Alright so you finally decided to go with WordPress for your blog. But how to choose the best WordPress theme for your blog. Read more to find out.
This is the easiest yet trickiest part for any beginner.
There are literally millions of Free and premium WordPress themes.
And to pick one for yourself becomes almost impossible when you want to have the best theme installed in your blog.
Obviously, the first thing we look at in a theme is the design. Having a beautiful design will certainly have a positive impact on your readers.
But, is that enough?
When you’re just starting and you don’t have any visitors to tell you what’s wrong with your website. It’s quite impossible to figure it out yourself.
Your website may be loading very slowly. It may not be displayed properly in some mobile devices or even worse it may not be working at all in some
The worst part of picking the wrong theme for your blog is that you discover it too late.
And, having to change the theme has its own challenges.
Gradually, when your blog grows bigger, you might want to scale it to something else. You might want to add a store, create a forum or simply change your homepage.
That’s when you find out that it doesn’t support that plugin you want to install. Or it just messes up your design.
So it’s okay to take some proper time to pick a right WordPress theme for your blog.
What is the best WordPress theme for bloggers?
To go through each and every theme available is virtually impossible as it will take you years. Definitely not recommended.
One quick thing you can do is to read blogs that have roundups of best WordPress themes for bloggers.
But still there are too many to choose from.
I have listed out a few things to consider while picking a WordPress theme through my personal experience. Hope it will save you some time and effort.
How to pick a right WordPress theme for your blog
Free vs. paid: Don’t pick a free theme
If you’re writing blog as a hobby or blogging as a student project and you’re sure that you will never want to make money out of your blog or turn it into a business then definitely, you should go for a free theme.
But, if you are starting out with a goal to become a famous blogger who lives around the world and blogs to pay for it. Then don’t go for a free theme.
You will be needing good support and updates from your developer in the long run.
Premium themes are 100% worth its cost as compared to free themes.
Purchasing a premium theme and few premium plugins is a small investment as compared to its return.
Few things why you should pick a premium theme for your blog are:
- Design quality
- Third party plugins support
- Regular updates
- Amazing features
- Good support
Always check for Responsiveness
You blog should be nicely displayed across all mobile devices as well as in different laptops.
If you have a good number of visitors in your website, you can even have an analytics report about which devices/browsers your website visitors are using.
With rapid growth in technology, most of us prefer mobile devices to read blogs. So, you definitely don’t want your website to look ugly in mobiles.
You can check the the mobile friendliness of the WordPress theme by simply putting it into a Google Mobile Friendly test.
Don’t let the looks deceive you when you’re picking a theme for your blog.
Take your time and put it into a thorough test over all the devices.
Don’t pick a theme loaded with too many features
With a growing competition in premium theme market. Most of them are packed with tons of unnecessary features. These features can sometimes require other plugins, which can only be additional load for your web server.
Even Though, it’s quite tempting to pick the one with most features, DON’T! 🙂
Instead, pick the one with features you need.
Simply, list out your required features for your blog. List out things you may want to have in future. And look for these in the WordPress theme you like.
I have regretted using some of the most popular WordPress themes, when all I needed was a simple blog.
Choose one that supports popular Page Builders
You might not need any page builders as a beginner.
But if you are seriously into blogging, you will definitely want it to grow.
After some time, you may want to sell your stuff. Have a landing page for your products. Sell membership etc. That’s when Page builders come in.
Popular page builders like WP Page Builder and Elementor, they help you easily create pages in minutes. They are now equipped with hundreds of elements and drag and drop builders. You obviously don’t want a theme that doesn’t support these.
Having said that, you can always choose to not use them. But picking a theme that works well with these page builders will be a wise thing to do.
Check if the theme is SEO friendly
There are several different factors that determine your search engine rankings.
But a WordPress theme has an important role to play as well.
- You would want it to load faster.
- Have proper hierarchy of headings.
- Use schema whenever possible.
- Support SEO plugins.
- Have proper alt and title tags in images.
Use Google Mobile Friendly Test to see if it’s responsive.
Lastly, use Google Page Speed Insights to assess its performance.
Not a single theme can score 100 in these tests but it will definitely help you filter out the very low performing ones from your list.
With the number of features, your site’s performance will slowly decrease but you can always use these scores to compare the themes you’ve picked for your blog.
Read Reviews and support
I won’t say that the theme with best reviews will always be best for you. But if many people have poorly rated it, it’s a warning sign that the theme has some flaws.
Even i have been rated 1 star for poor support when i accidentally missed a support ticket. Shit happens but if it has happened to many others then obviously you will have the same problem too.
So it’s better to play it safe and pick the ones with good reviews/ratings and support.
As a beginner, someone with no technical knowledge, it will be hard to judge a quality of a theme.
But, going through the reviews will let you know about the coding and design quality too.
You may even find reviews from the experts in the industry as well, which can be your guiding star.
Aesthetics and Design
Beauty of a theme doesn’t always have to be loud and clear.
As they say, “A good design is invisible”. You have to navigate throughout the pages of the theme from your reader’s point of view. If it feels right, maybe it is the one for your blog.
A blog should always be easily readable. You can even try reading some of the articles yourself.
Choosing a WordPress theme for your blog is like creating a brand.
You should definitely have a clear vision of how you want your blog to look.
Pick design according to your niche. If you’re blogging about women’s health or Healthy recipes for women, you better not pick a theme designed for travel bloggers or a magazine.
And if you’re a travel blogger, don’t pick something that doesn’t have a place for your instagram feed.
So, it’s better to choose something specially designed for your own niche than a theme with most sales and many great reviews.
Prepare for the future: choose one that supports popular Plugins
Prepare a list of things you want to have in your blog in the future.
If you are starting your blog then obviously you want it to earn money for you.
You might want to display some ads that make you money.
You might want to have a store to sell your handmade goods, ebooks, courses, membership etc. If so you should pick the theme which supports these plugins.
If you’re selling digital products you may want to have documentation and forums. You can definitely add subdomains for these but if you want these to help you boost your website rank, you should have them in your primary domain.
Therefore, you should keep your future requirements in mind as well while picking the right WordPress theme for your blog.
However, don’t spend too long trying to decide the perfect theme.
Perfection is a myth. There will always be things you want to add and modify no matter how good the theme is.
So just make sure you don’t pick the worst one and just pick one.
If you’re just beginning there’s a lot to learn from your own experience. So, just go ahead and start blogging!
Let me know if it helped you pick your “dream theme” or not. I will definitely keep it updated if anything else crosses my mind that will be helpful for you beginners.
Wish you all the best with your blogging 🙂
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