One of the best things about WordPress is its openness and flexibility that have invited thousands of skilled designers to create awesome themes for the platform. This is one of WordPress’s benefits compared to other major open-source CMS platforms like Joomla and Drupal. The huge availability of both free and premium themes for WordPress makes it a challenge to find the suited theme for your building site. It can be time-consuming and difficult to find the right WordPress Gallery themes for a blog, website, webshop, etc.
A good place to start is to decide if you are willing to pay for the theme. In some cases, this pays off long-term when you need support. E.g., when WordPress needs to be upgraded. If you have a little bit of design experience, it is recommended to find a good theme and make some changes yourself. This model works for free and premium themes and is a cheap way to get a unique design for your blog or website. From what I have learned over time, I believe the following steps are worth thinking through before picking a theme:
1. Does the theme have the flexibility you need? Flexibility is key when you start up a new site with gallery style and when needs change over time. Normally the theme must come with a genuine “Options page.” Having a theme with a powerful options page will keep you from digging into the code for just doing simple changes everyone has to do. A theme with shortcodes, page templates (gallery and portfolio is important), and multiple color schemes also keep you from coding in most cases. As you can understand, it simply opens up possibilities and allows you to create a unique online presence.
2. How will the website or blog’s design affect your success? For a personal blog or website having a branded look is probably not that important. Again a free theme will do just fine. Websites or blogs created for a company are different and really need to stand out. Keep in mind that the look and feel of your website are critical for building your online brand.
3. Is the template you consider used by many other websites? It is worth noting that thousands of blogs use several of the more popular free themes. Logically this makes it more difficult to stand out, but occasionally it also has benefits. Some of the most used themes (especially premium themes) are supported well, and if you have a problem, it can be easier to find assistance.
4. Is the theme SEO-friendly? When choosing amongst free themes, you have no guarantees! Rating the SEO capabilities of a WordPress theme isn’t simple unless you already have the files and have good SEO, PHP, and HTML skills fairly well! If this is the case, you should choose a premium theme from one of the leading theme vendors, or if you want a free theme to pick one of the large and popular ones
5. Making money from a site is indeed times great opportunity, but is this your goal for this website? In this case, it is a good idea to go for a premium theme. They are usually implemented on mature frameworks and comes with support that can be critical when WordPress needs to be upgraded. If not, a free theme should do but consider a free theme from a premium vendor. The good thing about WordPress is that you can change the theme later.
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6. How does the theme match your company style, logo, and your customers? Free themes do not always work well when a logo is added to the header, even though everything else about it is perfect. Keep this in mind and select the theme to match your logo, making sure that style, colors, etc., fit together.
7. Will the theme support widgets? With widgets added to the right locations in your theme, it is straightforward to add and manage non-post and page content like sidebar, footers, etc. I recommend you look for themes with many widget zones as you will need the flexibility sooner or later.
8. Is support available? Support is critical if you are not a technical genius yourself. Any upgrade of WordPress may require updates in the theme, and trust me – keeping WordPress updated is so important for security reasons. In some cases, advanced and even simple things break, and support is important to keep your site safe! Most of the larger premium theme vendors provide high-quality support and have a strong forum and community. As a rule of thumb, free themes do not have any support, and there is no guarantee it will be maintained. If you think you might need support somewhere down the road, consider this. If you are familiar with themes and feel comfortable solving your own problems, don’t worry about support.
9. Is the theme prepared for monetization? If you have any thoughts or intentions of monetizing your website or blog, you should consider this when choosing a theme. If it is part of the strategy, adding ads to a theme is simple for a web developer, but the theme must come with an ad management solution for most people. Themes with a building ad management solution have also been prepared for it in the design.
10. Does the code validate? Having a website that validates is highly recommended, but most people don’t know about this. Valid code, e.g., that follows the HTML specification will give you the best chance of giving your visitors a problem-free visit. While users may not notice validation errors, I can assure you that search engines will.
While it is impossible to know the exact impact on search engine rankings, coding errors will not help you rank better. In fact, recently, Google updates to their ranking logic mean that they consider a lot more factors than earlier.