How to choose a WordPress theme that suits you?
Now, what a pain in (imagine whatever you want).
I don’t hide from you that the choice of a WordPress theme is long and complicated. I myself changed my theme several times before I could even find a theme that I could seriously consider installing on my blog. But my question is, why is it so complicated in a CMS that is supposed to be very rich in variety?
Exactly, the answer is in the question! The diversity of the themes is so important that it is almost ridiculous to have to choose.
It is true that there are some “rare” pearls that have significant advantages, such as Divi for example, which I will talk about in a future article I think, because there is a lot to say on this theme and many others as well.
However, care must be taken when choosing your theme. For example, if you plan to open an online store, consider choosing a theme that is compatible with e-commerce plugins such as Woocommerce. Otherwise you may have to do a very important graphic redesign before you can even install your e-commerce, which is very long and not fun at all.
But then, how do you choose your theme?
It’s very simple, you have to do what’s called a mood-board. It is in fact an American technique, which consists in finding “model” images of what you want to do. For example, for a Lifestyle and fitness blog, you can search for various images of celebrities posing in different places (which will give you a notion of a background image).
Then images with a link to your theme and strong colors, which will allow you to create a graphic charter for your blog and thus have specific colors for each of your documents.
Finally you can search for general images, but always with a link to your theme. For example, a fitness man on a motorcycle, which gives you ideas for visual documentation.
Gather all these elements together and you will find backgrounds that match your image, strong colors that express your emotions and visually beautiful images to share your passion. In this way, you will have a basis for work and the goal is to apply it to a theme.
You will therefore go to the demos of the various themes and see the layout and prefabricated design of the theme. In this way, by imagining your documents on the various demos of the themes, you will have a first idea of the final visual and that is how you make your choice.
Of course, that’s not enough, but it’s already a first method that I think is the best one right now for this kind of challenge, because let’s face it, it’s been a challenge for me!
As much as plugins have quite significant differences, because it’s mainly technical, but the visual of your blog is very complex to preview and yet you have to choose a theme among thousands.
That’s why I’m doing this article, because it’s an important part of the rest of your blog adventures. As usual, it’s a kind of trap, because one of the most important choices is made from the beginning, when you have only a few “basic” skills.
Free or paid :
This part is not to be neglected! Maybe you think (like me at first) that you can always switch from a free theme to a paid theme along the way, so you can see if there’s enough interests to put a few balls in the game.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Indeed, the craze will be created with elements such as paid themes that make it better and more flexible during the modification.
Personally, my reaction was not purely marketing, but practical I would say. Indeed, when I saw the complexity of modifying a free theme, I thought to myself that even if a theme was not free, it must still be complicated to use. A monumental mistake, the premium themes are much easier to access and modify than a free theme.
In addition, the efficiency is quickly improved, due to an improved architecture. Which doesn’t make you want to change everything like a poor free theme.
Now it is true that some free themes have some good qualities, but even with these, the difference is striking. I know that most themes cost a pretty small amount of money and the theme I use (brixton) is no exception to the rule, but that’s how it is if you want to start blogging.
However, be careful with some themes that may seem excellent thanks to the very advanced demos, but which in reality are very hard to work with and with which you will not reach the level of what the demos promise you.
Indeed, marketing is also present in WordPress themes and sometimes the demos presented are worked to the extreme and shielded with code, in order to change some aspects and thus have a perfect theme. However, some people do not know CSS for example and therefore they cannot reproduce such pages.
In general it’s quite sad, because if you don’t want to come across a bad theme I recommend the most sold ones, which are usually very good themes that can be easily modified (or almost). But that is the limit. Indeed, this means that many websites have similar themes and a similar base.
This phenomenon does not disturb because often these sites are not very frequented because they are poorly referenced on Google and other search motor, but this does not prevent the bottom of the Internet from having a taste of “already seen” according to the sites.
Of course, all this is only my personal impression and only engages me. I’m just trying to make you understand that there are many very interesting themes, as well as themes that have proven themselves time and time again.
A last little advice for the road if I may, be careful with your choice, especially in terms of layout, because some themes that are not very flexible do not allow you to move some content as you wish and you risk finding yourself with a theme tailored for a newspaper, in a lifestyle blog (which is not really pleasant).
To sum up, work on your mood-boards, pay attention to the wrong themes and demos, think about going to premium from the beginning and above all, make sure that at least one demo suits you as it is (without work on your part) just in case.
I would like to point out that I am one of the people who launched their blog without a premium main theme and I bit my fingers to install another theme and keep a few things I had worked on the old version (which was not open to the public). Don’t forget to share this article on your social networks if you liked it, it only takes you a few seconds and it helps me a lot.
On this I hope I have helped you and I advise you to take your time, otherwise the blog will take it for you.
Don’t do anything crazy or actually just do it,
Ryan Staehlin, Founder of entrepreneursfantasy.com