One of the first things that a business owner does on starting a business is to set up a professional website for his enterprise. Websites help in ensuring that potential customers can get all the information that they need about the products and offerings of a particular venture.
After the scramble for the perfect domain name is over and the selection of a good website hosting service is done, it is time to select a suitable website building platform for building the website and for managing the content.
WordPress is currently the most popular website building platform (also known as Content Management System) and is used by more than half of the websites on the Internet. The reason for this can be attributed to the fact that it is the most beginner-friendly website building platform in comparison to other platforms such as Drupal and Joomla.
If you have decided to use WordPress for building your website, the next step is to choose the perfect theme for your website. A theme is a design template that determines how a website looks. With so many WordPress themes on offer, it is easy to end up taking the wrong decision if enough thought and consideration is not given to the selection process.
The following are some criteria to be considered as you select the perfect WordPress theme for your website:
- Content is King! – The purpose of the website and the content to be displayed on the website should be defined before getting down to theme selection. Create a detailed plan which outlines what each page of the website should contain. Once the content has been decided, then proceed to theme selection.
- Attractive with a Simple and Intuitive design – The design layout of the theme should be attractive and at the same time it should be simple. The users of the website should be able to easily find the information that they need.
- Responsive Design – A responsive theme will adjust its layout based on the screen size and resolution.The chosen theme should have a responsive design that works well both on website and mobile. It needs to be tested on several devices to ensure that the theme is seamlessly displayed and loads very fast.
- Cross Browser Compatibility– The website that you create should have cross browser compatibility which is the ability of the theme to be supported on all web browsers. Check that the theme displays correctly on different browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc. This test should be extended to different browsers on mobile also.
- Good Ratings and Reviews – Good customer reviews and ratings can help you separate the wheat from the chaff, thus narrowing down on the best themes that will suit your needs and specifications.
- Supported Plugins– Plugins make it possible for you to do anything with your WordPress site. For example a social sharing plugin can help tell the world about your website via various social networks ! You should ensure that the selected theme supports all the popular plugins, such Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, WPForms, etc.
- Documentation and Support– Most premium WordPress themes offer detailed documentation with 1 year of email based support whereas free WordPress themes do not come with guaranteed support and updates. However, it should not be assumed that a premium theme is always better than a free theme. It is also crucial to look for a theme that will be updated to maintain compatibility with the latest version of WordPress, since the WordPress software gets updated on a regular basis.
- SEO Optimization– While selecting the theme, make sure that the theme’s code is clean. A good-looking theme can still generate poorly coded HTML which could affect your site’s performance on search engines. Efficient code will keep the file sizes down, and help the website to load quickly. Search engines look upon this favourably, since site speed is a ranking criteria for search engines.