Which WordPress theme are you using

The best WordPress themes at a glance: Which WordPress theme suits my website?

 

The requirements for a website can be very different depending on the context: A food blogger has different requirements for his website than a medium-sized company or a startup from the IT industry. In this article we want to investigate the question of which criteria must all be considered when choosing the right WordPress theme. We show you which WordPress theme is suitable for you and want to give you a glimpse into our opinion best WordPress themes give. We also give an overview of what a WordPress theme is and which functions it has to fulfill. The individual questions are marked with an importance: less important (+), important (++) and very important (+++).

Introduction: what is a WordPress theme?

Put simply, lays in WordPress theme the appearance and style of the website: colors, layout, control elements and an extended range of functions. Technically speaking, every theme has various PHP files, CSS files, localization files and Javascript files. In the folder structure, themes are always stored under / wp-content / themes /. After the WordPress installation, the standard themes twentyfifteen, twentysixteen and twentyseventeen can also be found here. In the WordPress backend you can select the themes under Design> Themes. Put simply, the best WordPress themes are usually those that are optimally tailored to the requirements of your company. This blog post should help you find out which WordPress theme is best for you.

Are the best WordPress themes free or paid?

Importance: ++

The first question you can ask yourself is whether you want to use a free or paid WP theme. For WordPress you can find a large selection of free themes, e.g. in the official WordPress theme directory. Depending on the requirements, a free WordPress theme can be sufficient. It should be noted, however, that free themes are usually rarely or not at all further developed. So it can happen that the theme is no longer or only partially functional after a WordPress update. Another important point that inexperienced users should be aware of is the origin of free themes. We recommend that you only download free themes from the official WordPress directory, otherwise you will expose yourself to WordPress security problems.

In addition to the free themes, there are also paid themes, so-called premium themes. These cost on average between € 20.00 - € 70.00 and promise not only more design options, a higher range of functions but also several months of support. For inexperienced users, paid themes are particularly suitable because of the update problem that has already been addressed. However, paid WordPress themes are not always the best WordPress themes. Depending on your requirements, free WordPress themes may also be best for you. For this reason, the next section is particularly important:

For what purpose is the WP theme required?

Importance: +++

Be aware of the purpose for which the theme will be used. This is the only way to find out which WordPress theme suits your website best. There are specialized themes for many purposes. For example, restaurant themes already have a menu function, real estate maker themes contain property management or food blogger themes integrate Instagram functions. Try to define the topic as concretely as possible and use search phrases such as:

  • Corporate theme / company theme
  • Restaurant theme
  • Real Estate Theme / Broker Theme
  • Nonprofit theme
  • E-Commerce Theme
  • Wedding Theme / Wedding Theme
  • Blog theme
  • Portfolio theme

Which functions should be included in the WordPress theme?

Importance: ++

This question is closely related to the purpose of the WordPress website. As a restaurant operator, the focus is on the menu and the presentation of the dishes. Blog operators need customizable sidebars and advanced comment functions. The best thing to do is to make a list of the functions that are required for your website and compare them with the theme. It is important to note that not all functions have to be covered directly by the theme. The functionality of the website can be expanded later using additional plugins. This gives you a good overview of which is the best WordPress theme for you.

Can I implement my corporate design with the WP theme?

Importance: +

In principle, this question can always be answered with yes. Due to the adaptability of WordPress, the color can be changed or the logos exchanged for each theme. Inexperienced users should, however, make sure that the WordPress theme has customization options in the backend: The colors can be freely defined for a wide variety of areas (e.g. navigation, banners, footers, etc.) using color pickers. The same applies to the choice of font, size and color. Experienced users can of course also edit the CSS files and thus adapt the individual appearance of the theme.

Does the WordPress theme have a high usability?

Importance: +++

The usability of a WordPress theme should play a central role in your decision-making. Ask yourself the following questions and compare them with the WP theme:

  • How is the navigation structured?
  • Has the search function been implemented well?
  • Does the theme have a clear structure?
  • For shop owners: How is the buying process structured?

Ease of use or usability has a great influence on how long a visitor will later stay on your website and whether, for example, he is going through a purchase process. It is best to test the most important functions directly on the demo theme. You should definitely take this into account when deciding which WordPress theme suits you best.

Is the WordPress theme optimized for mobile devices?

Importance: +++

One of the most important aspects when making a decision is the mobile suitability of the theme. Most website calls are made nowadays from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It would be fatal if the theme were only suitable for desktop display. The key word in this context is “responsive”. Responsive websites automatically adapt the content to the available width of the device. This ensures that all content is displayed optimally. Many premium providers already offer a preview for tablet and smartphone in the demo preview. If this function is missing, you can simply adjust your browser window to the desired width and see directly how the elements are arranged. Alternatively, you can also call up the demo preview directly on your smartphone or tablet.

Is the WP theme technically up to date?

Importance: ++

This question is difficult to answer for inexperienced users, as a certain technical understanding is required here. Experienced users should answer the following questions:

  • Is HTML5 defined in the Doctype?
  • How is the source code structured?
  • Is the theme W3C compliant?
  • Which Javascript libraries are used?
  • How much inline code is there?
  • Is the website loading in an iFrame?

Furthermore, further measures can be taken to analyze the technical status:

  • Analyze the demo theme in the W3C Validator. Enter the URL of the demo theme and click on the "Check" button. Now check how many warnings, errors and fatal errors are issued.
  • Open the developer tools of your browser (for Firefox and Chrome F12) and reload the URL of the demo theme. Now look in the console to see if Javascript errors have been detected or if 404 errors occur.

As a HostPress customer, the experienced HostPress customer support is at your side at all times and helps you to find out which is the best WordPress theme for you. Speaking of support:


Does the WordPress theme have good support?

Importance: ++

This question arises especially with premium themes. Take a look at the support forum and see what problems users have with the theme. In the next step, check whether and when the theme provider reacted to the problem and it was solved. Good online documentation with step-by-step instructions and videos for installing and configuring the theme is also included with good themes. Tip: Ask the theme provider for the online documentation before purchasing. From this you can not only see the exact scope of functions, but also see how complicated the installation and setup will be. This increases the chance that the quality of the provider of your WordPress theme is very high.

Is the WordPress theme performing well?

Importance: +++

The performance of a WordPress theme plays a big role in the question of which WordPress theme is best for you - also with regard to usability. Slow websites have a high bounce rate and are generally rated worse than fast websites by Google & Co. This is catastrophic for WordPress SEO. You have several options for checking the loading time, such as:

  • Google Pagespeed Insights
  • GTmetrix

Some of the most popular WordPress themes are so-called multi-purpose themes. In other words, themes that provide the right layout or functionality for several different contexts. These WP themes are often overloaded due to the lack of specialization. Experienced users should analyze the demo URL with the browser's developer tools and perform a network analysis. Load time, file size and number of requests should be checked here. A charging time of less than 3s should be aimed for as a guideline.

Final tips for less frustration

  • Check that the WordPress theme is updated at regular intervals
  • Read reviews and check out the criticisms of the theme
  • Do not be dazzled by beautiful optics
  • Clarify what is included in the scope of delivery (pictures, plugins, etc.)
  • Check the license model (per project, per domain, for 1 year)
  • Check the support period
  • If you have any questions, please contact support before purchasing

Conclusion: The all-purpose WordPress theme

Choosing the right WordPress theme for your website is not an easy process. The previous sections have shown that many questions have to be answered in order to find a suitable theme. The preparatory work that has been done pays off, however, as the subsequent development effort is minimized. Whichever theme you ultimately decide on, each theme should be individually adapted and offer a unique look. If you follow our tips, you will come a lot closer to your goal in finding the best WordPress theme.

Thank you for your interest!

Your HostPress team