. Yet, no matter what your blog is about you should never settle for the default theme!
There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress blogs that use the default theme. Almost by definition, this is the most common theme for WordPress sites across the internet. That’s because a significant percentage of bloggers never bother to change it. If you want your own blog to stand apart, you should remove yourself from this category and choose a different theme!
Free vs. Premium Themes
Once you decide to dispense with the default WordPress theme, you still have to choose whether to replace it with a free theme or invest in a premium theme. You can find many free themes from theme repositories such as the official WordPress website. There are various search categories available, so you can choose a theme based on the layout, color, topic and so forth.
Even though it may seem like there are lots of free themes available, your choices are actually rather limited if you’re seeking a free theme. If you want to see proof of this, go to your favorite search engine and try searching for themes that relate to your niche or keywords. You’ll find that either there are no such themes, or that the selections is not very impressive at all!
If you are searching on Google. You might type in something like “free WordPress theme + keyword“. Here you will usually get lots of results, though in many cases you’ll find the pages you get are for themes you have to pay for. Then there’s another, more serious issue.
Free Themes and Malicious Codes
There’s a certain risk inherent in downloading anything from the internet. Everyone has heard of viruses, spyware and malware. Unfortunately, there are hackers out there who take pleasure in spreading all kinds of nasty codes across the net. This is something you have to watch out for when downloading WordPress themes.
While there is software available to check for malicious codes, it’s far from perfect. There are just too many possible ways for people to write these codes and new variations are constantly popping up. The best way to protect yourself is to use premium WordPress themes rather than free ones.
Advantages of Premium Themes
There are quite a few advantages to using premium WordPress themes. Let’s summarize them here:
As I mentioned above, you are taking a gamble when you download a free WordPress theme from the internet. And it’s simply not possible to scan these themes for every possible type of malicious code. That’s one of the main reasons why most experienced WordPress bloggers, myself included, only use premium themes on their blogs!
What I said about the default WordPress theme is true, to some extent, of all free themes. There are millions of blogs that use WordPress, and the number is growing every single day. The vast majority of these sites have free themes. That’s because most bloggers are very casual about their blogging and not willing to invest even a few dollars into it.
In other words, no matter which free theme you use, you will most likely be sharing it with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of other sites. If you want your blog to be distinctive, you have to take the step of purchasing a premium theme!
Another major benefit of premium themes is that they are adaptable. WordPress has updates on a regular basis, and this can cause problems for your blog if the theme isn’t compatible with the update. Free themes can be quickly left behind by new updates. When you get a premium theme, however, you will be assured that you can also get the latest versions of that theme.
When you download a free WordPress theme, you are lucky if you can get any kind of support for it. It’s fairly common for WordPress users, even experienced ones, to have questions or issues that come up. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s very frustrating not to be able to figure out some detail or feature and not be able to get the solution. That’s one reason I stopped using free WordPress themes, in fact.
Premium themes will provide you with full support. Ideally, you will never have to take advantage of this, but you never know. You don’t want your blog to hit an obstacle because there’s a glitch in your theme or you can’t figure something out. This alone makes premium themes worth the money.
WordPress is a blogging platform that allows you to set everything up exactly the way you want it. To get the most out of WordPress, though, you need to start off with the right theme. If you’re serious about your blog, this means finding the appropriate premium theme that allows you to make your WordPress blog outstanding and unique.