Since WordPress offers hundreds and thousands of beautiful themes, it becomes quite difficult to choose the perfect one for a particular site. You could easily fall into the trap of buying a theme which might look appealing, but might not be able to fulfill your expectations in terms of your site's features and functions.
Therefore, you should look for a theme that can take the quality and user experience of your site to the next level. It becomes crucial for you to consider certain points before you buy your WordPress theme.
In this blog post, I will help you find the best WP theme by sharing you the tried and tested checklist that you should look out for before making any final decision. This checklist will serve you with all the imperative questions that you must ask before buying the right theme.
By spending a few minutes to read this article, you will save a lot of time and effort, and that will be rewarded in terms of high productivity and increased conversion rates for a long run.
Here is the 9 pointers checklist to look for:
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1. Website Type
It's never been a good idea to buy a theme, without even knowing the type of site you will be running. However, the kind of versatile themes that WordPress offers, one could easily find himself/herself getting tricked into buying a wrong theme.
Therefore, before you purchase a WordPress theme, you should know the type of website you are going to build and the sort of features it will carry. You should know each and every aspect of your website before making any final decision.
Do not simply rely on the fact that you can buy any theme and later customize/modify it to suit your website needs. These kinds of decisions will pose a threat of extra work on your shoulders and consume a lot of your energy.
Hence, limit your options by knowing the sort of website you will be running. For instance, if you have decided upon running a news blog, then, shortlist such themes which aggravate that feature of your blog.
2. A List of Requisite Features
You cannot go and purchase a WordPress theme without being knowing all the features required by your website. It could be the silliest mistake you could ever commit by buying a theme which doesn't provide compatible features to your site.
The best thing you can do is to make a list of all the requisite features beforehand and, select the theme according to your requirements. Also, look out for those themes that will keep additional features and functionality separate from the theme design.
Different sorts of plugins are important so that you do not end up getting imprisoned into a particular theme and can keep your options open whenever required.
3. Third Party Plugin Support and Compatibility
This is one of the most vital features of your website theme design. Third party plugin support and compatibility becomes mandatory when you plan to use some key plugins for your website, such as bbPress , BuddyPress , WooCommerce , etc.
However, almost all of the WordPress themes are compatible with the popular third party plugins but being a smart purchaser, we should always get ready with the plan B.
Hence, it is recommended that you check the theme's compatibility and it can be done by checking whether it includes all the necessary page templates or not.
4. Ongoing Updates and Product Support
Your decision of buying a premium WordPress theme comes along with your access to the template files as well as the ongoing updates and product support.
Since WordPress roll out its latest version on a regular basis, it becomes almost a requisite to hunt for a theme which is timely updated to maintain a compatibility with the latest version of WordPress.
In addition to this, you should have access to those updates, as soon as they release.
5. Availability of Different Pricing Options
A customer is provided with a variety of pricing options to suit his/her financial conditions. You are served with multiples of combinations of price models to choose from.
You can either opt for a one-time payment option which will provide you with lifetime updates and support, or you can opt for purchasing an annual payment model which will include recurring payments for access to updates and support, all depending upon your financial budget.
These two models are just an example, so that you get a taste of what all can be offered.
6. Reputable Theme Supplier
Seeking out a reputable theme supplier is as important aspect while selecting an appropriate theme for your website. You should buy a theme from a reliable source instead of from an unknown & unestablished developer.
DesignWall as an in-house theme store and ThemeForest as a marketplace are the two great examples of places to buy WordPress themes.
You can buy your website's theme from any of these two aforementioned popular places in order to get quality themes at the most competitive price.
7. Investigating Pre and Post-Sales Support
A dedicated support forum and customer care panel is the most precious asset of any company. Thus, once you have jotted down all the lucid reasons to buy a theme from so & so sources, you should definitely investigate the pre and post-sales support they offer.
Inquire whether the support forums are quick to resolve your queries or not, check the viability of the methods they adopt to approach your problems and try getting in touch with their customer panel through emails or phone calls.
8. Customization Options
Everybody has some sort of vision about how their website should look like. Hence, there comes the role of theme customization options.
To perfect the appearance of your website, you need a WordPress which gives you the flexibility to customize the functionality of a theme, whenever required.
While this feature sounds great and promising, beware of letting it turn into a devouring monster which would ruin instead of improving your website.
Too many customization options can confuse you and can lead you into altering so much that you may lose some qualities which initially attracted you to the theme.
Thus, there are some developers which offer less, but well crafted options for helping you customize the look of the theme. If, you are someone who gets easily swayed when served with endless number of customization options then undoubtedly go for a theme offering limited altering options.
9. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Friendly or Not?
Selecting an SEO friendly WordPress theme is very critical for your website. If you want your website to rank higher on Google and other search engines, you must opt for a theme that can offer SEO friendly feature to your site.
Usability and site speed are the other two areas of vital importance which shouldn't be overlooked when buying a theme. The way your users interact with your website and its loading time are the two key factors interwoven with SEO, that search engines count on to determine your website's page ranking.
Tip: Use an online performance testing service such as, Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to run the theme demos before finalizing the buying decision.
The appearance factor of a theme will always be the center of attraction, however, digging deeper into the less obvious but indispensable properties will promise a complete success for your website.
So, next time you go shopping for a WordPress theme, make sure that your shortlisted themes satisfy all of the above mentioned pointers of your WordPress theme checklist!