WordPress is all the rage nowadays. Over 74 million sites are powered by WordPress, and with good reason. The base platform is free, and developing your website by customizing a WordPress template is much easier (and way cheaper) than building a site from scratch.
So, how does one pick a good template? There are thousands out there – some free, some premium. I use premium ($) themes because the best ones are created by companies who specialize in making them. They often come with custom administration panels that make the developer’s job much easier. These templates tend to run you about $30-70 a-pop – a mere DROP IN THE BUCKET compared to net new solutions.
These template developers deserve to make money for their gorgeous creations and, when I’m adapting a WordPress site for a client, I want to ensure that I am delivering a product that has been tested thoroughly and developed responsibly. I trust that the template developers I buy from have tested their themes across all the browsers and on popular devices. The key is buying from a reputable creator.
Here are my tips for choosing the right template.
Buy from a reputable site
Let’s not beat around the bush. ThemeForest is the best place to get ‘em.
Keep your content front-of-mind
When picking a template, pay keen attention to the amount of content you’ll need to fill it up.
If you select a template that features huge photographs as a backdrop, then you’ll need to produce high-res photos or be ready to buy some/scour the internet for free, high quality images that fit your subject. If you want to add a lot of written material to your site, make sure you pick a template that will accommodate a lot of text or features a multi-page layout.
Check compatibility and responsiveness
First, figure out what version of WordPress is the latest. Then, ensure the theme is current enough to support it. And, if you’re looking for a responsive site, make sure to check for that too.
Play with the demo and check out other people’s work
Play with the demo and check out the short codes. Look through the comments section on the purchase page and look for links (or run a search for “www.” or “.com”). Often, designers will link to sites they’ve created using that theme.
Sort the templates by “bestsellers” or “trending”
Look, this isn’t an article about finding diamond-in-the-rough templates. This is about finding something that is tried, tested and true. Buying popular themes with high star ratings is a good idea. After that, you can make it unique with your customizations.
Is it supported?
Check the comments to see whether the template designers are addressing the concerns and questions of existing customers. You can check their response time by looking at the time stamps on the comments.
If this all sounds foreign to you, that’s OK. Often, a WordPress developer will present their clients with multiple themes, provide the pros and cons for each, and let you pick the one that tickles your fancy. If you’re interested in having a WordPress template adapted, give us a holler.
Got any more tips? Add them in the comments below.