How to Choose a Template for Your Site on WordPress | premiumwd
Development / Tips & Tricks

How to Choose a Template for Your Site on WordPress

by chris rodriguez on August 26, 2016

A theme may look fantastic with it’s demo content but we need to be thinking of how it could easily adapt to our vision and include the types of content we want to present to our visitors. A WordPress theme needs to suit the type of website we want to create, but we also need to ensure that it gives us some things as standard such as; being suitable for all screen sizes, fast loading, and well coded to W3C standards.

Important criteria of quality WordPress themes

There are 3 main points that should be considered when purchasing a WordPress theme in my opinion. Everything else is minor considerations however functionality is the most important play here in my opinion.

  • Functionality (theme-options, shortcodes, optional layouts, various sliders, etc.)
  • Responsive (device agnostic to various devices, multi-browser ready)
  • Written Code (loads fast, seo optimized, etc.)

Most people just want a good looking aesthetically pleasing theme that is responsive, but also want it fast and written up to standard. Below are some ways to figure this out when comparing themes when you go shopping for one.

Well written Code

For any theme purchaser, how its made isn't really considered because most do not know how to write code. A good way to know if to see how long it takes to load on your screen due to using updated WordPress PHP code to make pages, shortcodes, etc. that are not depreciated and or take long time to query. This is important because you need to consider good code that would work for future updates of WordPress and gets updates to its change log, etc. On average good websites without plugins should approximately take 2 seconds or less to load if they were well written. Visitors usually do not want to wait more than that on average. Bounce rate negatively impacts the position in the search, and the customer has the loss in his business.

I highly recommend do a speed test for their optimization but really you can't check their php code without purchasing it. Below is some pointers on what to look for on their optimization for web.

Also a good point is if they make it easy for you to customize the theme without writting code, like a theme options panel, short codes, alternate layouts, etc.

SEO optimized

Some things can be spotted right away if you are using a validator and some things can't, so be careful when comparing because a lot of optimization can be done with plugins. However, things to look for that can't be optimized with plugins:

These issues above should be written at an A 100% score and written inside the core theme itself, doesn't require a plugin.

Responsiveness

Being device agnostic has become standard practice in development and is  one of the most important quality criteria. Due to the ever-increasing percentage of the use of mobile devices to access the Internet triggered more attention, responsiveness is very important.

Many people are already familiar with the tool – Google Mobile-Friendly Test, which tells whether your site is useful for viewing and using it on mobile devices. We advise you to use a couple of minutes and check your chosen theme with this tool to check if it meets your criteria, and or you can resize the browser to see if you like how it looks on various sizes.

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