5 Characteristics To Look For In A WordPress Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme for your new website is a big decision. Here are five helpful tips to help you pick the right one.
WordPress is now used on more than 60 million websites, so it can be hard to be creative and original when using the website application. When investing the time and money to create a website, you want to make sure that every decision you make is well thought through and your end result is both fashionable and functional.
There are thousands of templates available for WordPress websites. With so many to choose from it’s a good idea to make note of the most important features needed for your specific website. For example, if you are creating an online retail business you will want to be sure that your e-commerce features are top priority.
Once you decide on all of the features that your website MUST have, you can then move on to the characteristics of a good website in general. Below are a few recommendations that we have found can help websites succeed.  
 

  • Social Media Integration

 
In order to get your website the recognition it deserves you need to be sure that your new WordPress theme allows for social media integration. Creating an easy avenue for your content to be shared across your social media channels can help you spread the news about how great your site is.
Most of today’s websites feature links to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ accounts, with the option to share any content you find interesting with your own followers and friends. Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites are also offered depending on the topic. This allows you to create organic traffic to your site at no additional cost while increasing your brand’s reputation and attracting more viewers for your site.
 

  • Easy Customization

 
While most themes will allow you to make changes fairly easily there are sometimes restrictions that can make or break the vision that you have for your new website. Most themes will allow you to place images and text where you want, but not all. It is worth spending a little time researching the restrictions and limitations of the theme you are considering before making a final decision.
Some – but not all – templates offer a multitude of options for setup including calendars, galleries, and portfolios which are easily customized. You should explore all of the options within the template as well as the functionality. If you are not given full access to the theme – and that is something that you have need for – then move onto another theme that will offer full customization controls and the functionality that your project needs.  
 

  • Fast Loading Times

 
Many fledgling website creators do not realize the importance of a fast-loading website. Instead, website owners will often focus on the aesthetics and functionality first. It is important to understand that if your website does not load quickly the great features and beautiful design become irrelevant, as your visitors will abandon the site before they get to see them.
Website users will on average wait three seconds for a website to load completely before clicking away to another website. Certain aspects of your new website can slow down loading times and you will lose traffic as a result. To avoid this, be sure that the WordPress theme that you are considering has quick loading speeds. If not, much of your website efforts could be wasted.
 

  • Mobile Optimization

 
More than ever, internet users are choosing to use their mobile devices as their prefered method of web browsing. Google has estimated that more internet searches are now coming from smartphones than from desktop computers. To keep with the times your site must be fully optimized for all sizes of screens, which means that in turn your WordPress theme must also have flexibility for tablets and mobile phones.
Since the surge of interest on mobile-friendly applications many WordPress themes have been designed with mobile optimization in mind – but not all. Before selecting a theme, be sure that it offers your website on an assortment of screen sizes. If so you will not only benefit from happier website visitors, but from a boost in your search engine rankings as well.
 

  • Unique, Clean Layout

 
Everyone has visited a website that is so bombarded with features, images and content that it is almost impossible to navigate through. This is not something that encourages return visitors. It seems obvious to use a theme that is sleek and user friendly, but many website creators find that once they finish their site it is much more crowded and busy than they first anticipated.
When choosing your WordPress theme be sure to pick a simple and appealing design. Try to avoid harsh colors and overly busy designs; your website visitors will thank you for it. When researching your options try to imagine all of the services and applications you are looking to include on your site. If you see that the theme you have your eye on will be overwhelmed with objects, it is probably best to move to the next option.

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