Picking WordPress Themes for Small Business Websites
I got my blogging start using free WordPress themes; however, I ultimately started purchasing premium WordPress themes not only for the slick layout, but also for the support forums that come accompany premium theme purchases.
Don’t purchase the wrong WordPress theme. Read the following suggestions about what to look for when purchasing a WordPress theme.
1. Are there licensing restrictions?
Some themes limit the number of times you can use them. For example, you may only be able to use a theme on one URL. I avoid this type of licensing limitation; I like the freedom of using a theme as much as I wish. Not only is limitless use a better deal investment-wise, but once I am familiar with a theme I can build subsequent sites quickly.
2. Do your research and determine out how difficult it is to modify a WordPress theme
Not all premium themes equally easy to customize. Some offer many customization options in the themes’ options panel; other themes require you to make changes in the code. If you want easy, ensure you have many customization options in the options panel.
I suggest you view the demo theme, not all the changes you want to make, then ask the theme vendor if you can make those changes in the options panel or if you need to change the code.
3. Is the theme code W3 compliant
Lots of free WordPress themes are not correctly coded. Chances are you can’t tell unless you know coding yourself. That’s another basis to purchase a premium theme from respectable WordPress theme provider.
Be sure to request proof that the themes you’re buying are W3 code conforming. W3 is the World Wide Web Consortium that develops web standards.
4. Consider the following WordPress theme functions before buying your theme:
- Is the theme fully responsive?
- Does the theme offer drop-down menus?
- Are categories on a top navigation menu bar?
- Is it a 1, 2, 3, 4 or more column theme? How many columns do you want?
- Do you like the typography (font, font size, etc.)?
- If you base your decision from a sample or “showcase” theme, ask the theme vendor whether the theme you are purchasing will appear like the sample. If it won’t look like the sample, ask what’s required to make it look like the sample. Sometimes certain elements such as a slide show are easy to add via plugins; other times the changes are substantial.
- Automated thumbnail sizing is a very nice feature if you like lots of images in your blog. Many premium themes offer auto-size thumbnail management. I suggest getting this feature because you’ll likely want to use it. That said, if you find the perfect theme in all other respects, don’t make automated thumbnail sizing a deal-breaker.
5. Can you use widgets with the theme?
Widgets significantly enhance a WordPress website’s functionality and customization flexibility. This means you definitely need a theme that is “widget ready.” I wouldn’t buy a theme that isn’t widget ready.
6. What’s involved to modify the header and/or logo?
Some themes allow you to simply upload your header from the options panel. Other themes require you upload your header through your hosting service. It’s easier and faster through an options panel; however, it never hurts to get accustomed with uploading files through your domain host.
7. Can you modify the color scheme in the options panel?
If you don’t know or don’t want to learn CSS style sheets, then you’ll need to change a theme’s color combination in the options panel. Some themes offer this feature while others do not. If this is important to you, be sure to investigate this feature – namely that you can modify the color scheme of the theme in the options panel.
8. Be sure to look into the type and quality of support provided with a theme purchase
Quality support in my view is a forum that is well moderated by an employee or agent of the theme developer. Before purchasing a theme, be sure to ask if this type of support is included. If not, I would look elsewhere.
9. Does it provide the functionality you need?
Think about what it is you want and need in your website and/or blog. Visit other sites. Go to blogs that feature the latest stylish blogs and websites. You’ll get great ideas. However, don’t get dazzled by graphics. Play around on websites and plan out the functionality and layouts you need for your website and blog.
10. How much do premium themes cost?
Premium themes cost anywhere from $10 to $130 per individual theme. If you think about it, that’s pretty cheap compared to hiring a website developer. Granted, you have to do some of the work.developer. Granted, you have to do some of the work.
Just be sure that you get an unlimited-use theme, unless you find the absolutely perfect theme that has limitations. Most theme developers offer unlimited use, it’s just a matter of price. Sometimes you’ll have to pay a premium charge for the unlimited use version.
As an entrepreneur I’m extremely happy that I learned to build my own websites and blogs using premium WordPress themes. I’ve save thousands of dollars building my own websites. Also, I have the freedom to build as many sites and blogs as I like for all my businesses.
WordPress premium themes have been an excellent investment for me that will pay off for years.