Tip #9: How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme for Your Business
A theme is central to the success of your WordPress business website. It impacts every aspect of the site—the overall design, your site’s functionality and ease of use, and even security and SEO. In this post, I have some tips on how to choose the best WordPress theme for your business.
Your business’ virtual storefront is as important as a physical one. For many businesses these days, it’s the ONLY storefront.
DO invest in a professional, powerful, and reputable WordPress theme that will serve your business well for the long-term.
DON’T make an uneducated or quick decision that will force you to change your theme before you’re ready, costing you time and money.
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is a collection of files coded by a developer to create a visual interface and functionality for a website. Theme components include custom style sheets, images, and shortcodes.
That’s as technical as I’ll get. I prefer to use a simpler analogy to explain the concept clearly to my clients—think of WordPress as the engine of your website and the theme as the make and model.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme for Your Business
Just as you consider who manufactures the car you’re interested in, as well as the bells and whistles of a particular make and model, so should you consider the developer, design and specific features of a WordPress theme.
Here is a checklist of “musts” to consider (if you’re doing the choosing) or ask about (if you’re working with a website designer) before making your final decision:
- Stick with “premium” themes. I highly suggest that you do NOT opt for a freebie theme. The internal coding of a theme determines how easy or difficult it is for a hacker to break in, how search engines rank your site, what browsers can view it, and how many design and functionality options it includes. For just $25 to $75, premium themes offer FAR superior security, SEO, design features, plugins, documentation and technical support. Unlike most free theme developers, professional theme developers also include extensive documentation, reliable support, and regular updates to fix glitches and security vulnerabilities. You do NOT want a theme that doesn’t support the most current third-party plugins, which give a huge boost to your website’s capabilities.
- Buy from a trusted source. Reputable theme stores have standards and they enforce them. They screen out the incompetent, lazy, and downright dishonest. Trusted theme stores include developer bios so you know who you’re buying from and ratings and reviews to give you feedback from real theme users.
- Choose a user-friendly theme that complements your product or service. Your goal is to give visitors an excellent experience on your website, so they’re happy and search engines will reward you. If users aren’t excited or, worse, they’re frustrated when they visit your site, they leave quickly—and the search engines notice. If it happens enough, your SEO ranking will be impacted. Stick with a theme with a clean, intuitive, and current design.
- Investigate how a theme will impact your SEO. A theme has a significant impact on SEO based on it’s responsiveness, how it handles content, and how fast it loads. A mobile-friendly site is no longer optional as more than half of visitors access sites from their mobile devices these days. Read the documentation to get clear on how much the developer prioritized this crucial factor when building the theme.
- If you’re doing business in multiple countries, choose a theme that handles languages seamlessly. Make sure it supports WordPress plugins that handle multi-lingual translation.
Best Places to Buy WordPress Themes
Now that you know how to choose the best WordPress theme for your business, it’s time to buy it!
Just as it’s riskier to buy a car from an individual stranger, it’s also riskier to buy your theme from a solo developer. Here are a few reputable and recommended theme stores:
If you still feel overwhelmed with how to choose the best WordPress theme for your business, we would be honored to help you with this process—we have preferred themes that check all the boxes we discussed above. And, in addition to helping you choose the best theme, we will also ensure you take a solid first step in website security.