Choosing the Right WordPress Theme in 2022 can be a difficult task, especially if you’re a beginner.
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, and it is really hard to choose one that fits your needs.
In this article, we will share the 10 best tips to selecting the right WordPress theme for your site.
Let’s take a look at some factors you should consider while selecting a WordPress theme.
1) Is the theme mobile-friendly?
Mobile visitors are the majority of users in most countries. In some, the percentage of mobile visitors is less than 50%. But, in most countries, it’s more than half.
If your WordPress website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re hurting your search engine rankings and alienating a huge part of your potential audience.
It’s an important aspect to check whether your WordPress theme is mobile friendly or not. You can do this by using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Don’t forget to test your theme on different mobile devices. The easiest way to do this is with a tool like Device Mode in Chrome DevTools.
But if you want to test the responsiveness of your theme design, we recommend you to use a free tool called Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Google Chrome DevTools
- To test your website, simply follow these steps:
- Open your website in a browser (i.e., Chrome, Firefox, etc.).
- Right click anywhere on the page and click on Inspect.
- Now click on the Toggle Device Toolbar icon.
Test Online via Google Mobile-Friendly Test
- Open this URL: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- Copy Past your Website’s URL
- Click on “Test Run”
This will give you a responsive design view of your website in different screen sizes.
2) What type of support is available?
No matter which theme you choose, you will most certainly get access to the documentation and tutorials on how to use it. However, there are four levels of support that you can receive when purchasing a WordPress theme:
1. What is Free support only – this is usually provided by the community, and it means that the author has no obligation to support your theme. If they do reply, don’t expect miracles nor fast response, as they do not have any legal obligations towards you. If you encounter an issue with the theme, then you have to search through user forums or create a topic yourself, wait for someone to reply and hope that they can help you to fix your problem.
- What is paid support – this is the best solution for those who want their issues solved on time and accurately. When you buy a WordPress theme with paid support, you pay a small fee for each ticket that you submit and expect to get a reply from within 24 hours (typically much sooner). This kind of support option is great if you don’t have much experience with WordPress and need help from an expert in setting up your website, or if you are facing some technical problem that requires fixing by the theme developer.
There is two type of theme support:
- 1. Lifetime theme support: This means that you’ll receive support for a lifetime. Your questions will be answered till the theme is active and functional.
- 2. Limited Time Theme Support: Some WordPress themes offer 6 months or 1 year of support, after which you have to pay in order to keep receiving the customer support service.
Always go for themes that offer lifetime updates and customer support.
3) Is it SEO-friendly?
Before buying any WordPress theme, you must check that the theme is SEO-friendly or not.
SEO friendly WordPress theme does not mean that you will get tons of traffic for sure. Still, it plays an important role in WordPress Search Engine Optimization.
By using an SEO optimized WordPress theme, you can reduce lots of efforts to make your site search engine friendly.
A well-designed website or blog is a big plus, but you need to make sure your WordPress theme is SEO friendly as well. Otherwise, you will struggle to gain traffic and rank high in search engines. Doing a Google search for “SEO-friendly WordPress themes” will give you lots of results. The problem is that most of these sites are selling the idea of SEO-friendly themes.
Below are some questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a SEO-Friendly theme for your site:
- Is my theme responsive?
- Is my theme fast?
- Does my theme use clean code?
- Does my theme block important pages from being indexed?
- Does my theme allow me to customize important SEO elements?
- Does my theme support rich snippets?
4) Is it compatible with page builders?
A page builder is a tool that lets you create custom page layouts for your website. It’s also called a “drag & drop interface,” because you literally drag content elements from one place and drop them into your page layout.
Page builders are quite popular, but they’re not suitable for every type of WordPress theme. That’s why it’s important to check if your WordPress theme is compatible with page builders.
Some themes are built specifically for a certain page builder, such as Divi Builder, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Thrive Architect, Brizy and others. However, most themes are not built for a specific page builder. They’re just created in a way that makes it easy to use any page builder with them.
You might be wondering if this is even necessary — why can’t you just use any theme with any page builder? The issue is that most themes have their own way of structuring the various parts of your pages (headers, footers, blog posts and so on). That structure is usually based on the theme template hierarchy and the way the theme developer has coded the templates.
A lot of themes don’t follow this principle – they’re using their own layout system, which doesn’t work well with page builders (or doesn’t work at all).
5) Does it support WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce platform for WordPress users. As a result, there are a ton of themes that support it. All you have to do is search for “WooCommerce compatible” or “WooCommerce” on any theme marketplace, and you will get thousands of results.
But you can save yourself some time by using this simple trick. There are two ways to find WooCommerce compatible themes:
- Look at the theme’s homepage: Most theme marketplaces list if a theme supports WooCommerce on its homepage.
- Use search filters: Theme marketplaces also let you filter themes based on specific features. This is a great way to save time when looking for a specific type of theme.
6) How easy is it to customize?
With a customizable WordPress theme, you get the chance to make your website unique. You can be flexible with the changes that you want to make to your site without having to deal with the code directly. This means that you don’t have to know how to code before you can start making tweaks to your theme.
You will also be able to make changes on the fly, which means that if you feel like there is something missing from your site or you want a particular feature added, all it takes is a few clicks, and you are done.
However, even though there are plenty of themes out there that promise customizability, not all of them live up to their promises. This is why it’s important for you to check exactly how easy it is for you to make changes to your theme before buying it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself
- What is the level of support like? Does it come from the developer, or from a community?
- Is there documentation included with the theme? Does it have video tutorials?
- Does the theme have customizable options in the WordPress customizer? If so, what do they allow you to change?
- Does the theme include any widgets or extra functionality that you need?
However, if you’re a complete beginner to WordPress and want to set up your own website, then that can be a bit easier than you think. The thing is, with WordPress, there are no limitations on what you can do.
7) Is there a demo?
Demo is a live preview of the theme, you will get a feel of the theme and its functionality before you go ahead and purchase it. Almost all popular WordPress theme sellers offer demo. Demo gives you a good idea about how your website would look like after applying the theme.
How to install a demo?
In most of the themes available at stores, have included a dummy data file in the main zip package of the theme. You can find it in the Theme Package > Dummy Content folder. Please check this video tutorial to learn more about installing dummy content.
8) Consider speed, security, and updates.
When you’re choosing a theme, consider speed, security and updates.
Since its inception, WordPress has been continually iterating to improve the platform and allow developers to build more robust and powerful sites. But that growth has come at a cost — namely, theme developers have had to keep up with the changes.
In many cases, they’ve fallen short of that goal, which is why you should always consider three important aspects of a theme before making your purchase:
- Speed: Faster websites have higher conversion rates and better search engine rankings. They also have lower bounce rates (when visitors leave your website after viewing only one page).
- Security: While it’s not common, some WordPress themes are vulnerable to hackers or malware attacks. These attacks can affect the appearance and performance of your website.
- Updates: If you find a theme you love, but it hasn’t been updated recently, move on. Outdated themes are more vulnerable to hackers and malware attacks.
A fast-loading site that’s kept up-to-date is much better than one that loads slowly or has security issues (which can harm your SEO efforts).
9) Check the reviews.
The reviews are the most important thing to check before buying a theme. There are two things you must ensure:
- The first is that the developers are actually responding to the issues raised by buyers in the comments. If they haven’t been doing this recently, there’s a chance that support for the theme will be cut off in future.
- The second is to take note of any issues raised by reviewers, especially if they’re repeated by multiple people. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it could be an indication that there’s something wrong with the theme.
While it’s not unheard of for developers to make up reviews (and some do), they’re generally honest and can give you an idea of how likely you are to run into issues with the theme.
10) Test drive before you buy.
Before you buy a theme, always test drive it first. Some sellers allow you to do this by installing the theme on their server. Others provide a link where you can check it out live.
This is your opportunity to see how the theme looks and acts. Examine every feature, check out all the layouts, and take note of any bugs or unexpected behavior.
All in all, in choosing the right WordPress theme, you should pay attention to the details. Ask yourself if you need a feature that is offered by certain theme and make sure it functions well. Think about your internal resources and what you have already used for other websites. It is generally easier to choose a premium theme or one from Themeforest marketplace. You can also check out some free themes from websites dedicated only to free themes. Considering the current web content trends, I think it’s going to be fairly easy for you to choose the right WordPress theme in 2022!