Thinking about a WordPress theme for your blog or business website?
If you’re an over analyser like me, you might worry if you choose wrong that your website is going to suck, and your business and every dream you ever dared to dream will be dead. DEAD, I SAY!!!
Luckily, you’re dead wrong. And so was I when I built my first WordPress website. I made it far harder than it had to be. So learn from my experience and let’s get practical and more importantly, lets get started!
Here’s a few quick tips to consider before you start:
- The less functionality a WordPress theme has = the easier it will be for you to use
- The more features it has = the more it can do straight out of the box; however…
- The more customisable it is = the harder it will be to setup and learn; and…
- The more features/plugins it has = the slower your website is likely to run (and that’s BAD); so…
- Choose the lightest and leanest theme you can.
HOW TO CHOOSE A WORDPRESS THEME FOR YOUR WEBSITE
- Go to Themeforest.com
- Look for WordPress themes in your industry or the type of website you want (i.e. travel blog, directory listing, etc)
- Find themes with the look and feel you like (colours can be changed so don’t worry about that)
- Review the summary of the features & in-built functionalities, consider:
- Is it flexible enough? Will you need more plugins?
- Does it do far more than you need?
- Scan the theme reviews (but be aware half of all reviews are probably fake)
- Scan the theme comments – is the developer responsive to questions?
- Look at the theme demo, try to imagine your content there instead – will it still look good*?
- Shortlist your favourite themes down to your top 5
- Run each WordPress theme demo site through a Google mobile-friendliness test – it needs to be fully responsive or you’ll never get your site ranked
- Test the demo sites for speed on pingdom.com (this is a rough guide, you won’t know for sure until its installed on your own server)
- OPTIONAL CHECKS FOR THE TECH GEEKS:
- And then…. Bite the bullet. Make a choice. Buy it!
- If this is a new website, install it onto your server via your WordPress dashboard or, if you have an existing website, install it on a staging server and test everything before you make it live.
- Don’t forget to back your site up before you make any changes!
AFTER YOU INSTALL THE WORDPRESS THEME, DON’T GET A SHOCK IF…
- Your theme looks completely different to the demo when you install it – many themes need a lot of work to match the demo.
- *You get the theme to match the demo, but once your own content goes in, it looks ugly again, which might mean…
- You need a graphic designer to develop a consistent brand look and tweak all your images (or use something like Canva to recreate all your featured images and banners)
- And, if you really get stuck, find an experienced WordPress developer to take over. It’s money well spent!
Still struggling to choose a WordPress theme?
Well, hello, Mr or Mrs perfectionist.
Let me get straight to the point: if you overthink this process you’ll never start. Which means… your great idea will die before it ever had a chance to shine.
Do you want that?
Second, haven’t you got better things to do with your life than staring at the same 5 themes for weeks or months, umming and ahhing and waiting for a sign from the great digital pumpkin in the sky
Third, here’s a truth: you probably will make the wrong choice. But, so what?
Nobody dies if you choose the wrong WordPress theme.
Seriously, if you’ve given your theme a good go, installed everything and uploaded your content, but it isn’t rocking your world, you’ve just learned something important.
“I have not failed 700 times. I’ve succeeded in proving 700 ways how not to build a lightbulb.” Thomas Edison.
Replace the word ‘lightbulb’ with ‘WordPress site’, and you’ll get my drift. You learn from doing… and failing (sometimes).
You will probably make the wrong choice. But, so what?
The Content Guru (who has taken 6 months to choose her beauty blog theme… managed to get it down to her top 3 themes… and then instead of buying a theme, decided to write a blog about How to Choose a WordPress Theme Without Procrastinating… oh the irony!)
P.S. If you need help on which theme to choose, leave me a message and I’ll give you my honest opinion and/or a kick in the ass. It’s always easier to fix someone else than to fix yourself, right? 😉