We all know that developing a website using WordPress is pretty easy and also it’s a fun to learn website development using WordPress. But in order to get a secured and bug-free WordPress website, it’s very important to take care of few essential points.
The most important asset of a WordPress website is the collection of its plugins and active theme.
In this blog post, we are going to talk a bit about WordPress themes.
Although there are thousands of free and paid themes available which you can download and use for your website, before choosing an appropriate one, you must take precautions and follow necessary guidelines.
What is the need to be careful while selecting a WordPress Theme?
While WordPress offers an easy way to install & activate any theme and change the look of a website, yet there could be several themes that are not considered as trustworthy because they could slow down your website or may have bad coding structure or may not be mobile responsive.
Therefore, before you choose any Theme for your WordPress website, make sure to follow below list of tips.
#1 Check For Responsiveness
There is no need to mention the importance of having a responsive website in 2017 however there are still many WordPress themes that are not fully responsive.
How to make sure that a WordPress theme is responsive or not?
Well, there are several online tools available which you can use and check the responsiveness of any theme. For eg. Google’s Mobile Friendly Test
Open the above mentioned link and place the URL of theme’s demo page and check the result. Keep trying until you get one that pass through this test.
#2 Check Code Validation
Another check which you need to pass through is code validation. Yes, you must check whether the theme that you are going to install on your WordPress website has standard codes or not. Its not that scary as it sounds to be. There are several tools available for you to test with.
The code validation test is good not only for the website performance, but its also helpful in SEO. Yes, search engines like Google prefer those websites for ranking that have standard coding structure.
One of the best online tool available is from W3C Validator. One important thing to note is that W3C validation results could show some bugs that may not need to pay much attention or to get worried about.
#3 Check Browser Compatibility
You never know from which browser your visitors may come to your website. It is therefore, very essential to have a website design that’s compatible with all the major browsers. Before choosing a theme for your WordPress website, make sure to test it through different browsers.
If you find that a theme looks nice on Chrome and Firefox but looks weird on Internet Explorer, consider choosing another theme because Internet Explorer is used widely worldwide. If you don’t choose a theme that’s compatible with a browser like Internet Explorer, you may miss out a huge percentage of your online traffic.
#4 Check Ratings & Reviews
Instead of suffering and learning from your own experience, its better to learn from others. Every WordPress theme has ratings and reviews posted by its existing users (if its already used by many webmasters/developers). You can rely on them.
Although there is no specific number or percentage of ratings that could be considered as ideal for any theme, but you must check the overall ratings and reviews. You can also filter on the basis of stars given to each theme. For eg. if you want to choose the best theme, you may filter them by selecting 5 Stars. Also do make sure to read what other people have to say about that theme.
#5 Theme Support
When you choose to buy a paid WordPress theme, you don’t need to worry about the support because its always included in the package. However, in case of free themes, it may be sometimes difficult for you to get free support. While most of the developers who provide free themes don’t provide support, there are still few great developers who are quite prompt to resolve your queries or problems.
Again, you can refer to the reviews posted by a theme’s current users and learn from their experience.
#6 Supported Plugins
As we know that the set of plugins of any WordPress website is considered as its backbone, you must make sure that your chosen WordPress theme supports all the popular plugins.
While there are plenty of WordPress plugins, some are must-have WordPress plugins for every websites. Like Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, etc.
You can ask the theme developer if you are not sure about it.
While its true that not all free things are good, but through a careful selection process, you can definitely get a freebie with superior quality. Same applies to a WordPress theme too. If you invest some time on finding a best theme for your WordPress website as explained above, I am sure you can definitely find a high-quality theme.