Choosing the right WordPress theme for your company’s website is an important decision. Your theme will control not just how your website looks and functions, but it can influence it’s ability to rank in search results as well.
If you’ve never done this before, it can seem like a daunting task, but thankfully there’s plenty of community support to help you along the way.
Free Versus Custom WordPress Themes
There’s no escaping the truth that truly custom WordPress development will always net you the best results in terms of SEO implications, and establishing your identity online.
Established businesses that have more than a shoestring marketing budget to work with should hire a professional WordPress developer to build a custom theme, templates, and blocks for them. A professional web designer can transform your online presence and create a persuasive website for your company, when you’re ready for a custom theme.
The Value Of Free Themes
If you are a startup or your business is just getting off the ground, the free themes you can find in the WordPress theme repository can be a lifesaver.
Countless businesses have been able to get their company off the ground using free themes. Even though they don’t offer the options and performance of a custom theme, sometimes it’s low-or-no cost is just what a new business needs to get started.
You’ve already decided to be a part of the wonderful WordPress community, so embrace it for all it has to offer to help you get your business off the ground running.
Three Tips For Choosing Your First WordPress Theme
- Read all of the available reviews for a theme before installing it.
- Look for a theme that is flexible and easily customizable.
- Try to find that perfect unicorn that has both great reviews, but isn’t used on too many websites yet.
1. Understanding WordPress Theme Reviews
Keep your eyes open for the mention of words like “Heavy”, “Slow”, jQuery”, etc. These can be warning signs that the theme isn’t well optimized for SEO and may cause you to lose traffic and customers through your website that you might otherwise get.
A well-reviewed theme may also help you avoid many of the most common web design mistakes that can negatively impact how customers view your business.
It’s also worth noting any reviews or feedback left regarding support for your theme. If you run into trouble, knowing that the developer is available to help you out can be a huge advantage for businesses just starting out.
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Drop us a line and tell us a little more about yourself, your website, and what you’d like to accomplish. We’re happy to help, even if you’re just learning about WordPress for the first time.
2. Finding A Flexible, Customizable Theme
Websites that are made up of pages that all look the same scream amateur. Your ideal starter theme will have several different custom page layouts available for you to use so that you can give each page of your website a somewhat unique look and feel which will help you get over the initial startup hump until you can hire a professional web designer to take your website to that next level.
Additionally, since you are using a stock, cutter-cookie theme at this stage of your website development, it’s important that the theme is flexible enough to allow you room and options to personalize it to your business and what you represent. More on this in the third point below.
If you plan to sell products online, finding a theme that supports Woo Commerce should also be a priority that you keep in mind.
Your ideal theme should allow you to:
- Add a custom logo
- Change the theme’s color scheme to match your brand
- Offer a wide variety of page templates to give each page of your website a unique look and feel
- Support basic SEO needs
- Work perfectly on mobile devices without you having to touch a lot of code
3. Finding A Theme That Has Both Great Reviews, But Isn’t Used On Too Many Websites
Because you will be using a templated, publicly available free theme, your website will end up looking like a lot of other websites already out there. This can hurt your ability to separate your business from your competitors, and if you use a theme that is already highly saturated, it can give your business a generic feel that may hurt its trustworthiness with people just forming their opinions about your company.
The goal is to find a theme that is both well reviewed, but not already overused.
When your business is ready, hiring a professional web developer will help you completely escape this problem as they will build you a custom theme, with a look and feel that solely belongs to your business.
Making The Final Theme Decision
Once you’ve found a starter WordPress theme that fills those requirements, it’s best to install it on a second website. Web developers will often call this a staging site.
Using a staging site will allow you to play with and learn the theme’s options before you put it on your businesses website for the public to see.
If you run into problems with a new theme, it’s best that you resolve those issues someplace that won’t affect your customers or the impression they have of your business while you are fixing your website.
If you are using a high quality WordPress host for your company’s website, they may be able to provide a staging area for you to work in, and then later help you migrate your website when you’re ready for the public to see it.
Final Thoughts On Picking Your First WordPress Theme
The wonderful thing about the WordPress ecosystem is the number of free tools, plugins, and themes you can use to build your first website.
While custom WordPress theme development is best for established businesses, there’s nothing wrong with using the low-cost tools available to you when you’re just getting started. In fact, beyond just themes there’s a lot of free tools you can use to optimize your company’s WordPress site with little to no cost.
We have to warn you, there is a slight learning curve associated with building your first website. It is a big task for many. But hopefully you now have some insight you can use to make the first step and select a theme that will work for your business while you’re just getting it off the ground.
Need Some Professional Help?
The truth is that we build custom themes for WordPress sites every day, and you may not be ready to take that step just yet. That’s okay.
Sometimes you could just use a little advice, and we are happy to offer some if you ask. Send us a message with any questions you have below.
Revisit A Section
- Free Versus Custom WordPress Themes
- The Value Of Free Themes
- Three Tips For Choosing Your First WordPress Theme
- 1. Understanding WordPress Theme Reviews
- 2. Finding A Flexible, Customizable Theme
- Your ideal theme should allow you to:
- 3. Finding A Theme That Has Both Great Reviews, But Isn’t Used On Too Many Websites
- Making The Final Theme Decision
- Final Thoughts On Picking Your First WordPress Theme