Choosing a Wordpress theme

Where do I begin?

Themes are a very important part of the WordPress environment as they determine the look, feel and much of the functionality of your website. There are literally thousands and thousands of themes available for WordPress, and making sense of if can be overwhelming even for experienced WordPress users. Unfortunately all themes are not created equal and with so many options available we know that it can be hard to even know where to start.

There are many things to consider when selecting a theme, such as price and design, but for my money the most important criteria is to choose a theme by an established and well-reputed theme developer who offer good documentation and support.

My next recommendation is to take your time and avoid making impulsive decisions when selecting a theme. Taking the time to research themes before you buy, install and configure a theme and then start building your site could save you a lot of time and effort if you realise too late that you have chosen the wrong theme.

The main criteria to keep in mind when considering a theme are:

Overall Aesthetic

Obviously, the theme's appearance is of paramount importance. If the site doesn't look good, it may negatively affect the visitor's first impression of not only the site, but of your business as a whole. A good looking theme will lend credibility to your business and keep visitors engaged as they browse your website.

Functionality

It is important to select a theme that works - both on the front end and the back end of the website. Some themes provide specific functionality that will benefit your business (e.g. booking engines for sites that handle a reservation based business like hotels, doctors, theatres, etc). Themes of this type can be a real timesaver, but as with most things in life, the more bells and whistles they have, the more potential there is for things to go wrong. Other themes will be pretty basic in their functionality (keeping the coding more stable) and will leave the extra functionality to plugins which can be installed with virtually any theme.

Coding

Quality coding - or the lack thereof - can make or break a website. Many themes might look good, but if the coding is not sound and has bugs, it can seriously affect the overall performance of your site can cost you in the long run. Choosing a well coded theme from a well established developer is always highly recommended. Premium themes might require a minor investment, but the savings in time, frustration and lost business will more than make up for that initial expenditure.

Flexibility & Ease of Use

Some themes are flashy or come with tons of bells and whistles, but can be a challenge to use - both for you and for your visitors. Beware of gimmicks and select themes that have an intuitive user interface.

Support & Documentation

Quality themes will usually come with a mix of documentation and support. Documentation might be in the form of a pdf document or a webpage, but will act as a "how to" manual for the theme. In addition, reputable theme developers will offer some kind of support: either in the form of a support email address where you can contact the theme developer directly, or a support forum where users can ask questions to be answered by members of the development staff or the theme's community, or Many themes do not come with the benefit of quality support. If something goes wrong or you have questions that need answering about the theme, it is invaluable to have the support of the theme's developer.

Price

Free always sounds good, but as the adage goes, you do get what you pay for. Sometimes it is well worth a small investment in order to assure peace of mind and to minimise headaches down the road.

Need Help?

Let me give you the benefit of my experience and help you make sense of the world of WordPress themes, so that you can choose the perfect look and feel for your website. Once we have selected the best theme for your site, I will install it and configure it so that you can get the most out of your chosen theme. Based upon your requirements, I will customise the theme of your choice  to create a bespoke website that will allow your business to stand out.

About Alex

Wordpress consultant, web designer & aspiring photographer

Quick & Easy

Even though many fixes can be done quickly, there is definitely a limit to what can be achieved in 15 minutes, an hour or even 5 hours! Given the unique nature of each site and each issue, it is impossible to itemise every scenario here, however below is an indication of the most common type of tasks included and those not included in our Quick & Easy plan.

INCLUDED(NOT a complete list!)

£ 15

Per task

  • Small design, style and CSS changes
  • Small graphic editing
  • Quick theme/plugin configurations
  • Plugin modifications
  • Small HTML changes
  • Forms fixes and modifications
  • WordPress version updates

NOT INCLUDED

£ 15

Per task

  • Responsive design
  • Complicated WP plugin development
  • Move WordPress site to another web host
  • Theme Installation/Setup
  • Unknown, undetermined or poorly specified fixes

What if I’m unsure or I got it wrong?

Have no fear… every order is moderated. If you end up asking for too much (which is not encouraged as it will slow down the experience) we will contact you and advise you how to edit it down, or if you still need the task done as requested we will advise you of the extra time and cost required to deliver it.

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