If you're building a website in WordPress, one of the most important factors to building a successful site is choosing the right theme.
There are plenty of choices out there!
You can buy free themes, paid themes, blog themes, website themes, customized themes, plain themes. What's best for your situation? Read on to find out some of the criteria you'll want to consider for choosing a great theme for your design.
Step 1: Choosing Your Website Type
Before you choose a theme you must know if you're building a blog or a website or a combination of both. Figure this out first and you'll have a much easier time of your theme search. Once you know what type of website you will buy it will be much easier to choose the layout you'd like:
- blog style
- website style
- magazine style
- squeeze-page style
- some combination of the above
Once you know the style you are looking for, then you'll want to choose your layout:
- single column
- one sidebar
- double sidebar
- sidebar on each side
Step 2: Understanding Your Customization Skills
Here's a little secret – one theme CAN do everything mentioned above.
While that's true, you may not yet have the skills to truly customize a theme. That's why step two is very important. Before you go looking for a theme you must understand your own abilities in WordPress website customization.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I read and write HTML?
- Am I good with creating custom graphics?
- Can I modify CSS and PHP files?
- Am I creative enough to make up my own design?
The answers to these questions will help you decide which of these two choices you should go with for a theme:
- A theme that is very customized and not very flexible.
- A theme that is not very customized but very flexible to be completely custom.
Step 3: Choosing Paid or Free?
If I could just give you my easiest advice here I would say go with paid. I know, you're on a budget and you're probably doing it for free but I'm sure you understand that you get what you pay for!
Free themes are riddled with messy code, commercial links and they're not support if they break.
Paid themes on the other hand (good paid themes, that is) are cleanly coded (important for SEO), often supported, often updated and most designers even provide a support forum where you can talk directly with other customers using the same theme.
Armed with this information your odds of finding a great theme for your business and website will shoot through the roof!