In the field of content management, WordPress is the most popular CMS today. It is easy to use and offers several features which make it ideal for beginners and professionals alike. Building a website on WordPress involves a straightforward process. The platform also provides a plethora of themes that give your site a unique look and feel.
A WordPress theme is a feature that allows you to use a collection of files to give your website a consistent look and feel in terms of color, font and other similar elements. There is no change in the software that runs the site, but the way the website is displayed to the visitor gets modified and improved.WordPress currently has three default themes, but additional themes can be used and selected by using the Administration Panel, or the cPanel, or even adding manually using FTP.
There are free as well as paid (or premium) themes that are available, and you should choose the theme carefully so that it complements and strengthens the purpose of the website instead of overwhelming it. Below are a few critical points to keep in mind in WordPress design while selecting a theme.
Adaptability: A theme might look good on a desktop but come out looking like an awkward combination of boxes and lines when viewed on a mobile device. Most themes respond to the device and adjust themselves accordingly, but you should check your theme and see that it comes out well on all devices. Google does have a tool to test whether your page is mobile-friendly, and you can use the tool by merely pasting your URL into the tool.
Compatibility:Just like devices, themes should also be compatible with all browsers. While creating a webpage, you have no way of knowing which browser the user will be using while he views it, so you cannot take a chance and hope it will work. If you discover that your webpage is not being supported on a particular browser when you choose a theme, you can either change the theme or at least put up a disclaimer on the webpage to inform viewers which browser does not support it.
Plugins:Just like themes, plugins are highly useful features in WordPress, and they improve the usability and readability of your webpage. However, some themes inhibit the utility of plugins, and you should make sure that your theme is not doing that.
Simplicity:WordPress themes offer a range of options to use colorful and complex layouts, various shades of colors and even nifty animations. The thing you need to keep in mind while finalizing a theme is that it is supposed to accentuate your message and not overpower it. If the theme distracts the user instead of just improving the looks of your webpage, you should select another one or at least downplay the chosen theme.
Global reach:Just because your page pertains to Miami does not mean it only needs to worry about Miami SEO. You need to remember that your webpage might be coming up in a search by a user in Peru, and he might simply ignore your webpage if he does not understand English. Try to get the advantage of the global reach of the internet by choosing a theme which allows your website to be easily translated.
Pitfalls of free themes: Most free themes are fine as far as usage is concerned, and even beginners can use them without too much trouble. However, the downside of free themes is that if there is any problem that you encounter later, you are not assured of support by the developer. While free themes might not be far behind paid ones as far as quality is concerned, the absence of support must be something that you should be careful of, especially if you are not an expert.
SEO goals: It is true that the primary purpose of a theme is to give your website a good appearance, but you must avoid themes which do not optimize your site for good search rankings because that will just leave your website all dressed up and nowhere to go. That is another advantage of using a paid theme because the developers of such themes would let you know the extent of optimization possible with their themes.
Mind the page builders:WordPress has a particular type of plugin which allows you to drag and drop options to build an attractive page layout. While this feature is useful for the website owner, the flipside is that when you decide to change the theme and replace with another, there is much unnecessary code on the landing page which you need to clean up. Check this feature of the theme that you select so that switching themes later can be hassle-free.
A well-chosen theme can enhance a website in so many ways, yet webmasters often ignore this critical aspect while setting up their web pages. As a viewer navigates through the site, he would find several uses of the webpage and keep returning to it. However, if the theme is not well chosen, it might fail to hold his interest for long, and not encourage repeat visits. We have highlighted above a few points to keep in mind while selecting a theme, but the purpose is not to put you off spending time and effort on choosing a theme. The goal is only to make sure that you do not make a wrong choice. Please make sure that the selection of the correct theme also features in your SEO discussions about WordPress design. As we mentioned above, a good theme could also help you improve your rankings.