Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Essential Elements Of A ‘Good WordPress Theme’

Image result for wordpress themes
WordPress, an open source CMS (content management system) project, was started in 2003 with the aim to enhance the general typography of everyday writing. There were only a few users back then, but heavens know when the WordPress community gradually grew into millions! There are so many users making websites, blogs and reading websites, blogs out of WordPress without having to pay a license fee.

There is no doubt that bloggers think of WordPress when it comes to resorting to a standard, stable and powerful platform. But, starting with WordPress, especially themes and plugins can be overwhelming. If you’re new and consider yourself not that geeky, this is sure the first thought that crosses your mind. Sometimes even the most experienced set of WordPress users have a hard time selecting the right theme. And why not, there are so many free and paid options to choose from. So, how do you classify something into a good theme just right for your purpose?

Simple equals good
Because WordPress is so versatile and used by many users, it is, but obvious that it caters to all kinds of businesses and needs – personal or corporate level. It is one thing to marvel at the colors, themes, animations, and layouts; but ask yourself if they really suit your purpose. The only thing you should be concerned about is the desired usability is not compromised because of a flashy or complex theme. Lots of themes also come with customizable options that allow personalizing the site as per your taste and needs.

How much would you like to pay?
“If something comes with a handsome price, it is more efficient and useful”. This is a normal human tendency. But, not necessarily true. WordPress free themes are just as golden as paid ones. Hey, we’re not against buying them, but if you are a beginner, why not start out with something that is simpler, needs lesser support and details? Premium themes are good when you’re looking for many customization options and better site security.

Browser Compatibility is not a choice
Users browse on various browsers. A theme may look perfect on one browser but may be broken on another. Browser Compatibility test is a must because if your content breaks and does not look sophisticated, you will lose site visits. For starters, run a basic test on various browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.

Is it device responsive?
We don’t need statistics to prove the point that people browse websites and blogs via their phones and tablets. Hence, responsiveness is not an option. This implies that the layout should acclimatize to different sizes of screens. More features cost more time to load and less responsiveness. While most WordPress themes are mobile friendly, there are some that offer a fixed layout theme. The easiest way to do this is by resizing your browser or checking on handheld devices. If the layout doesn’t change, it’s not responsive. Check before you select such themes.

Is it SEO ready?
SEO is the essence of popularity and code for a robust website. A theme is as good as its code. When looking for a theme, that which is optimized for SEO (SEO plugins and HTML tags) is a worthy contender. Most themes look amazing but aren’t necessarily coded well. One way to validate SEO optimization is by checking a theme manually or using MozBar of Chrome or a free markup validation service available online.

Security, not fashion
It is important how good the site/blog looks. However, it is highly likely that the theme is not hack-free. Most people overlook the security aspect and instead focus more on the website look-and-feel. One of best ways to opt for safer themes is by reading customer reviews and ratings. Also paid themes which are available for free are honeypots by hackers and often contain malicious code.

Customer Support
Well, you may be really lucky if you pick a theme that has excellent support from the developers. But if there isn’t adequate support provided and you mess up with it, you may have to figure it out on your own. To avoid paying to a third party developer to fix tiny to large problems, ensure that there are detailed documentation and support to a theme before its chosen.

WordPress’s real power comes with plugins. Plugins enable the use of features like calendars, maps, slideshows, shortcodes and many advanced features. So, ideally, plugins can make anything possible! Thus, it is important to have a theme that supports plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast, BackUpBuddy, W3 Total Cache. Also, social media plugins are of utmost importance to today’s date. It is definitely helpful to have built-in widgets and integrations for sharing your posts and leading people to your own social pages.

Did you check the Translation Readiness for intended demographics?
Before you settle down for a WordPress theme, ensure that it is translation ready if it is what you need. Most WordPress themes aren’t multilingual ready; some aren’t even in the English language. So look before you leap. Future readiness is also always important.

Because of its robust features, many top brands like Time Magazine, CNN, eBay, Disney, LinkedIn, Sony and so many more power their websites using WordPress platform. A Good theme can help you go a long way. Once you choose the right theme, you will be surprised at how professional looking your website or blogs turns out.

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