ThemeForest is a home for themes, for all industries and tastes. But when you’re new to WordPress, that feels like desperately swimming in a sea of themes. Choosing the best WordPress theme out of so many options can get overwhelming and stressful.
Since we’re kind of married to WordPress, we can help. In this post, we’ll share 10 tips on choosing a WordPress theme that meets your needs. Make sure you read it before you get on a hunt for a new theme.
- Look first for WordPress themes related to your industry
While lots of themes are highly customizable and can serve multiple purposes, if you want to run a Real Estate website, don’t go with a magazine theme that might or might not work with WooCommerce. Instead, choose a theme that’s specifically built for eCommerce, whose authors will always make sure it’s compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce.
Don’t be afraid to use the ThemeForest filters to narrow the search. You can look for themes by category, tags, price, sales, ratings, software version and so on.
If you’re rather interested in the top selling themes, check out the Popular Items under WordPress.
- Do a little research on the theme creator
Picked a theme? Run a background check on its creator. Check the ThemeForest author profile, look for badges and featured items, see if they’re engaged via their site, support pages and social media pages. Do a credibility check.
- Find out if you get updates & support
You’ll probably want to pick a theme that comes with updates and customer support (free or paid). It’s important to choose a theme that will be updated because you’ll want to maintain compatibility with the latest version of WordPress or WooCommerce.
Support is one of the most important factors that must be considered, especially if you’re new to WordPress. Have a look at the pre and post-sales support, but keep in mind that some people only end up on the Comments page when they are frustrated or angry, so try to be objective. Focus on the solutions offered by the support team instead of the angry tone.
Look closely at the kind of support they’re offering, so you can have realistic expectations. Find out what does it cover, how do you access it (private ticketing system, public forum) when it’s available and what’s their response time.
- Try out the demo
After you thoroughly check the presentation page on ThemeForest, take the demo for a spin. Look closely at the design elements, pay attention to the features it comes with, test for speed performance and try to imagine how would your site look like if you used this theme.
But try to keep it real. You probably won’t be using the same stock images displayed in a theme’s demo, the cool fonts or the same color scheme.
- Check for cross browser compatibility
People use a variety of browsers today and you don’t want to leave any of the major ones behind. Make sure the theme you like is cross browser compatible, so that your site will work properly in all major browsers.
- Make sure the theme is responsive
A responsive theme is a theme that has been optimized for devices of different sizes, from smartphones to desktop computers to TVs. This is not optional, responsive design is turning into a default standard for WordPress themes. You’ll want your site to look and work good on every device.
- Pick a SEO-friendly WordPress theme
Choose a top premium theme that’s clean and well coded. Keep your eyes peeled for any SEO, site speed and loading time mentions in the features list. Usability is also important, so make sure the theme you pick is easy to navigate and user friendly.
- Look for theme documentation
Premium themes are pretty complex, so a thorough documentation is vital. Look for articles, videos or tutorials they might offer to explain how to get the most out of the theme.
- Have a look at ratings
There’s power in those ratings. They can drive or dive sales for theme creators because they have a say in how people make their purchase decisions. On ThemeForest, most people stick with themes over four stars, who’ve built an active community around them.
But do not rely exclusively on ratings. Sometimes, they can be biased and easily manipulated by our herd instincts or other factors. Even worse, some people are more prone to post negative comments on the internet.
- Ask about plugin compatibility
Feel free to post your pre-sale questions on the Comments page. While themes can’t be compatible with all the plugins out there, make sure the theme you pick is compatible with the major ones. For example, if you want to run an eCommerce store, you’ll want your theme to play nice with WooCommerce.
You have to remember that choosing a WordPress theme is a subjective process and there is no such thing as a perfect theme; you’ll always find things you like and things you dislike about a theme. Open-mindedness is important.
The theme you choose now is most likely going to solve most of your current needs. But even those change over time and other unknown needs arise. You’ll just have to be flexible enough to adjust the theme to the new requirements or to get a new one.
Ready to start the search for your new WordPress theme?