When it comes to building a website on WordPress, choosing a theme is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. A theme determines the overall design and layout of your site, and can have a big impact on its functionality and user experience.
While there are thousands of free and low-cost themes available, many users opt for a premium WordPress theme for its added features and customization options. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors to consider when choosing a premium WordPress theme for your website.
Free vs Premium WordPress themes
Free and premium WordPress themes both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Free themes are a great option for those on a tight budget or just starting out with a new website. They can be easily downloaded and installed from the WordPress repository, and they often come with basic design and layout options. However, free themes may have limited customization options, and they may not have the same level of support and updates as premium themes.
Premium themes, on the other hand, typically offer a wider range of features and customization options. They are designed and developed by professional premium WordPress theme designers and developers, which means they are often more polished and have a higher level of attention to detail. They also often include more advanced features such as e-commerce integration and responsive design. Additionally, premium themes typically come with support from the theme developer, which can be helpful when running into issues or needing assistance with customization.
Ultimately, the choice between a free and premium theme will depend on the specific needs of your website and the level of control and flexibility you require.
Modern Design with Appealing Aesthetics
When picking a theme for your website, remember that it’s something that you’ll likely be using for an extended period. This allows visitors to become familiar with it and easily consume content. Therefore, it’s important to choose a theme that looks attractive and can be used for a long time without needing too many changes.
The key elements of a well-designed website are a suitable color combination, stunning typography, a simple layout, and high-quality images. These elements come together seamlessly and cohesively to attract visitors and help achieve your professional goals.
Most premium themes offer built-in font selection tools and unlimited color options, so make sure that the default typography in your theme of choice is top-notch. Some premium themes, like Astra, also offer a wide range of customization options, allowing you to edit the appearance of your blogs, sidebars, headers, and footers.
When evaluating a theme, don’t just focus on the homepage, be sure to explore other parts of the theme demo. For example, if you’re creating a portfolio website, take a look at the theme’s portfolio demo. And if you plan to include testimonials, check out how they appear in the theme demo.
Lastly, make sure that there are multiple page layouts and templates available, and that the blog, single pages, posts, and homepage all maintain the same visual appeal and consistency.
Speed and Coding Quality
The theme should be fast-loading and well-coded to ensure optimal performance and security.
- Speed: A fast-loading theme is important because it ensures that your website loads quickly for visitors. This can improve the user experience, reduce bounce rates, and increase conversions.
- Coding Quality: The theme should be well-coded and written according to the latest WordPress coding standards. This will ensure that it runs smoothly, is compatible with the latest WordPress version, and is less likely to have security vulnerabilities.
- Good coding practices are also important for search engine optimization (SEO) as search engines consider page load speed as a ranking factor.
- A theme that is well-coded and follows best practices will also make it easier to troubleshoot and make customizations in the future.
- It is also important to check if the theme is following the guidelines of WordPress theme review process, as this will ensure that it is up-to-date with the best practices and standards.
So, when you are choosing a theme, make sure to check the loading speed and validate the code quality by viewing the source code and checking for any errors. Also, check if the theme has passed the WordPress theme review process, as this will ensure that it meets the latest coding standards and best practices.
Features vs Presentation
The main difference between premium WordPress themes and plugins is that themes control the appearance and design of your website while plugins add functionality and features.
However, in the competitive market of premium WordPress themes, some theme designers have started to include additional plugin-like features in their themes to make them more appealing to users.
Why is this viewed as poor behavior?
When a WordPress theme starts to include functionality that is typically found in plugins, it can make it more difficult to switch to a new theme. For example, if a theme adds custom post types, switching to a new theme would cause those post types to disappear from the admin menu. Additionally, shortcodes that were created by the theme would no longer work.
On the other hand, Some premium WordPress themes are designed specifically for specific niches, such as real estate or hospitality, and these themes can be incredibly useful. However, if you use one of these themes, it’s important to be aware that switching to a new theme, later on, might be challenging because the new theme may not have the same built-in functionality.
The reputation of the Developer
The theme should be from a reputable developer and have positive reviews from other users.
When choosing a theme, it’s important to consider the reputation of the developer. A reputable developer will have a track record of creating high-quality themes that are well-coded, regularly updated, and supported. They will also have a good reputation in the WordPress community and be known for providing good customer service.
To check the reputation of the developer, you can research them online, look at their portfolio, and read reviews from other users. Some good ways to find this information are looking at the WordPress.org theme repository, other WordPress-related websites or forums, or even searching for the developer on social media platforms.
It’s also important to check for the number of active installations and the ratings of the theme on the WordPress repository. This will give you an idea of how popular the theme is and how well it has been received by other users.
Another way to check the reputation is by seeing if the developer has a dedicated support forum or dedicated support team, this will ensure that you will have someone to help you if you have any issues with the theme.
In summary, taking the time to research the developer and read reviews from other users can help you make an informed decision and choose a theme that is well-coded, regularly updated, and supported by a reputable developer.
Performance and Security
When choosing a premium WordPress theme, it’s important to not just focus on the design and features but also pay attention to the theme’s speed and coding quality. Some theme developers may use shortcuts that could compromise the security of your website in order to attract more customers, which could lead to performance and speed issues.
However, many new WordPress users may not have the technical knowledge to understand the code, so how can they ensure that the coding in a premium theme is well-written?
One way is to only purchase premium themes from reputable and well-known theme stores such as Astra Theme, Elegant Themes, Beaver Builder, Themify, StudioPress, and Artisan Themes.
Another way is to do research and look for reviews and customer testimonials of the theme or developer. Check if any popular blogs or websites use their themes. Additionally, look at the theme shop’s testimonials page or conduct a Google search of the company. Reviews and ratings for each theme can also be found on the WordPress.org website.
Check for Compatibility
When searching for a premium WordPress theme, it’s important to have a clear idea of the features you need. Before you start looking for a theme, create a list of all the features you require. This can include things like:
- E-commerce support
- Translation readiness for non-English websites
- Support for BuddyPress or bbPress
- Mobile responsiveness
- Compatibility with any additional plugins you may use
- Built-in templates and support for popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads
Additionally, if the theme you want is not available in your language, ask the developer if a translation is in the works. This will help ensure that your investment is going towards a theme that meets your specific needs.
Select a Custom Theme
Creating high-quality websites with the help of a suitable premium WordPress theme is relatively easy, but there may still be some limitations to what you can customize. Developing a unique premium WordPress theme can provide more control and flexibility over the design and layout of your website, but it can come at a cost depending on the number of features and customization options you need.
An alternative solution is to use a website builder like SeedProd. It offers a wide range of pre-built designs, and its drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to customize various aspects of your theme. With SeedProd, you can add elements such as photos, buttons, text, videos, settings, contact forms, and more, using both basic and complex blocks provided by the plugin. It’s a simpler and more cost-effective way to create a custom theme for your website.
Support and Updates
The theme should come with support and regular updates to ensure that it remains compatible with the latest WordPress version and your website runs smoothly.
When choosing a theme, it’s important to consider the level of support and updates that come with it. A good theme should come with regular updates to ensure that it remains compatible with the latest version of WordPress and that any bugs or security vulnerabilities are fixed. It should also be supported by the developer, meaning that you can reach out to them for help if you run into any issues.
When it comes to support, a good theme developer should provide a support forum, a documentation page or a support team that can help you with any questions or issues you may have. They should also be responsive and helpful in their support and should have a good track record of addressing issues in a timely manner.
Additionally, it’s important to check if the theme is compatible with the latest version of WordPress, this will ensure that it is up-to-date and secure. It’s also good to check if the theme has a changelog, this will give you an idea of the updates and bug fixes that have been made over time.
Choosing a theme that comes with regular updates and good support can help ensure that your website runs smoothly and remains compatible with the latest version of WordPress. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that you have a dedicated support team or developer that can help you with any issues you may encounter.
In summary, choosing a theme for your WordPress website is a crucial decision that will impact the overall design, layout, functionality, and user experience of your site. While there are a plethora of free and low-cost options available, many users opt for a premium theme for its additional features and customization options.
In this guide, we’ve discussed some of the key factors to consider when selecting a premium WordPress theme such as design, aesthetics, speed and sound coding, features, and the reputation of the theme developer. By taking the time to carefully evaluate your options and choose a theme that meets your specific needs, you can ensure that your website looks professional, is user-friendly and can help you achieve your business goals.