WordPress themes are very popular, both for their variety of choices and the opportunity to have them for free. They can be easily organized and managed and they can also be one of the key factors in the way your users, as well as search engines, see your website.
However, in order for the use of WordPress to work in the best possible way for you, here is what you need to notice regarding it.
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1. Simplicity is the key
As much as colorful and cheerful themes attract attention, they can be a double-edged sword. You can feel attracted to using various animations and unusual layouts that have been offered to you, but in the end, you should ask yourself – Do I really need all of those things?
The first problem with a complicated theme is that it usually doesn’t have any connections to your business. Its purpose is to support your business goals, and if doesn’t – it is of no use to you. Another problem is that complex themes usually complicate users finding the information they need on your site.
2. Different devices and browsers compatibility
Your chosen theme should be responsive to different screen sizes, which means it can be easily looked at on any device. Mobile phones are becoming widely used as a primary means of accessing the net, so make sure that your theme is mobile-friendly, even though most of them usually are.
Furthermore, users are prone to using different browsers, so there is the possibility that your theme looks amazing on Google Chrome, but other browsers can’t display it properly. Of course, there are simple tests which you can run in order to check your theme’s compatibility with various browsers.
3. Popular and useful plugins
Plugins help you do whatever you want to with your site. As there are a lot of them, choose them wisely. First, some plugins such as Gravity Forms or W3 Total Cache are a must for their popularity, so keep them either way. Also, if you are planning on having a multilingual site, make sure you obtain multilingual plugins. Another thing with themes is that these days most of the themes come with numerous pre-loaded plugins, so it would be wise to get rid of the ones you don’t need. In the end, don’t forget to check if your plugins still work once you have changed the theme.
4. SEO friendly theme
The fact that your WordPress website design is both attractive and user-friendly, it still doesn’t mean that it will help you get on the first pages of search engines. Its HTML can be poorly coded, which can seriously affect the site’s performance. You can check if the HTML is a proper one on your own by using W3C Markup Validation, or you can find it out from the developers if you are using a premium theme. Some themes, such as Genesis or Thesis, come with SEO useful features, so consider using them. Furthermore, there are valuable plugins that can give a boost to your site’s SEO.
5. Make notes on your theme
If you are using a WordPress theme, it is probable that you will wish to make some changes in the code in order to improve it. However, even though the changes are made, rarely anybody makes notes on it and then forgets about it, so it can’t help them with the new theme. Do yourself a favor and note any improvement you add. Also, it would be good to note any changes so you can compare the previous version with the current one, for example, their loading time difference.
6. Interact with the users
Always ask your users for the feedback. If you made any important changes on the theme, ask them to make comments on it and to warn you if it doesn’t work in their browser. The problem will be solved more quickly if you make a connection with your users.
What’s more, improvements on the current theme or putting a new one always make people want to make suggestions. Ask them to take a survey before you choose another theme, and it will pay off in the future.
7. Think of safety and maintenance issues
The setback of a WordPress theme is that, if you run across any problems, there is a possibility that you won’t be able to ask for the support, as the theme is free. Bear in mind that in case of difficulty – you are on your own. The other possibility is to pay a professional to solve the problem for you.
Another precautionary step is to have a backup of all your files, plugins, and everything in relation to your theme. The chances something serious happens are small, but creating a backup doesn’t cost you anything.
Whether you are yet to choose your first WordPress theme, or you have been already using it for some time, the suggestions mentioned above are not to be ignored. Work on your WordPress theme in an informed way and you are yet to see its great benefits.
Article By: Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in business consulting, Ian could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development, with a particular interest in trying to master the fine art of Social intelligence. He is currently working with Camera Warehouse.