— May 16, 2019
If you don’t have a few thousand dollars to invest in a custom website, there are thousands of affordable WordPress themes you can choose from instead. Some themes are completely free. Premium options can cost a few hundred dollars and they tend to come with more bells and whistles like tech support.
Your website is your first impression when people find you online. Taking some time to find the right WordPress theme (if you use the WordPress CMS) can set you up for success. Here are some tips to help you find the right website theme.
If you’re not sure the style of website you want, do some competitive analysis. Look at the websites of other businesses in your industry. What do you like? What could you improve upon? How can you stand out? Also go outside of your industry to check out emerging website trends. Bookmark any sites and graphic design elements that inspire you.
Search WordPress Theme Websites
You can find several theme marketplaces online. Some popular ones are ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, and StudioPress. You can also get themes from independent sellers on sites like Etsy or Creative Market.
Create a shortlist of themes that you’re interested in. Don’t worry if you can’t find something that’s exactly what you need. A website theme can act as the base product and you can always hire an affordable designer to make tweaks for you as needed.
Research Each Theme
Investigating each theme before you buy is crucial. Your site will probably not look exactly like the demo when you upload it. You have to design the site from the theme elements.
There have been instances where I’ve purchased a theme only to find out it’s very clunky and difficult to use. The creators of premium themes should have a way to contact them with questions about how to use the theme before you purchase.
Some theme marketplace websites have comment sections where you can ask questions and gauge the creator responsiveness. This will give you an idea of how responsive they’ll be when you need support after purchase. Pay close attention to reviews from other customers. If they’re having trouble with the theme, there’s a chance you’ll have trouble as well.
Check the Site Speed
Be sure to check the speed of the demo site before buying. Slow site speed is a problem that I’ve commonly found with different WordPress themes. The themes are not always built with speed in mind. A slow website can detract viewers. You don’t want to set up a completely new theme only to find out that it’s not good for business.
The research phase of choosing between website templates is key. Sometimes the most beautiful website themes look great on the frontend but are not built well on the backend. A poorly build theme can lead to long website load times and frustration when you’re trying to build up your site. Test the demo site for speed and think carefully about the website theme before you make a purchase.