Chosing a good WP theme is not as easy as it seems to be. There are still doubts if love-at-first-sight exists in real life, but it definitely exists in the world of internet. The design is the first thing with which your visitors meet, and this is the first thing they can get engaged with. Therefore, there are a plenty of things to consider before you chose the main theme for your content. Here isa basic guide for you to help.
1. Be content conscious
Before you set up your site, take some time on deciding what your content is going to be. Will your page be a kind of a portfolio, with mostly static content? Is it going to be a blog with extended textual posts? Is it a colorful album for videos, posts, quotes, etc? How often would you like to post fresh content? And which will be the most important content type on your site? Let’s have some quick tips for the beginning only.
- If you have a blog, and want to post extended textual contents, choose a simple, clear layout. It is nice when the background of the body does not contain any unnecessary graphic elements – and the whole page is easy to follow and functional. Inspirin Magazine Theme is a very good example.
- If you post various types of content, or arrange a portfolio with mixed textual or visual content, a mosaic design can emphasize how colorful your content is. Check Amzola Blog Theme, for instance.
- If you post news or actualities regularly, then a news-portal style might be ideal for you – like the Laverde Theme.
2. Be original
Originality is very important, when it comes to webpage design. Most WP hosts offer you various themes, even for free, for your free blog, and some of them look even very charming. However, these themes cannot guarantee originality for you, so at the end your visitors will find similar sites with similar content – which is very harmful for you on the long run. Additionaly, free themes are not really free in most of the times: they almost always include backlinks to somewhere which you will not be aware of.
3. Know you visitors
If you have an existing site, take some time on looking at the statistics, if not yet, then try to guess what is going to happen. Take a look at the devices from which your traffic comes, and check how your website looks on a tablet or a smartphone.
Then try to guess the source of your traffic: and chose a design which fits to the surface. For example, if your visitors come from Facebook, it is nice to have a design, the subpages of which can function as a landing page as well – so visitors can easily navigate on further content and spent more time on your site. However, when most visitors find you via google search, it is nice if your side is built around a theme, and the visitors can find the related content easily.
If it is possible, choose a responsive theme - this will provide a nive preview on mobile devices automatically.
Before you chose the theme, make sure it is customizable enough. In a quality theme you can change at least the simpler graphic elements easily – so take some time to find your own header and logo. This will give your site a more personalized, more recognizable look, and make is easier to apply minor changes in the look is they are necessary (e. g. when a new album of your band is released, you might want to actualize the design of your page to get it fit for the cover).
5. Have a backup site
A clone site is a smaller version of your original site under a different domain name. This might seem to be a waste of money, but it can have many useful functions, so it will be worth on the long run. Firstly, you can use it as an archive for your quality content which you would not like to have on your current site anymore (like your old photos, which were once very popular, but you do not want to include them in your actual portfolio). Secondly, this can function as a safety copy of your page, to which you can redirect your visitors if something happens to your original site (like the server is blocked for some reasons). At last but not least, this can be your design laboratory, where you can test new layouts and themes.
If your site has different functions, links, videos, it is a very good idea to test anything new before you publish the changes. If you do it on a separate site, you can avoid accidental function losses, and other troubles on your original site.
Of course look and feel is not the only one metrics that should be considered when make the final decision about a theme. Check out our previous post about what else to consider to find the best theme.