What to check BEFORE choosing a WordPress theme?

Thats is one of the basic steps not only of your blogging business but of your online existence: you have to choose a WordPress theme, you have to make sure that your project has the tools to present itself to the public. For example, you need to have an organized header, a neat footer, a nice aesthetic.

The lines and colors must be functional to your brand. The theme must respond to the needs of modern web design. Or rather, of web marketing. Because today the holistic view links the choice of the template to the good results in terms of SEO Search Engine Optimization In web marketing, conversion means when a user takes a specific – measurable – action that is important to your business. Examples are access to the site, the visit of… It seems strange but it is.

Everything is connected. So, choosing a lower-quality WordPress theme can become a critical detail for your online business. Hence the question: what should I evaluate? What should I do? What are the points to observe to choose a good WordPress theme? Here are the steps to follow.

The Topic Of This Post

  • 1 Better a free or paid template?
  • 2 Presence of the visual composer
  • 3 Consider page load times
  • 4 Evaluate support and bug fixes
  • 5 Updates, ratings, and installations
  • 6 Responsive design on all browsers
  • 7 Pay attention to the SEO optimization of the template
  • 8 Choose a WordPress theme: your opinion

Better a free or paid template?

There are two large families of WordPress themes: free or paid. I believe that a blog with the latest classic, personal or corporate, can work seamlessly with a free theme. My blog, My Social Web, is based on a zero-cost template, very little modified. If you don’t have big needs in terms of design you can work without problems with a good free product.

The difference comes when you want something more. Paid WordPress themes, by and large, offer the basic features. In addition, they have specific qualities: innovative design, specific characteristics for a profession, advanced functions ranging from SEO optimization to particularly refined design. Or with customizations that allow you to do everything with minimal effort.

Presence of the visual composer

The visual composer allows you to organize the aesthetic aspects of the web page with simple steps. For example, drag &AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, it is a system to speed up the loading times of sites from mobile devices. With AMP you can create …; drop, text box, and simple image uploads. With this solution, you can organize the pages as you like with minimal skills.

Do you need this chance? Well, otherwise you have to carefully evaluate the presence of the visual composer: you risk burdening the pages with a lot of useless code, and this is not the best.

Consider page load times

Do you want to change the theme? Do you need the template for your new blog? In any case, you have to evaluate the loading times of the pages. A step that today is decisive for the user experience and to have good results in terms of SEO optimization. Then, take a blog that hosts the topic in question and analyze it with Pagespeed Insights with the help of a webmaster. Are the blocks and tares dependent on the template? Let’s go further.

Evaluate support and bug fixes

One of the first steps to check when choosing a WordPress theme: troubleshooting. In the official WordPress portal, each theme has support where the user can leave questions. When choosing your template make sure this section is constantly updated.

As you can see in this example taken from the Twenty Fifteen page, one of the most popular WordPress templates, the solution to the problem is constantly updated. This means having a good certainty of support. Of course, this also depends on the free or paid nature of the theme.

Updates, ratings, and installations

When choosing a WordPress theme, make sure there are good ratings, positive reviews, and recent updates. These steps are crucial for getting encouraging signs. A theme that has not been updated for several months, with few installations and with negative evaluations, suggests an inauspicious future. To confirm, it is advisable to search on Google with the name of the theme to have further checks: if the opinions are latent or negative, better choose a different WordPress theme.

Responsive design on all browser

Do you want to give a general confirmation to your WordPress template? Make sure it’s responsive. This is a basic feature that is now present in all themes, but you have to make sure that the result is perfect on all browsers and every operating system. From desktop and mobile. For sure they will tell you that the template is responsive and mobile-friendly. But it’s true? A check on the Google tool can answer.

Pay attention to the SEO optimization of the template

This is a decisive aspect for choosing a WordPress theme or not: SEO optimization. Everyone likes to have an edge on search engines, but there is one point to analyze: a well-made template, fast in loading pages, already offers all the tools to work well on Google. On the other hand, it is right to consider several elements that can bring advantages in terms of SEO.

Such as the presence of clean and fast code and HTML5. That is semantic elements in the code that allow you to better communicate what is inserted in a web page, without forgetting the possibility of implementing rich snippets. I’m talking about the elements needed to add extra information into the SERP But one of the best solutions comes from the Genesis framework, a basic theme on which child templates can be inserted to customize the experience.

A good check you can do on a theme: have a site analyzed by two tools such as Wave and Screaming Frog. In this way, you can discover the steps carried out by the structure. And identify any problems related to the headers, the size of the images, and the organization of accessibility.

Choosing a WordPress theme: your opinion

These are the nodes that I always check before choosing a WordPress theme. On the other hand, it is impossible to avoid or ignore this step: your online presence and different aspects of web marketing – SEO, personal insurance branding, user experience – depending on the template. What are you looking at? What do you check?

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