on 07 October 21
As someone who’s about to foray into the online business world, one of the decisions that you might be struggling with is theme selection. The decision can be quite overwhelming if you don’t know what things to weigh. What’s more, there are so many themes out in the market that you may experience ‘paralysis by analyses.’
To save you from feeling overwhelmed while sifting through your options, we have put together this little guide.
This post is aimed at helping small business owners pick the right theme for their business.Take a look –
1. Never compromise on the simplicity
They say that simplicity is the best policy and rightly so. While browsing through a list of WordPress themes, you will come across many that have complex layouts, a mix of colours, and flashy animations.
No one is saying that these elements are not crucial. But, you need to know when too much flashy stuff is taking away from the core idea of the website/business. A good theme is the one that brings out the main idea at the forefront; not overpower it.
With that said, it’s always good to go with a theme that is simple, elegant, and doesn’t distract the users with unimportant things or worse confuses them with a complicated layout.
Never pick a theme with strange variations of colours and features that are uncalled for.
You may want to read this post by Hostinger that lists out the best free WordPress themes that promise simplicity.
2. Look for a responsive theme
Users will be browsing your site from different devices with varying screen sizes. How do you make sure that your website appears just as nicely and loads just as properly across all those devices as it does on a standard computer screen?
That’s when you look for a responsive theme. Responsiveness is a huge factor today which simply cannot be neglected.
A couple of years ago, you could survive with a website that wasn’t responsive, but not anymore. Google is very particular about having websites that load properly because a huge traffic today comes from mobiles and handheld devices. Therefore, it cannot put responsiveness factor on backburner. It doesn’t matter whether your small business is product or service based, responsiveness must not be overlooked.
Although most themes today are responsive by default, many vendors are still making themes with fixed layout. So, you might want to confirm this just for good measure.
3. Look for a Browser Compatible theme
Just like you cannot go with an unresponsiveness theme, the same way you cannot compromise on the factor of browser compatibility. It’s possible that a theme looks absolutely stunning on Chrome, but not so stunning on say Safari or Mozilla.
As a small business owner, you would want to capture as many people as possible. Since your users will be accessing the site from different browsers, you need to make sure the site loads nicely in all the browsers which is what browser compatibility promises you. Most theme developers use sophisticated testing tools to check for the compatibility and they may also mention this factor clearly on their website. However, in case they don’t - you can always check the browser compatibility by running some basic tests on different browsers.
4. Number of plug-ins supported
One of the things that makes WordPress based sites so powerful is the fact that it supports a number of useful plug-ins. It’s the plug-ins that makes performing many tasks super easy.
You can choose from hundreds of plugins out there such as Gravity Forms, W3 Total Cache, and Yoast SEO just to name a few.Make sure that the theme you pick supports all the most basic or at least essential plug-ins you would need to run an online store. However, if you’re unclear about this aspect, then you can ask the developers who made the theme about the same.
5. Look for page builders
These are basically WordPress plug-ins built around drag-and-drop user interface that allows creating page layouts. Most premium themes have page builders by default. These builders are mostly used by developers only.
When you use one such page builder to create a landing page, this may end-up creating a lot of unwanted code. In case you ever decide to switch to some other theme, you would need to clean up all that extra code to make everything smooth and compatible all over again.
With that said, it pays to pick a theme that comes with the most commonly used page builder plug-ins. If a theme doesn’t come with that, you can always invest in these plugins separately.
6. Look for the quality of Support
If you take your small scale business seriously, chances are you might need to experiment with the code at the backend regularly. In that case, you are going to get in touch with the support frequently. But, if you don’t plan on doing a whole lot of experimentation then the quality of support won’t matter much to you.
Most free themes don’t come with quality support. In some cases there may be no support whatsoever. In that case, you may end-up scratching your head trying to figure your way out of a complex code.
If you are confident you will need help from the support often, it’s best to go with a paid theme as those usually come with quality support options. Otherwise, it’s highly likely that you may have to pay a third party developer to fix even the tiniest issue. Therefore, as a small business owner, investing in a quality theme can go a long way. Make sure the theme comes with proper documentation and support options.
Other factors that every small business owner should consider are multilingual +translation support, SEO friendliness, user ratings, reviews, etc.
It’s important that you invest plenty of time researching for the best theme out there to make an informed decision. We’re hoping that the tips and factors we listed above will help narrow things down for you.
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