Themes are the backbone of any WordPress website. As a web hosting and content management system, WordPress offers business owners a blank canvas upon which they can create unique web sites to elevate their digital brand experience.
Plus let’s face it, life isn’t exactly a Burger King. So why give up the opportunity to have it your way? With epic themes that represent your business!
There are two approaches you can take with a WordPress website: build a site from scratch with code or install a theme.
What Is a WordPress Theme?
WordPress themes are website builds created in advance for you to customize.
If a new WordPress website is like a blank canvas, then themes can be thought of as the paint-by-numbers version.
Generally, WordPress themes include front end design, page layouts, website design, widgets, blog post designs, colors, stylized menus, and other features specific to a niche or industry.
For instance, some themes include online store while others are optimized for membership sites or online publications, like blogs or magazines.
The WordPress Theme Directory hosts thousands of free and premium themes for you to select for your site. Now, there are pros and cons to both free and premium themes:
- Free WordPress themes: Firstly, free WordPress themes offer basic features and functionality. The only downside to free themes are limited customer support and often don’t include documentation. Most significantly, free themes have irregular updates which could lead to security problems down the line.
- Premium WordPress themes: Premium themes are reasonably priced and provide more features and customization than the free alternatives. On the bright side, premium themes offer customer support and documentation to help you with the setup process. They also tend to be better quality builds, boosting your website’s performance.
Which theme you opt for ultimately depends on your budget and business needs. However, we recommend premium themes (especially Beaver Builder Themer) that are designed for speed.
Are Custom WordPress Themes Worth It?
Another more advanced option available to business owners is a custom theme. A custom theme is one built from scratch specifically for your business, so you would own the theme.
Usually, you could commission a WordPress developer to build a custom theme for your site.
Alternatively, you can create a DIY theme without coding with theme builder plugins like Elementor Pro or Divi Builder, but our top suggestion is Beaver Builder.
No code theme builders usually employ drag-and-drop systems that are intuitive.
However, there is still a learning curve and it could take weeks to get your site up and running.
Benefits of Using Pre-Built WordPress Themes
Your website is like your headquarters in the digital marketplace. It’s where customers go to find out more about your business and purchase. Themes help you streamline the look and feel of your site while adding features that you need to make your site attractive to visitors.
Here are four key reasons why we think WordPress themes are worth the investment.
- Design: Themes are the easiest, most affordable way to create a beautifully styled website for your brand. The look and feel of a website impacts its success in the customer journey. 38% of Internet users will leave a website if it’s unattractive while 39% stop engaging if a website takes too long to load.
- Plug-and-play solution: Instead of wasting hours dreaming about your perfect website design, WordPress themes offer an array of pre-packaged templates and files for you to customize and make your own.
- Security: Pre-built themes, especially premium ones, receive regular updates. These updates are critical to a website’s security as it deals with bugs and other maintenance issues that may develop overtime as WordPress and web technology evolves. The best part is the theme’s developer releases the updates and you simply have to install them.
At Your WP Guy, all our WordPress maintenance plans include installing security features and theme updates.
How To Select the Perfect WordPress Theme
Finding the perfect theme for your WordPress site can be daunting. It doesn’t have to be though. These best practices can help you choose a theme that will work for your business:
- List the features you want. Do you need an online store, a blog, portfolio, or an events page? Is your brand minimalist, classic, or edgy? Will you need a services section or a menu? Once you pinpoint everything the site will need, use the WordPress Feature Filter to search the Theme Directory for ones that match your criteria. (Seriously, check out Beaver Builder.)
- Prioritize accessibility and responsiveness. 70% of online traffic comes from smartphones.In the U.S. alone 71% of consumers prefer voice search over typing. When browsing through themes, opt for mobile-friendly themes that are compatible with WordPress voice search plugins.
- Avoid bloated theme. Feature-rich themes may seem tempting but too many can slow down your site and negatively impact its performance. If page takes longer than three seconds to load, users generally abandon it. So, only install the most necessary features.
- Test the theme. Before settling on your final choice, test your top three themes. You can use a Theme Check plugin which runs themes against WordPress’s latest standards.
Stay On Top of Your WordPress Theme
Investing in a remarkable WordPress theme is the first step toward building an effective website for your brand. Once your theme is installed, you’ll need to invest in regular site maintenance and theme updates, unless you have time daily/weekly to run these updates.
Your WP Guy offers WordPress maintenance plans to help you keep up with website maintenance. Plans include security updates and tech support and a concierge service for your convenience. Request an appointment today.