How to select a suitable WordPress Theme/Template! The title itself says a lot! Selecting suitable wordpress theme/template is confusing, especially from thousands of designs available upfront! We show how to put the Best Foot Forward.

“Freedom of choice paralyzes” says Psychologist Barry Schwartz but narrowing down helps avoid “analysis paralysis”. Newbies can’t decide what exactly they need, have just a rough sketch in mind. In this backdrop, we get you started.

Step 1: Narrowing down for better theme/template selection.

WordPress theme/template developers already have created many distinct branches. First identify which branch you would focus on. Out of the many, here are the broad demarcations:

  1. Creative
  2. Corporate
  3. Blog
  4. Magazine
  5. eCommerce
  6. Retail
  7. Entertainment
  1. Non-profit
  2. Technology
  3. Miscellaneous
  4. Education
  5. Real Estate
  6. Wedding, and
  7. Buddypress

Quite a mouthful so to speak of!

But the task is nicely cut and all you do is identify your suitable branch. If undecided still, choose the nearest, matching branch and you are good to go!

Step 2: Decide whether looking for Free or Paid options!

Free themes save you money whereas the paid ones reduce labor. With the latter, you can look for guidance, solving formatting and myriad other issues. Good authors even throw in a forum addressing all queries.

The above classification came from paid themes (Did we say reduced labor)? With free themes, you can always change themes

  • for the heck of it, or
  • because the overall look & feel didn’t meet your expectations, or
  • because it was too difficult to work on, or
  • any other reason.

Both: paid & free themes have their pros and cons. You can always start with free themes and switch later on to paid ones, the choice is yours.

For this article, we focus only on free themes/templates. You are welcome to the discussion on using paid wordpress themes.

By default, WordPress installs these three themes for your convenience. But you can always proceed choosing from thousands, till you drop dead.

pic showing default wordpress themes for http://www.tips-and-reviews.com

The latest, fast-loading but limited themes. Click the button for more variety!

To avoid disappointment, please bear these tips in mind!

  1. Free themes rarely, if ever, provide either demo data or specific instructions enabling to match your install with their showcased site.
  2. Get well-versed with terms like H1, H2, … H6 and Header/Footer/ Sidebar/Widgets/Lists/Wordpress dashboard before proceeding!
  3. Free themes are available inside WordPress and elsewhere on the Internet. The Freemium themes are also free themes with some premium (so-called) features. No harm trying them too!
  4. Few succeed in their first attempt. However, getting back on track is not too difficult either!

If unsatisfied with the above three themes, click on the Add New link and get ready to be overwhelmed. Remember, every option reduces the choices!

pic showing free themes within wordpress.org for http://www.tips-and-reviews.com

Plethora of layouts & themes to choose from! Click on needed options.

Our Advice Don’t go overboard. Start with the minimal but essential filters.

Responsive is the most important one to choose among the others shown below.

pic showing selecting essential filters while choosing themes from  wordress.org for http://www.tips-and-reviews.com

Select minimal but essential. Choosing right/left sidebar makes no major difference.

Clicking on the Apply Filters button on top left corner, gets you the chosen few (34 is good enough, out of thousands!) themes. Click on your chosen one and then on the Preview button.

pic showing filtered themes inside self-hosted wordpress for http://www.tips-and-reviews.com

Remember that “theme options” is an essential filter, especially for beginners!

 

Everyone likes to fiddle with a new toy. Your website is no different! Even you would like to adjust a few settings and observe changes. Be sure to select “theme options” as an essential filter.

Step 3: Pay Attention to Author’s description on his theme!

Before giving in to the looks, please look at the ratings and what the author has to say about his product. Good authors always pay heed to users’ needs and advise accordingly. Only they know which topics suit best.

Either choose the matching layout or the nearest suitable. Avoid those that bait with free themes only to pester you to update for Pro versions.

Also, don’t get overawed by the words like page builder options as you could always buy separate plugins!

pic showing free wordpress themes part-3

pic showing free wordpress themes part-2

pic showing free wordpress themes part-1

Your Preview may not match the chosen layout!

Most previews come loaded with only some pics and NO text. Don’t let this hollowness affect you. Every theme needs to be worked upon, needs adding-or-changing a few settings to match the needed look. Do not get disappointed.

pic showing wordpress preview feature for http://www.tips-and-reviews.com

The pre-built layout, on left, may not match the one on right! It’s normal.

Click on the Install button which downloads the theme. Soon, you will see the screen asking you to activate the chosen theme.

pic showing wordpress asking whether to activate a theme or preview, for http://www.tips-and-reviews.com

Activating is just a click away.


Normal themes (read without theme options) present only one preset section, found under Appearance, Customize allowing you to change just a few tid bits. However, the one with Theme Options, allow much more customizations in almost all areas of your website.

We let you decide which one of the following two is better.

pic showing a plain wordpress theme

Bereft of options


pic showing a theme-options wordpress theme

… with Theme Options!

Why restrict your options when so much is on the platter and for free? When WordPress theme publishers are spoiling you with options, freebies and what not, why settle for less? Come take your pick! Happy Site Building!

by Reviewer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *