WordPress Themes: Beyond the Visuals

WordPress Themes: Beyond the Visuals

There are so many WordPress themes to choose from, and it is great fun spending your time going through them all, testing and trialling to see which one has the right look for your website. However, visuals aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to choosing the right WordPress theme.

Here I will cover five of the other major elements you must consider when looking for the right theme for your site.

Backend Usability

So when you’re trialling a theme, you can play around with it in preview form, see how it looks with your content. You might read that it has a built-in slider function or that there are multiple theme colour options. However, it is quite often the case that you don’t get to take a look behind the scenes and have a look under the bonnet at the theme options in the dashboard.

Some themes are much harder to navigate here than others with changes difficult to make. You may even need to do some CSS manipulation to change the front end.

Theme Functions

You might start out with just simple needs from your site, such as a blog, but have you thought long term? If you have dreams of setting up an e-commerce store, then it could be that you need to think about which themes work with an e-commerce plugin before you start out. Otherwise you could end up spending more time and money than you originally thought getting it all set up correctly.

Theme Coding

So we’ve talked about WordPress coding and the best practise that you should stick to if you write a theme in our blog. Well, not everyone is rigorous about sticking to it, and in fact, some people are downright awful, creating themes with heinous coding.

To avoid these baddies without having to learn enough PHP, CSS and HTML to write your own, make sure you get your theme from a well respected theme shop.

Browser Compatibility

Even though it’s 2016, some people are still using Internet Explorer. I know, right?! One thing you should check it that your theme works in all browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and their hapless cohort, IE.

Customer Service

So there’s more to a theme than plonking it on your website and leaving it. If something goes wrong, then you’ll want there to be a team of people working to fix it. When WordPress roll out a new version, you want to know that the theme is being made up-to-date and kept compatible. This is where a premium theme wins out over free, because there will more than likely be someone working on it if people are paying for it. If it’s free, then it’s a labour of love, and we all know what happens to those – they get put to one side when the next one comes along.

Basically, the secret to choosing any WordPress theme is doing your research and some due diligence. If your chosen theme has good reviews and checks out online, then you shouldn’t have any problems. Happy WordPressing!

Author Gyles Seward

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