Five Questions To Ask Before You Choose Your Next WordPress Theme

by liorl · 11 comments

This is a guest post by Lior who is a web consultant sharing important things to look at while choosing wordpress themes. You can follow him on Twitter @liorl

Is it time to give your WordPress blog a new look? One of the greatest advantages of using WordPress as a blogging platform is the availability of thousands of themes, all of them with a slew of features that can take your blog to the next level both visually and functionally.

It’s like having a never-ending blog wardrobe. But that almost infinite array of themes can also make it difficult to decide which one’s right. It might surprise you to know, that many of these issues you should be thinking about have nothing to do with the actual look of the blog. Instead, they focus on the backend features that new bloggers may not even think about.

Here are five questions to ask before you change your theme:

Is It Updated Regularly?

WordPress is always being updated – in fact, there’s probably an update in progress as I write this – so it’s good to choose a theme that keeps pace with those developments. Look out for theme developers who are active in the WordPress community and who take the time to future-proof their themes. That way you can be sure that yours shiny new look won’t turn into something ugly with the next update of the WordPress core files.

How Does It Work With Plugins?

There’s so much plugin goodness to choose from with WordPress that it’s hard to resist using a few to boost your site’s functionality. Some themes have plugins built in and theme updates will ensure that these always work well. But sometimes you use an external plugin and your theme just won’t play nicely with it.

We all know that the more plugins we use, the slower our site runs, but a theme that won’t work with the plugins you consider essential is the wrong theme for you.

Can People Find You?

Believe it or not, it’s still possible to find themes that aren’t properly search engine optimized. SEO is a key factor in helping readers to find your blog and helping your blog to achieve a good search engine ranking. When you test drive a theme, see which order the page titles and blog title appear in and check the source code to see what keywords and descriptions appear.

Of course, you could just use a plugin like All in One SEO Pack, but wouldn’t it be great if your theme had that functionality built in?

Can Readers Share Content Easily?

There are dozens of social bookmarking and sharing plugins out there, some of them are very good, but it’s always much easier when this is built into the theme you are using. This is because they are integrated into the design, giving a harmonious look; while with some plugins, getting the buttons in the right place can be a minefield.

Bear in mind that you don’t really need a zillion buttons – as long as you can share to Twitter, Facebook, a couple of the top social bookmarking sites and by email, you’ll be good to go.

How Easy Is The Admin?

Many themes have backend admin panels for setting up everything from header images to analytics code in the footer. This is only cool if it works. Some theme developers allow you to preview the admin interface; it’s worth doing this if it’s available. Check out everything from making design tweaks to adding code – the easier this is to do, the better your experience of using the theme is likely to be.

Ask these questions and you’ll end up with a WordPress theme that not only looks good, but works well too. If you have any more “Questions” that one should ask before choosing wordpress theme, then let us know by commenting below.

If you are looking for a wordpress theme that fulfills all those things then try Ultimate Blogging Theme that even this blog uses.

About liorl

Lior is a web consultant working with online startups and ecommerce websites

has written 4 superb article(s) on this blog

Gloria Lupton February 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Wow, I almost never think of these questions! I only select styles according to how excellent they look and essentially nothing else. I really should begin looking at how modified they are and if they are upcoming proof! Would really preserve me the actual of regularly having the update my website.

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