Now at first glance, this might look a bit of a silly title, I mean, with your WordPress Blog, you choose your theme, write content on it and then submit it to the search engines right?
Did you know that the whole experience of getting ranked in the search engines, like Google ( below)
Starts with the very theme you choose and below you will find 7 Questions You need to ask yourself before choosing your WordPress Theme
Who developed theme, now this would also include, How many installations there have been, when the theme was last updated and what the support is like
Free themes usually have restricted support, compared to premium themes
Is the theme bloated?… Now what on earth is meant by that?
Lets look a little more in depth
What it means is does the theme have features that require a plugin, which needs activation before the theme will function properly. Yes that can and does happen.
Is the theme lightweight. This means, it comes with minimalistic plugins, which make it easier to load
Now the image below is for the Astra Theme
You’ll notice that there are several plugins installed. they did not come with the them at all and have all been installed seperately. So the Astra Theme is in fact a front end Theme
Is the Theme, bundled with a Page builder. if so is it back end or front end
What is the diference between the back end of WordPress and the Front End.
Thats easy to answer. When you login to your admin area of WordPress, you are immediately in the back end of WordPress
When you click on appearance >>customise. You are taken to the Front End of WordPress, which gives you a customisation Panel on the left hand side.
You also get a preview pane on the right hand side. This is known as the front end.
Now if your theme is bundled with a page builder, this can cause a slow load speed.
Where are the theme options?
At the back end of WordPress as discussed earlier, or located at the front end
Why is this so important?
Because this can make your user experience slow and frustrating
Does it have the integrations you need, such as Woo Commerce. Don’t worry if you don’t know what WooCommerce is, but as a user of WordPress, there will come a time, when you need to have it to work for a client, because by default having a WordPress blog, will invite enquiries of this nature to you
WooCommerce, is the Gold Standard in terms of eCommerce web sites
Does it come with a Learning Management System (LMS)
Now you might be thinking why on earth would I need an LMS?.
That answer is simple enough, if you are in a particular niche, for EG MLM, which requires ongoing training and support 24/7, then an LMS is going to solve that problem and eliminate the need for you to be up til the wee small hours on a coaching call
This Theme has both, so your covered all the way
This is perhaps the most important question to ask of all of them.
Is the theme you are looking at practical and useable
Lets look at that a bit further. WordPress has thousands of themes, the vast majority of them look nice, which is great, but do they work practically and can you use them the way you want to
As an Example, for years I used the theme below
Which is the smartline theme, by Themezee. This was chosen because I wanted a clean looking ,fairly responsive theme in blue and white which was free
This met all those criteria. However, as I progressed through my WordPress journey and learned more about it and wanted to evolve, Smartline, didn’t cut the mustard, as it was too restrictive
The site attracted lots and lots of comments, but wasn’t able to do what I wanted it to do.
So, reluctantly I started looking for a theme, that would do what was required. It also became clear, from my research, that a free theme, well any free theme
was going to be lacking in the practical work I wanted to do. the search continued until I found This Theme which together with a good recommendation from someone in the same posistion as me, resulted in this being used.
This is a very important metric to consider.Its the TTI. Time To Interact
This means that from the time you click on the Link, until the site loads, is the TTI, it is a huge consideration.
The last thing you need is a slow loading site, because you will drive visitors away
In Conclusion …
These are the 7 Questions you should ask before choosing your WordPress theme.
The best advice that can be given to you, especially if you are just starting out with WordPress is this
A selfhosted WordPress site is going to be your business online.Yours and no one elses, so while free themes are good, they lack a bit in every respect, including the support
Premium Themes are a better investment, because they allow you to do more with them and get more options, plus better support
There are some good premium options available among them are
Having used both Free and Premium Themes, I know which is better and produces better results.