There’re thousands of beautiful WordPress themes out there waiting for you to choose from. The question is, how can we know which one is the best for our needs.
I’d been there too. Struggling between free and premium themes. Considering their layouts and functions… It took me days to search through them all and more days to decide which fits me best.
It’s a long process! Especially for those who often indecisive (me obviously).
So, before you actually pay for a theme, or invest your effort in customizing one, I’m here to help. Here are my tips and tricks which will save you tons of time to make the right choice.
1/ Free Theme VS Premium Theme
I guess that you are wondering this right now: Should I invest my money buying a premium theme? Or stick with a free theme instead?
WordPress offers thousands of free themes, which is one of the reasons why new bloggers choose WordPress over other platforms. If you’re new to blogging and have a tight budget, choosing a free WordPress theme would be the best choice. You can always invest in a premium one whenever you want.
But if you’re serious about your online presence and persistent enough to be a successful blogger, then buying a theme with more features and functions would be necessary.
Since you are paying for them, these premium themes offer more technical support for sure and will be updated regularly! With its customizations, you’ll own a unique template that not everyone has.
2/ List Of Features You Need
The very first thing you need to do is think about what functions you wish to have.
You want your audiences to easily access your blog on their phone? Or to show your Instagram feed on the home page? Do you hope readers to share your post on their social media as well?
Write them down will help narrow down your search. Aside from its appearance, the theme you choose should hold the features that help you achieve your blogging goals.
My recommend features:
- Various page layouts (grid, columns, sidebar)
- Instagram feed
- Custom menus, colors, and fonts
- Comment sections
- Social Media Icons
- One-click demo import
- Responsive Design
3/ Loading Speed
No one likes a slow-loaded website. Imagine you have to wait for 2-3 minutes for a page to finish loading. Isn’t it annoying? Especially when you’re in a hurry.
Hosting is the main factor of your theme speed. But! One of the essential things about WordPress themes is that they can also slow down your blog due to their image-heavy designs, code, and script requests.
How to test a theme’s speed? My way is to run the test of that theme’s demo site on Page Speed Insights (a Google tool). It’ll show you the site’s current performance right away.
4/ After-Sale Support
Listen to me, you’ll need to make sure the support package they provided including things below:
Theme documentation or tutorial videos on how to install, set up, and customize your new theme. You can check how detail they are before purchasing.
Any kind of support: email, phone, or support ticket. They might have a knowledge section, but if you wanna customize a page according to your preferences, extra support is necessary.
Theme update: to make sure that your theme can be modernized regularly.
I once found a nice theme on Creative Market and know for sure it’s exactly what I’m looking for. But when I read the reviews that their customer service is so slow and terrible, I decided to quit it immediately.
Without a second thought!
I don’t wanna pay for a theme yet have to figure it out on my own. After-sale support is important!
5/ Supported Plugins
Because you’ll need them. Trust me!
Some even come with plugins pre-installed service. You don’t need to download them yourself. How convenient is that, right?
6/ Ratings and Reviews
As I mentioned above, luckily for me that I’ve read the reviews before actually buying that nice theme. It saved me from losing my money to a theme creator who just doesn’t care about their customer.
It doesn’t mean that you have to choose a 5 stars WordPress theme with no cons. My experience is to consider 4 stars or above & dig deep into its good and bad reviews.
I also examine whether these cons really affect my blogging process. If it’s not, then I guess it’s no big deal. Agree?
How to Install a WordPress Theme
After logging into your WordPress admin site, you’ll see the “Appearance” on the left menu.
Step 1: Navigate over to “Appearance” and choose “Themes”
Step 2: Click on “Add New”
Step 3: Choose “Upload Theme” and pick the zip file on your computer (the one you receive after paying for a theme)
Step 4: Click on “Install Now”
Just as simple as it! Your theme should install successfully. Congratulations!
If your theme comes with a one-click demo function, check tutorial videos or documentation to find out how to install it. It normally takes about 10-15 minutes for your demo site to be fully imported. Be patient!