Looking For A New WordPress Theme For Your Website?
Don’t Overlook These 5 Details.
WordPress themes are a dime a dozen.
There are so many options out there.
How on earth are you supposed to pick one?!
There’s free & premium. There’s fancy & plain. There’s bright & bold.
Often I see bloggers & business owners looking on Themeforest for a theme.
I mean….obvious choice right? It has “theme” right in the name.
Themeforest is fantastic when you’re ballin’ on a budget.
They offer ready-made themes, where all you have to do is purchase, download & then upload those files to your WordPress dashboard.
Well, yes & no.
Before you get into the details of a theme, you need to narrow down your market.
First, I would suggest figuring out WHAT you need your website to do.
Are you selling things?
Are you mostly blogging?
Are you a business?
Are you a combination of all 3?!
(Answering that question can help narrow down your choice a little bit)
When we’re theme browsing 3 things seem to grab our attention first:
Cost, Design & Features.
We click on an option, view the demo & are ultimately looking for a theme that fits into our budget, looks nice & has all of the functionality we think we need.
That’s why Themeforest is such a common marketplace, it has a large variety of themes (And by large variety I mean….like a million options) so it gives you the potential of finding your perfect combination, without forking over a ton of money for a custom design. (But, if you want a custom design, holler at me…..that’s kinda like….what I do! Shoot me an e-mail!)
OKAY OKAY, here’s where the problem starts: Not all themes are made equal. There are no strict theme standards for developers to abide by when creating a theme, this can cause bad-practice to leak on innnnn. Therefore, you risk the chance of purchasing a theme that causes more problems then solutions. What a headache!
Here’s a list of 5 details to pay attention to when you’re browsing themes on Themeforest:
#1 – Updates:
When was the theme created? When was it updated? Is it compatible with the current version of WordPress? When you click on a specific theme, this information can be found in the gray box to the right, that looks like this:
Keep in mind, buying an older theme isn’t a bad thing, the most important is the updates. Is the developer adding new features regularly? Are they fixing coding bugs? The internet is forever changing and updates are necessary for keeping up with standards & security.
#2 – Documentation:
Okay, so you bought the theme. Uploaded it to your WordPress dashboard….now what? Does your website now look EXACTLY like the demo that you fell in love with? Probs not.
This is why documentation is so important. Usually well organized themes provide some sort of explanation on how to set your theme up to look like the demo theme. The file might be included along with the upload-able theme file….or it might be connected to the developers website…or…..worst case scenario…..your theme doesn’t have any documentation, so now you’re left out in the dust. Talk. About. Frustrating.
Sure, your theme might be super simple, therefore you don’t need too much of a set-up explanation….but what if there are custom features? Usually the super cool aspects of a theme need some extra guidance.
#3 – Support:
Themeforest doesn’t have a special place for theme specific support questions. So, I would take a look at the theme’s comments. If the theme author offers off site support, they will usually link to it in a comment. Also, take a second to look at the other comments. If people are having a problem, is the developer being helpful? Are they even responding?!
What happens if you buy a theme & notice that it doesn’t come with any documentation.
Now you’re left with a ton of questions & no one to turn to.
Save yourself a headache & be sure the developer didn’t just upload a theme & run away.
#4 – Ratings:
Do people like the theme?! Are their enough ratings in order to get a good idea of the majority opinion? A 5 star rating…..from a total of 3 ratings isn’t very compelling in my book. Now if the theme has 4.8 stars, from over 5,000 ratings…..I’d say that most people were pretty flippin’ happy.
#5 – Loading Time:
How the hell do you know if the loading time is going to be slow if you haven’t even used the theme yet?!
The Demo! Silly.
This is a huge indication on site speed. If the theme has heavy libraries (like, a lot of codes and scripts) then the demo will be slow to load. Now imagine adding all of your content & customization to an ALREADY slow demo theme? No. Run. Run far away.
Can’t tell if the theme is too slow? Run the demo site URL through Pingdom speed checker!
#6 – Responsive:
Please oh please oh please, for the love of chocolate……make sure that your theme is responsive. Technology is FAR too advanced for you to purchase or even download a theme….if it’s not responsive. Over 60% of internet users are accessing online content through a mobile device. That….is more than half. It’s 1 out of 4 website essentials that have a big impact on your business. If that isn’t a convincing enough argument….think about your SEO. (Don’t understand SEO?) Google punishes website’s if they aren’t mobile responsive. And you don’t want google to work against you…..google runs the (internet) world.
All of these details are super easy to overlook at first glance!
Take the time to really dig deep into your theme, especially before you purchase.
Don’t be oooooh’d & aaaaaaah’d over a theme if the foundation is missing…. it could drive your website, hard work, & money…straight into the gutter.
If you want more information then Themeforest is giving you on a particular theme…..Google it. We all know the power of a little search engine research.