Choosing a WordPress theme can be a daunting, and time-consuming task. However, there are several steps that you can take to simplify the task of selecting the perfect theme for your website project. Try these tips for choosing your next theme.
Make a List of Technical Requirements
Do you have basic HTML and CSS skills? If not, then you’ll need a visual webpage builder. Do you plan to integrate basic ecommerce functionality into your website? If so, then you’ll need a theme that’s compatible with Woocommerce or another popular shopping cart. Make a list of these and other technical requirements and features before selecting your theme. Often, you’ll be able to use these attributes to filter results on websites like ThemeForest. This will limit your choices to a more manageable list of potential WordPress themes for your project.
Make Sure It’s Compatible With Popular Plugins and PHP 7.2
Make sure the theme works with popular plugins like Yoast SEO, Woocommerce, and others. If you have time to wait for a response, then you can try to reach out to the theme developer. Make sure the theme works with top plugins. In addition, make sure that it’s compatible with the latest version of PHP, or you’ll have issues installing and upgrading it.
Keep it Simple
Less is more when it comes to WordPress themes. It’s great to have the functionality you need, but too much can bloat your website. Not only will it slow down your pages, but too much code could present unnecessary security flaws. So, think about your requirements and avoid things that you don’t expect to provide immediate value. Remember, this is WordPress. You can always add plugins later on if you find you need additional functionality.
Confirm That the Theme Follows WordPress Best-Practices
Don’t choose a bloated theme. Pick one that uses lean, and clean code. Otherwise your pages will take forever to load. Don’t buy a theme unless there’s a demo link. Click through it and then adjust your screen-width to all common sizes, including mobile. Make sure that the theme is responsive and displays well on mobile devices.
Make a List of Brand Requirements
Does your brand use specific colors or fonts? If so, then make sure that the theme either comes with those parameters, or that you can adjust them. The best premium themes make it easy for you to adjust colors and fonts, and they’re not terribly expensive. For less than $100, you’ll save hours of work.
Pay Attention to Readability
Make sure that the fonts you choose are easy to read. The size, and style of the font should make it easy for users to consume your content. Not only is this good for users, but it’s good for SEO.
Most likely, you’ll want to be able to offer your website in more than one language. Make sure it’s multi-lingual ready. This will expand your market to include many other customers that your competitors may not reach.
Thoroughly Test Your WordPress Theme After Installation
A visual inspection is usually enough to determine whether a theme is worth buying. Don’t forget to test it in every major browser including Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. Also test it on mobile browsers. However, this is not enough and you need to be sure that your theme is well-designed. After you install it, add the Theme Check plugin to your website and run it. You’ll learn about some basic issues that might exist in your theme, and you can then decide whether to keep it, or replace it.
Select a Reliable Web Hosting Provider
After you’ve got your theme, you’ll want to launch your website. Pick a web hosting company that fits your budget and needs. You’ll find lots of web hosting reviews on HostCalc, so take your time and select a plan that’s right for your project.
You have two options for WordPress websites. You may choose to host your website on WordPress.com. This is a quick and easy way to experiment with the platform. However, the free option does not allow you to host your site on your own domain name, and it has limited tools. At that point, you would need to pay for hosting with the company, which starts at a reasonable $4 per month. Alternatively, you can host your WordPress website with any number of hosting companies. At the same price, you can get more flexibility with a hosting provider like InterServer or SiteGround. These hosting companies generally offer one-click installs of WordPress, which require no coding skills to set up. Or, you can download WordPress and install it yourself.
There are lots of great options for WordPress hosting. Some are managed, while others require more attention and skills. If you’re just starting out, then select a small plan to get your feet wet before investing lots of money into a large VPS or dedicated server. Here are a few companies to consider:
The WordPress CMS itself is generally free. It’s a piece of software. However, like every other program, you need a computer to run it. In the case of websites, this means that you need it hosted on a server stored at one of any number of hosting company locations around the world. Additionally, if you want a unique website URL, then you will need to buy a domain name. Generally, you can lease a domain name for about ten bucks a year, and hosting starts around $3 per month for a basic plan. So, if you’re just starting out, then maintaining a WordPress website will cost you about $50 per year. As your company grows, your costs may go up substantially, but presumably, so will your profits.
Step 1: Usually, it’s a good idea to start by buying a domain name. You can get one for about ten bucks a year from a company like GoDaddy. However, don’t get sucked into their hosting plan without first doing research. There are plenty of companies that offer web hosting plans that are more robust than GoDaddy’s for the same money or less. You can also buy your domain name through one of these hosting companies but you may find it easier to consolidate your domain purchases under a single registrar, and your hosting elsewhere. This gives you the flexibility of trying different hosting companies without getting confused about where your domain names are listed.
Step 2: Choose a hosting company. Read the many reviews on this website and then pick a company that suits your needs. InterServer Cloud VPS and SiteGround Shared Hosting are two great choices for new websites.
Step 3: Log into your hosting account and find the control panel. When you’ve got a hosting company with one-click installs, you can generally find a button to install a WordPress website. Then, just follow the prompts, and you’re done within about ten minutes. If your hosting company doesn’t have fast installations, then you’ll need to download a copy of WordPress, set up a MySQL database, and install it yourself. Good hosting companies will usually have tech support on hand to help get you started.