Protip: Choosing the right WordPress theme
There are thousands of high quality WordPress themes available to choose from. Choosing which one is best for your project’s needs should be a well thought out and reasoned process.
We’ve put together this list to help you approach your choice strategically.
First, it’s important to make a list of functionality you’ll need for your project. Operating a restaurant? You’ll need a map to help customers find you. You’ll also need to decide how you’ll display your menus. Are you marketing a service, such as cleaning or massage? You’ll want a contact form to work with prospective clients. Are you a photographer? You might want a theme that displays photos in an interesting way. Creating a travel blog? A built in translation plugin could be your new best friend.
These are a few examples but be sure to spend some time thinking about the things you want your site to do. Make a list, then start looking for themes with your functionality built in.
For any functionality not included in your theme, plugins will fill the gap. For a refresher on how plugins work, see our Plugins Pro Tip here.
Next, look for a theme deliberately created for your intended purpose. If you find one, there’s a high likelihood the theme will come with most of your desired functionality.
A great starting point when choosing a theme is checking to see if we have your exact theme by category.
Here are the top WordPress theme categories on the marketplace:
If your exact website isn’t one of these popular categories, that’s ok. WordPress is one of the most customizable platforms there is. Look for generalized blogging or business themes and go from there.
Design is one of the most important aspects of your website. Within a few moments of encountering your site, visitors should get a feel for what you’re all about.
The categories mentioned earlier are especially useful for creating your site’s perfect design. A blogging theme built for weddings will have prettier, more whimsical colors and fonts. Corporate themes will have more professional fonts, colors, and button packs.
Are you comfortable customizing your WordPress site? Some themes are built intentionally generic so you can customize your own colors, imagery, and graphics.
If the core purpose of your site is to list and sell products, browse ecommerce WordPress themes. Ecommerce sites have an explicitly defined list of needs and functions required for selling onine.
Ecommere themes will have this type of functionality built in:
- Listing items
- Item attributes (like t-shirts size, color)
- Inventory management
We recommend WooCommerce for all your ecommerce needs. They’re the industry leader in the ecommerce segment and are very secure and reliable. If you’re working on setting up an online store, look for WooCommerce compatible themes.
Little of this advice matters if you’re working with a sub-par theme. Before making your final decision, critically review the theme’s stats. Number of sales and user rating will tell you if other users were happy with the theme. On MOJO Marketplace, take a peek at the theme’s support inquiries to see if the Seller is responsive. You’ll also see what kinds of support needs other users have had which will give you an idea of how user friendly the theme is.
Also check to see the theme’s last update. Some themes haven’t been updated in years and are unlikely to function with today’s modern browsers. A reputable theme developer will update their theme’s code regularly and often. Consider 90 days the max for a theme update, although many of our top Sellers on the marketplace push updates weekly.
Approaching your theme selection with these important factors in mind will ensure you pick the right theme to launch your online project.
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Co-authored by Mr Chris Tuttle