WordPress Development Themes – Digital Quick Tips

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This week in Digital Quick Tips we want to discuss WordPress development themes. We think themes are awesome – particularly for novice developers. Even with basic knowledge or experience, these tools allow anybody to make amazing and functional websites.

However, you do need to be careful when selecting which theme you want to go with. Never just jump in with the first one you come across. Offered in conjunction with WP Beginner, check out what we believe are the biggest factors to consider, when selecting your perfect WordPress Development theme.

Simplicity is Key

We see so many sites where developers opt for the most convoluted option, in an attempt to nearly show off some sort of prowess. If you want a truly impressive website, take the complete opposite approach.

To deliver the ultimate UX, just keep everything as simple as possible. There’s no point in having carousels and loads of bells and whistles if each page takes a minute to load. People want smooth graphics and straightforward design. The more pleasurable the experience on the site, the more valuable it will be to a potential customer.

Look for a theme that helps you support your goals, and that’s pretty much all you need! It has to look good obviously, but can’t compromise on usability and simplicity.

Make sure that the theme’s presentation style is not overly complicated. The purpose of web design is to help users find information they need and to help site owners achieve their goals at the same time.

If a theme looks great but doesn’t help gain new business or subscribers, then it’s useless. Once a potential customer can get around your site easily and find whatever they need, you should be sorted.

Is it Responsive?

This isn’t a choice anymore, it’s imperative. Responsive themes adjust their layout across different screen sizes and devices.

A significant number of web traffic is generated from mobile and other handheld devices. Depending on your website’s topics, this number could go even higher than 50% of your traffic.

Google shows mobile friendly websites on top in their mobile search results. Regardless of your site’s topics and demographics, all websites need to be responsive and fully mobile ready.

Most WordPress themes are already responsive by default. But there are still sellers who are selling fixed width layouts that are not mobile friendly at all. Make sure that the theme you are choosing for your website is mobile friendly and most importantly, test it!  

The easiest way to test whether a theme is responsive or not is by resizing your browser screen. As you do so, you should notice the theme’s layout will adjust itself to the screen width.

For more thorough testing you can copy the URL of theme’s demo page and paste it in Google’s Mobile Friendly Test page.

Compatibility – Can Everybody See you?

We all have loyalties to our favourite browser, but many customers may not have enjoyed the same epiphany as you yet. You need to make sure your website works not only on every device, but every browser too.

A theme may look perfect on the browser and computer you built it on, but there might be something broken in other browsers.

Most WordPress theme developers test their themes rigorously by using sophisticated browser compatibility testing tools. But unless you test everything yourself, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be safe.

They may clearly mention this on their website. But if they don’t, then you can always run some basic tests to check the theme on different browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.

Don’t forget to test on different browsers on mobile as well!

Plugin Sensitivity

Some believe the real power of WordPress comes with access to plugins. Although they’re amazing for specific functions, we’re slow to overly rely on them in fear of slowing page speed.

If you want to implement a specific function within your site though, you need to make sure your theme can work in conjunction with whatever you need.

Make sure that your WordPress theme supports all popular plugins. If you are unsure, ask theme developer about it.

Page Building Functionality

Page builders are WordPress plugins that allow you to create page layouts using drag and drop user interface.

Although many WordPress themes come with page builders pre-installed, you’ll be pulling your hair out if you try to complete your development without a good page building platform. Make sure to choose a theme operating with a major page building plugin. If you can’t find one that suits you in this criteria, you can purchase page builders separately as well.

Support Services

One downside of using a free WordPress theme is that there is no guaranteed support. While some developers provide excellent support for their free themes, many free themes have no support option. There’s simply no consistency and will differ from developer to developer.

Without a support service along with your theme, you might be left in the dark to manage any problems or mistakes you make. You might even have to pay a third-party developer to solve the tiniest problems if you get stuck.

If you can, find WordPress development theme that has good documentation and support function. Most premium WordPress themes offer detailed documentation with 1 year of email based support.

Ratings and Reviews

When researching and making your choice of theme, this is your best friend. WordPress theme’s quality is ratings and reviews provided by their users is the number one identifier of their true functionality. Read every account you can find of how it worked for other users, and you’ll know pretty soon if it’s worth investing time in.

For free WordPress themes, you will find the ratings section just below the download button. It will show the number of reviews and stars given by users. If you click on 5 stars, then it will show you all the reviews that gave the theme 5 stars.

Get Started Now!

If you want to know what WordPress development themes are worth checking out, check out what Entrepreneur have recommended in the past. If you want to find out some more great Digital Quick Tips, also check out our first edition from last week.

At Green T Digital, we want to help you create the ultimate digital strategy. If you want to maximise your efforts online and get a plan that fits you to a T, discover how a WordPress build can work for you. Or even if you’d just like some more info on how we can help you succeed, make sure to get in touch now!