Your WordPress theme should complement the content of your website. For example, if you are starting a blog on politics or social issues, then you would want a theme that improves readability.
Many WordPress themes come with tons of customization options. If not coded properly, these options can make it difficult for you to change themes or use other WordPress plugins. You will be locked into that theme or will have to pay a developer to help you switch.
On the other hand, some WordPress themes that look really great can actually make your website incredibly slow. No one likes slow websites, particularly Google, which prefers to rank faster websites higher.
Your theme is the face of your WordPress site and plays an important role in how users as well as search engines perceive it.
You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘All that glitters is not gold’.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the steps you can take to make sure that you select the best theme for your WordPress site.
1. Strive for Simplicity
Many WordPress themes come with lots of colors, complex layouts, flashy animations, etc. Sometimes you may need those things, but in most cases you don’t really need all that.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
~ Leonardo da Vinci
Look for a theme that has a design layout that helps you support your goal. It needs to look good but without compromising on usability and simplicity.
Make sure that the theme’s presentation style is not overly complicated. The purpose of web design is to help users find information they need and to help site owners achieve their goals at the same time.
If a theme looks great but does not help you get new business or subscribers, then it is not a good theme. It is also not a good theme when your users can’t really find their way around your website.
2. Responsive is Not Optional Anymore
Responsive themes adjust their layout across different screen sizes and devices.
A significant number of web traffic is generated from mobile and other handheld devices. Depending on your website’s topics, this number could go even higher than 50% of your traffic.
Google shows mobile friendly websites on top in their mobile search results. Regardless of your site’s topics and demographics, all websites need to be responsive and fully mobile ready.
Most WordPress themes are already responsive by default. But there are still sellers who are selling fixed width layouts that are not mobile friendly at all. Make sure that the theme you are choosing for your website is mobile friendly.