As a new domain owner, I recently went through a long struggle to find the perfect theme for my new website. Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran with WordPress, you know that the layout of your website is extremely important. Although the content is what will ultimately make your website sink or swim, the look of the website is the most fun. When picking out a theme, you want to have a fairly clear vision of what you’re looking for:
- Do you want a magazine style layout, or more of a blog layout?
- Do you want to display a lot of pictures on the homepage of your website?
- Do you like the simplistic look, or are you looking to really fill the page?
- Do you want a layout that is easy to use, or are you willing to do a little bit of coding and creation on your own?
- What features are an absolute must in your theme?
- Are you willing to spend money on a theme, or would you prefer something free?
As important as it may be to know what you want in a theme, I discovered that it is just important to be open minded. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted in a WordPress theme, but as the researching began, so did the questioning. Because there are so many free WordPress themes, it can be incredibly overwhelming. You start to think that maybe you don’t know what you want anymore.
There were three pieces of advice I was given to try and make this process easier:
Finding a Theme is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
- Find Three – When you find three themes that you like, stop looking. If you think that you have a general idea of the style you’re looking for, then stick with that style and wait until you see three you like. There will always be the temptation to keep moving, but you have to stop at some point!
- Outside Research – Do not just scroll through the WordPress.org directory of themes. It’s a good idea to check out some of the “best” lists to determine which themes are really working for people. Make sure you read the comments to really get a feel for the theme you’re interested in buying or uploading.
- Get Involved – Talk with other website owners about their experiences with certain themes. Although most website owners are not fond of someone asking which theme they exactly use, it’s completely okay to ask someone about their feelings on a certain style or feature.
How did you decide what WordPress theme was right for your website? Did it take you a long time to decide, or did you find something quickly?
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to credit card processing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including background checks to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.