No matter why you started your blog, one of the first things you’ve probably thought about is how to make your blog look good. That’s not vanity, it just makes good sense. Creating the best content on the web doesn’t matter if your site is hard to navigate, or just plain ugly. It’s helpful to find the best tips to select a blog theme so your readers stick around.
When people see a site that is attractive, they’re naturally going to pay more attention to what it says. It also adds to the credibility of your site, and readers and viewers are more likely to take you and your information seriously.
And since WordPress is the web’s most popular content management system, that’s where we will focus our attention.
Using a WordPress theme is the most effective way to make sure that your site is an attractive one. But with thousands of themes to choose from, where do you start?
Best Tips to Select a Blog Theme
Start with the reader
Who is the audience that you plan to target with your content? If you want to reach an older demographic, using “hip” or “cutting-edge” graphics and styles aren’t the way to go. If the people you want to reach are city-dwellers, using farm or country themes isn’t going to make any sense.
Should you pay for a theme?
You can quality free and paid themes on WordPress, and some free ones are as high-quality as the paid ones. But you’ll generally get things from a paid theme that free ones lack. Things like better manageability and professional support.
A responsive theme is key
These days nearly 60% of all internet traffic is on mobile phones, so making sure your WordPress is optimized for all devices is a must. Many WordPress themes have responsive designs and automatically adjust the layout to the screen size. But it’s important to double-check this.
Pick a theme you can customize
Even if you find a theme that has everything that you want, there may come a time you want to freshen it up a little. A customizable theme will allow you to play around with colors, fonts, logos, and other options.
Make sure the theme will work with plug-ins
WordPress offers tens of thousands of plug-ins that will enhance your site with cool and unique features. It seems obvious that WordPress plug-ins will generally work with WordPress themes, but occasionally there are restrictions.
Check the availability of support
Even if you are a WordPress pro, there may be a time when you need a little help above your pay grade. Most paid themes come with 6-12 months of free support, and free themes may or may not have a support option. It’s always good to know before you need it.
Look at ratings and reviews
With the sheer volume of sites and designers using WordPress, finding reviews is pretty easy. Reading through the reviews will let you know which ones have issues, and will also help you know what to look for in others.
Search Engine Optimization
The theme you choose will play a big part in your site’s overall digital presence, and good coding helps search crawlers understand and boost your site. Maybe you don’t understand coding, but know that fast-loading themes are better than slow ones. There are also WordPress SEO plugins that will help.
Theme updates are important
Be sure and choose a theme that is updated on a regular basis. WordPress software is constantly being updated for new features as well as security issues. If your theme is not eligible for these updates you could have major problems down the line. Find a theme that gets updates at least every 3 months and you should be in good shape.
Choose simple over flashy
Initially, you may be drawn to overly-stylish themes with lots of animations. Keep in mind that the more “stuff” a website has, the slower it will become. Start simple and customize the settings to find the right look for you and your audience.
With the above best tips to select a blog theme, you can’t go wrong. Also helpful is that one of the benefits of using WordPress is that due to its popularity, finding ideas and help is as easy as a quick Google search or checking the WordPress site itself.
When it comes to choosing a theme, just remember the basics. Start with the user and keep them top of mind when choosing a theme. Look around at other sites that target the same readers/viewers/customers and see what those sites have in common and put them into use on your site.
And any product that has more features has more opportunities for things to malfunction, and even if you are a coding expert that means more time and headaches down the line. Remember that simple is going to beat complicated every time.