When it comes to creating your own site or blog, its design is a key factor in attracting visitors. One of the primary appeals of WordPress is that it provides you a variety of theme templates that are both easy to install and to customize. You will want a theme that emphasizes and compliments your content but does not distract from it. You will also have to consider how the richness of a theme can impact loading time, and how effective your choice is considering the preferred web use tool, and internet speeds of your audience base. Here’s everything you should know to make the most informed WordPress theme selection.
- Loading Speed
The longer a page takes to load, the more likely visitors are to navigate away from it. Web design primarily affects loading times. The more charged, and less optimized your WordPress theme, the more loading time it will require. If your chosen theme requires tweaking, you will need to be sure that its vendor is willing to make the necessary adjustments to help your pages load faster.
- Ease Of Mobile Use
With a majority of people doing most of their web-surfing on mobile phones, a mobile-friendly theme is essential to building a large audience base. While some themes are likely designed predominantly for computer browsing, others perform well smaller screen use. These WordPress themes can be an ideal choice for a young target audience, or products and brands in social media, marketing, fashion, photography, service-listing and PR industries.
- SEO Performance
Before finalizing the purchase of your selected WordPress theme, you will want to try it out to ascertain it is SEO-friendly. SEO-friendly sites allow web-crawlers (the search engine algorithmic “spiders” monitoring web pages’ performances on a variety of ranking indexes) more natural access to their keyword use and optimized URLs. You may use a tool such as W3C Markup Validation to establish how well a prospective WordPress theme performs in terms of SEO.
- Customizable Features
The WordPress theme you choose is likely to need a few design edits before it is consistent enough with your personal vision. You may also want to request adjustments that will increase the uniqueness and memorability of your theme. If your brand or business is based on engagements, you will need to be sure that interactive elements can be incorporated into the theme. Customizability is usually described as part of the theme package, but you will also need to contact its designer to know the features that can be coded in as add-ons.
- Ease Of Navigation Vs Unique Appeal
In order for your site to encourage repeat visits, it will need to be easily recognizable, through its theme only. This means that you will need to find a theme that plays with space, colors, borders, and image to word ratios compellingly and memorably. To keep your branding consistent, you will also want your chosen WordPress theme to compliment, or align with your brand logo, colors, and the graphics and fonts you usually use.
Make sure the uniqueness of the theme’s design does compromise its ease of navigation. The more intuitive navigating through your blog or site feels, the more efficient your theme is at encouraging the consumption of your content. Perform a “fresh-eyes” test on your chosen WordPress theme, by running a trial and requesting a friend to navigate through it. The more confusing it seems for them, the more likely your prospective visitors are to struggle. If you are stuck on a theme but find its use challenging, consult its designer to see what structural adjustments can be made to facilitate navigation.
A Finishing Note
Choosing the best WordPress theme for your site requires predicting the needs of your prospective audience base. However, it also entails a prioritizing of uniqueness, creativity, and ease of use. The more memorable your design, the more likely you are to receive repeat visits. However, this uniqueness shouldn’t come at the cost of intuitive navigation. Do not hesitate to seek a trial and second opinion on your prospective theme, to ensure you do not get unfortunate performance surprises somewhere down the line.