What to look for when choosing a WordPress theme

Speaking from experience, when first looking for the right WordPress theme for your website, it’s easy to be quickly overwhelmed by all of the different options available.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for the right WordPress theme for your website.

Does the UX of the theme help deliver the central purpose of the site?

Make sure a visitor to your website does not have to go click crazy looking for the product, service or purpose of your website. Your statement of purpose should be easy to find and the content should be displayed in a way that supports that purpose. For example, if you are a photographer showing your portfolio, make sure the site displays your photos in a way you would want your clients to see them.

What is the price of the theme?

While going with a high end theme may take some financial investing, things gained usually include consistent updates to the theme, better customer support, no “made by” posting on your homepage, and it would be less likely that the general mass is all using your same theme since you did pay for it. A downside would be any unwanted features that come with theme.

Is the site responsive?

If you are reading this blog on your phone than I do not need to explain the importance of a responsive website.

Is the site overdo it with the features?

If the site has too many bells and whistles, it will probably take a longer time to load and going back to the first point, you don’t want your users to have to click everywhere to get to where they want to go, because they won’t, they’ll just leave.

Security

Let’s be real, the last thing you want to do is sign in to your site and see that some 15 year old took a break from Halo to overtake your portfolio and replaced your logo with a photo of someone’s not-so-tan region. Read up on the reviews of the theme and make sure it is trustworthy and check to see if a good amount of people have used it.

If you have any questions, I will be available for consultations after graduation.

Here are some themes I am considering for my own portfolio and why

Reveal http://themetrust.com/demos/reveal/

For my portfolio, I like the idea of having my work show up right away, and the filter options would allow me to show all my work upfront and then the user can sort to find what they are looking for easily.

Hero http://themetrust.com/demos/hero/

Similar to Reveal, Hero has images of your most recent work, but added with a large hero banner at the top. It also has your product offerings below the work which is nice.

Ridge http://themetrust.com/demos/ridge/

I like the look of Reveal over Ridge, but the sidebar navigation on Ridge could be a better UX for the user.

Uber http://themetrust.com/demos/uber/

Uber incorporates elements of all of the themes above, but seems a bit more busy. The reason I would go with this option is if I wanted to put more emphasis and dedicate more time towards a blog.

One Comment

  • Ridge is awesome portfolio theme. Let me know which one is your favorite! I agree with your comment about sidebar nav. Specifically the dropdown UX doesn’t feel polished.

    Uber is an older theme and looks like it’s more of the 2010-2011 era. Their newer ones are a little more modern and the usability is much improved.

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