When I started designing and developing websites over 3 years ago I thought the process of choosing a theme was a simple, no-brainer exercise BUT through lots of experience (and several hundred dollars) I’ve come to realise there is more to it than just pretty colours, paint brush fonts and well-styled images – YES, you know the exact ones I’m talking about!

How to choose a theme for your blog

How to choose a theme for your blog

Choosing a theme is all about the details!

The Goals, objectives and the future of your blog, brand and business should always be taken into consideration. A task so seemingly simple can and will have a HUGE impact on the bottom line of your business.

Let’s now look at what you need to review before clicking purchase.

1. The Priorities of your site

There is nothing worse than trying to shoehorn an idea into an existing site when it really doesn’t fit.

At the beginning of a project, the first thing I ask my clients is what they want from their site and the big WHY behind it, is it to get more clients; showcase their portfolio; sell a gazillion of their products or to just share their thoughts and ideas with the world.

The why behind your site or more importantly business will and should dedicate everything! A flashy theme may look inviting but it might not tick all the right boxes for your business.

When considering the priorities for your blog or website ask yourself questions like…

  • How do you want people to feel when they visit your site or interact with your business?
  • What is the number one thing you want your visitors or clients to do when they come to your site?
  • What is the primary goal of your website or blog?

2. Content

This is a step all too many of us love to skip but take my advice and get it done before you even start looking at all those gorgeous premium themes out there – it will save you lots of time, money and headaches.

Your content will include the copy and images of all the pages, any video or graphics you would like on the site and perhaps a couple of blog posts to get the show on the road.

Think about the pages you’d like, the images and copy you’d like to go on each page and how you’d like each page to interact with each other.

3. The Structure/Layout

Consider the structure of your WordPress theme the same as the layout of your house, it can be modified but it’s a hard thing to do if you don’t have the knowledge or the team (aka builders or web developers).

Let’s look at the Kindred theme from Station Seven, yes it’s a total beauty!

Kindred WordPress Theme

In this theme, the developers have included a menu bar at the top, a large slider at the top showcasing the latest posts then several smaller blog posts in a grid format, a space for your Instagram feed and a three column footer in which you can insert whichever widgets you’d like.

Consider the following questions when looking at the structure of your theme…

  • What do I want to include on the homepage? If I need a slider on it is there space? Also, does it only allow for the latest blog posts or can I upload any images?
  • How many sidebars do I want? Can I move these blog sidebars around?
  • Where do I want the menu to be located? 

4. The Features

The bells and whistles that make the theme you choose extra special.

Does the theme offer you simple customisations like changing the colours, fonts, backgrounds, header and images without touching the code?

Others you might want to look out for are slider features, advertising space, featured image integration and E-commerce compatibility.

And of course lastly and most importantly is the theme mobile responsive?

5. Support & Documentation

Remember the wasted dollars I mentioned earlier well it was partly because of the lack of support & documentation that was included with my purchase. I spent endless hours trying to set up said purchased themes but gave up due to pure frustration.

Be sure to review their support policies and if the theme comes with a well-documented guide on how to set up the theme.

The majority of themes these days do come with all the above mentioned but be sure to do your checks before you click purchase.

And that’s a wrap my WordPress friends!

I hope this introduction to choosing a theme was helpful for you. Choosing a theme can be both daunting and exciting at the same time. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to browse the free WordPress gallery to begin with then venture off into the worldwide world of premium themes.

Here’s my list of favourite premium WordPress themes.

Drop your theme choosing questions in the comments below!

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