mistakes choosing WordPress theme
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when creating a WordPress website, whether you’re starting your own blog or developing a digital base for your online business, is choosing the theme you’re going to use.
After all, the sheer number of themes out there is one of the main reasons why people choose to use the WordPress software in the first place, allowing you to have full control over your website and how it functions. That is; if you make the right choice.
While choosing a theme may seem like a breeze, there are plenty of mistakes too many people commonly make which end up costing them a lot of time and money; mistakes that could have been easily avoided.
Today, we’re going to explore seven of the most common mistakes people make while choosing their WordPress theme, ensuring you’re able to make the right decision the first time around.
1 – Lots of Essential Plugins Needed
A common specific used by a lot of WordPress themes, especially those with a lot of functionality, is the need for plugins. These could include all manner of features or functions to help you maximize the opportunities your website has. However, this doesn’t come without its fair share of problems.
Most often, these plugins can cause you a lot of headaches to install and get up and running, and if a plugin is discontinued, unsupported or bugged, you’ll be left with a theme you can no longer use. What’s more, lots of plugins installed on your website is guaranteed to slow it down, which won’t give your give users the best experience.
Instead, try to look for themes with minimal essential plugins, and then if you need a plugin for something, you can download and install it then.
2 -Not Aiming for Fast Loading Times
Hand in hand with the consideration above, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing a WordPress theme that’s designed for speed and won’t lag when it’s trying to load. While plugins are one element that can slow down a website, other elements such as visual effects and even the basic coding structure can bring things to a halt.
“When choosing a WordPress theme, it’s important to read reviews and look into the comments of how fast the theme will load to make sure it’s less than a couple of seconds when operating on a decent hosting plan. If the website isn’t faster than a few seconds, users will quickly go elsewhere” explains Harry Shapiro, a website admin for State of Writing and Ox Essays.
3 – A Lack of Support
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is choosing to use a theme and then build your entire website that lacks support. If the WordPress theme you’re using is no longer supported or doesn’t have an active community at the very least, this could leave you with some problems.
Most notably, if there’s a bug in the theme, or you encounter a fatal error that stops your website from loading or being accessible to your customers, there’s not a support team who can help you get back on track, so instead you’ll be left to figure it out yourself or start using a new theme completely.
To avoid all this from happening, simply choose a theme that is supported, or at least has a lot of FAQs and community support online to help you when/if you need it.
4 – Not Thinking About Branding
One of the most important aspects of building a website, WordPress or otherwise, is making sure you’re thinking about your branding and how you’re going to appear in the eyes of your customer. You then need to make sure you’re choosing a theme that’s going to fit this aesthetic.
“There are a lot of elements here to consider, which include the color schemes, the overall color palette, whether or not you’ve got space for your logo, and then you’ll need to think about the functionality of the theme to make sure you can easily change these elements to suit your business” explains Tom Peterson, a web developer for Academized and Big Assignments.
The importance of this point can never be overstated because as soon as people click on your website, you want them to know that they’re on your website, thus creating an image in their head of your brand that will stick with them for years to come.
5 – Not Allowing Enough Budget
It’s very tempting to try and save money when it comes to choosing your theme, simply because there’s so much money to be spent in this stage of starting or running your business. However, while there are plenty of free WordPress themes out there you may like, don’t be afraid to start browsing the premium filter.
“The theme of your website will be a defining fact when it comes to how your website looks, feels and operates, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re making the right choice, even if it costs a little extra. It’s a worthwhile investment” shares Melissa Graves, a tech lead for Paper Fellows and Australian Help.
6 – Choosing a Poor Font
Nowadays, there are many WordPress themes out there that come with a selection of fonts, or on most basic or starter WordPress packages, you’ll need to stick to these fonts. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re choosing a theme with a readable font that’s going to work well with the content you’re posting.
Of course, some handwritten fonts may be ideal if that’s the approach you’re taking when it comes to branding, but a lot of people will want a plain and simple font that’s easy to read and doesn’t get in the way.
7 – Not Choosing a Mobile-Friendly Theme
With over 50% of all internet traffic coming through and being processed by mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), the chances are half and a half that someone will be coming to your website through a mobile device.
With this in mind, if you’re not using a WordPress theme that’s designed for mobile devices, you’re going to give your users a bad experience, and they’ll simply go elsewhere. Always make sure you’re choosing a responsive theme that optimizes automatically for mobile devices to prevent this from being an issue.