Modern website should be rated well by both users and Google robots. For WordPress, this rating is heavily influenced by the theme chosen by the owner of the page - how to choose the best one, I explain it below.
What is a WordPress theme?
Choice of theme preceded by analysis of needs
Before choosing a WordPress theme, think about what functionality you need on your site. On the Internet you can find themes that offer a huge number of possibilities, are easy to use, but they often have one major drawback — the more extensive functionality a theme offers, the more it can negatively affect the speed of your website. Therefore, before installing a theme, it is good to analyse your needs that you want to achieve with your website.
Once you have created such a list, you can think about the specific criteria that the ideal WordPress theme must have.
6 elements you should consider when choosing a WordPress theme
The success of a website's promotional efforts depends highly on choosing the right WordPress theme. The theme is responsible for the site's speed and user experience - and these elements are key components of a well-functioning site.
01. Clear layout
Remember that nowadays on the web, user experience should be put first. So the design of your website template needs to be clear and intuitive from visitors' point of view.
Pay attention to the colour of the theme — it is good if they are toned right, without aggressive colours that may cause a feeling of irritation during longer page visits.
02. Responsiveness is a priority
These days, practically every internet user uses a mobile device. If a website displays incorrectly on smartphones or tablets, visitors quickly leave it. After all, there is nothing more annoying than a horizontal scroll bar on a smartphone's screen, which indicates that a website has the wrong width of individual elements.
It also happens that the fonts used are not appropriate for reading the content, e.g. their size is too small, which prevents easy reading. This automatically discourages viewers. It is good to perform a responsiveness test of the website offered by Google, Mobile Optimisation Test.
03. Technical support (theme developer or the community of WordPress)
If you choose a free theme, one that is not very popular, you may discover that in situations when something breaks, no one will be able to help you. After all, developers who offer free options do not provide support to page owners. What is more, if the theme is not very popular, it means that not many people are familiar with it, making it difficult to find answers to questions.
04. SEO optimisation
Remember that developing a website without taking care of search engine optimisation is a pointless activity. After all, one of the main goals of websites is to rank high in Google. Unfortunately, not every theme is properly optimised for SEO.
You are probably wondering about what you should pay attention to when choosing a theme with positioning in mind. Certainly you need to check whether the HTML code of the page follows the rules of semantics — i.e. the used tags are understandable for Google robots and correctly placed on the page.
05. Compatibility with plugins
It happens (fortunately not often) that a given theme is not compatible with any of the plugins we want to use on the website. Imagine that you run a business and suddenly you want to implement the functionality of an online shop, but the theme is incompatible with the WooCommerce plugin. Then you have to build the site from scratch.
So at the needs analysis stage, you need to think carefully about if the chosen theme will allow you to freely achieve your business goals with the use of additional plugins.
Page builder availability (drag and drop)
Less technical users love the popular graphical site editors on WordPress. They are ideal for people who want a beautiful looking site but do not have enough technical abilities. Using them, you can put pre-made graphical elements on your site such as sliders, contact forms, FAQ section, styled buttons and many other elements.
Unfortunately, this type of scripts have one big disadvantage — they often have a negative impact on page performance. This translates into the speed of its operation and eventually may prevent you from reaching high positions in Google search results.
Is it worth getting a paid theme?
Many companies on the internet offer paid themes. Looking through the paid proposals, it is clear at first look that these themes look more aesthetically pleasing — they have more interesting user experience. However, it needs to be said again that the more developed a website is, the slower it will run in many instances.
What is more, companies that sell themes offer technical support to their customers, so non-technical users can rest confident that their site will work properly, as they will always be able to contact the technical support department of such a company.
Summary: Which WordPress theme should you choose?
I hope that the criteria outlined above will make the you to choose the right WordPress theme — one that will rank high in Google search results and one that users will be happy to spend time on.