As a web developer for over 10 years, I’ve had a lot of experience tinkering with WordPress themes! A lot of times a client likes to start a project based on an existing theme and since there almost endless options out there, it can be daunting finding the right one. Prompted by a question in a blogging forum, I started putting together some tips for finding the right WordPress theme for your website. Here is what I recommend:
Identify your needs
Make a list of all of your “must-haves.” What are your needs for this site? Those important things that you absolutely must have. Then make a list of “nice to haves.” And then…make a list of things you know you don’t want. (things you’ve seen on other sites that you didn’t like or maybe avoiding something that is too trendy, etc)
Find a match
After you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, start to search for themes that fit your needs. Just because one theme has the word “foodie” in it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you! Search around on sites like ThemeForest and Elegant Themes until you find something suitable. Play around a lot on the theme’s demo site and see how much you like it as-is.
Notice if you find yourself saying “I could always change that.” The more you say that, the more likely you will be unhappy with that theme.
Do your research
Read the reviews! See what people have to say about the product. What are their likes and dislikes – and how do those relate to your lists. You can also browse the theme’s support forums for a little bit more information. For instance, how quickly do the theme developers respond to questions? Are they helping? Are people complaining about particular issues? Are those issues something that could potentially cause you headache?
And finally, remember that no matter how much research you do, it will always be little different once you purchase the theme and start playing around with the settings. It is possible to modify themes if you know how or you can hire someone to help(like me!). And you can always purchase a new one if you really want to. Most themes are pretty affordable (assuming that you will use them for a long time).