The Importance of Picking The Right Theme For You

Anytime you’re building a new WordPress site, possibly the biggest choice you have to make, is which theme you’re going to use. I do want to mention that you can change your theme any time you want, but it’s important to get the right one, so you can then move onto the other important parts of your site. While it’s not necessary, a lot of people like to do this first, because the entire design of your site is usually based around your theme, so it can really serve as the foundation for the rest of your site.

Remember, most of the actual site design is determined by the theme you choose, so I’d recommend you take the time to choose the one that’s right for you. Since it’s so important, you don’t want to just toss anything up and move onto the next step. You should really take the time out to figure out what you need here.

Step #1: Figure Out What Your Design Needs Are

There are a lot of difference things you’ve got to consider when designing your site. First of all, what type of site is it? Are you just building it to design and split test landing pages for paid traffic? Are you designing it as a whole sales funnel and membership site, with a sales page, one time offer, etc? Or is it going to look like more of a professional, business type of site. Knowing the overall purpose for the site is important to figuring out type of theme you need.

I’ll say that not every theme works for every site, in fact, in most cases, just the opposite is true. Your typical “blog” theme isn’t going to work for a site dedicated to a law firm, and by the same token, a business site isn’t going to work for your blog. There are specific types of themes for each type of site, so figure out what you need, and look into themes designed for that purpose… don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole, is what I’m trying to say here.

Step #2: Decide Whether You Want a Free or Premium Theme

The next decision you have to make is if you want a free or premium theme. Generally, if a site is important to you, you’re going to want to pay a little extra to get your hands on a Premium theme. If you’re planning on building a bunch of smaller micro-niche blogs, for example, then it might make sense to get something that’s free. I want to mention though, that you can change your theme later if you want to, but sometimes it can be a pain to do, if the site’s already designed in a specific way. Still, choosing a free theme to start with, and then going for a premium theme afterwards is always an option I’d recommend you consider if money’s an issue for you.

Another thing to consider, is that while some themes can be had by only paying a one-time fee, and you’re all set, other themes have an annual fee. While the one-time fees might sound like a good deal on paper, sometimes, you can get a whole bunch of amazing premium themes for one low annual fee. Take this site, for example. It looks good, doesn’t it? I’m using the Divi theme from ElegantThemes. ElegantThemes offers an amazing package, where they give you access to over 86 Premium WordPress themes, and for as little as $69 per year. I’ve found it to be a fantastic bargain, so I definitely recommend you check them out for yourself. Great deals.

Step #3: Highly Customizable vs. Fixed Theme

If you’ve decided you’re definitely going to go with a free theme, then you can basically skip this step, because free themes are pretty much always fixed, not overly customizable (of course, you can customize them with custom code, like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, that’s just not what I’m saying here).

When I say a “customizable” theme, I mean a theme that can basically build nearly any theme you want from scratch. It’s almost like designing a website, and thus, it does take some extra time, but for some people, the level of customizability you get makes it worth it. These themes can be used to build nearly anything, and are basically site design tools within themselves.

Most of the time, you won’t need a highly customizable theme, and the issue with them, is that they take away a lot of the advantages you get from using a CMS like WordPress (such as the fast building time). However, if you’re building a very specific site, for a very specific reason, and you just can’t seem to find the perfect theme, this is an option you can consider. Personally, I’ve never had an issue finding the right theme in ElegantThemes, but I still thought I’d mention it as an option you can consider.

Step #4: Consider The Important Aspects Of Your Theme

You might choose a theme which looks good on paper, but, keep in mind, there’s more to a good theme than just how it looks, or how it completes your vision for how you wanted the site to be designed. For example, does your theme get consistently updated by its developers? I’d recommend you to make sure that it does, because if not, then sometimes this can cause you issues, for example, when WordPress inevitably releases an update, then you might have some problems with certain aspects of the theme becoming incompatible right afterward.

The other thing which you should look into, is if this theme offers good support. If you run into a theme-related issue, hiring a developer or coder to fix it for you can be extremely costly (believe me). If the theme developer offers some good support, then this a huge benefit, and for an important site, it’s something you won’t want to leave home without.

Step #5: Consider Your Theme’s Responsiveness

Nowadays, there are countless people who’re using all manner of smart devices. While computers still, and will likely continue to have important uses for the foreseeable future, it’s best to keep in mind how many people are using these devices, and that number’s growing each and every day.

That being said, you want a theme which is responsive to the device that someone’s using, otherwise, it’ll look “warped”, and it’ll be difficult to navigate through on certain devices, such as smartphones or tablets. This is especially true for sites you want to profit from. Always make sure the theme’s responsive.

Step #6: Installing Your WordPress Theme

Now, that you’ve chosen your WordPress theme, it’s now time to install and activate it. So, the first thing you’re going to want to do of course, is you’re going to want to download it to your computer. There are a few different ways to install a theme, but this is the easiest one by far. So, download it to your computer, and save it in a folder you’ll remember. It doesn’t matter which one you save it in, it only really matters that you remember where you put it. You can even save it on your desktop if you want to make it easy, as you won’t need to keep it in your computer for long, as we’re going to be uploading it to your WordPress site.

Once it’s there, you’re going to go into your WordPress dashboard, and click on the “Appearance” tab on the left. Once that’s done, we’re going to go onto “Themes”, and you should see the Theme section pop up right away. If you take a look at the top of the page, you’ll see there’s two new tabs; “Manage Themes”, and “Install Themes”. You’re going to want to click on the “Install Themes” tab (as the “Manage Themes” tab is up by default). Underneath that tab, you’ll see a few different clickable items, including, (but not limited to) Search, Upload, Features, Newest, etc. Next, click on “Upload”, as we’re uploading your new theme.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a “Choose File” button, click on that, then double click on your theme (wherever you might have saved it). Once you’ve done that, then simply click “Install Now”, to install it to your blog. Now, once that’s finished, go back to the “Manage Themes” tab, and you should see the new theme listed right there. Underneath your new theme, you’ll see the word “Activate”, and you’re going to want to click on that. Once that’s done, your new theme’s been uploaded, and activated on your website, so just go to your domain, and you’ll no doubt see the new theme displayed there in all its glory. It’s really a simple process once you get the hang of it.

That’s about it. I hope this helped, and good luck with choosing your next WordPress theme!

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