Your website is an extension of your brand. It’s a home base for your company to showcase new products or services and where your customers can come to find you if they have questions or are looking to browse. In 2022, every business needs to have an effective website to stand out to clients and have any chance of performing above their competitors. WordPress is one of the most popular web content management systems, with 2 of every five websites using WordPress to build their site.
WordPress is so popular because of the myriad of theme options available to brands, which help them increase their website’s effectiveness and stand out better in their industry. There are over 31,000 theme options available for WordPress, including both paid and free options. That doesn’t even include the myriad of customization options available if you work with WordPress theme developers like those at the Goodie website, who are trained to create unique WordPress themes for your brand. Now, with this many theme options available, it can take time for companies to choose the best one. In addition, these themes will play an essential role in how your customers and search engines perceive your business, so you want to ensure you select the correct one. That’s why we’ve put together a guide for choosing the best and most effective WordPress theme for your brand.
A Guide To Choosing The Right WordPress Theme For Your Brand
Benefits of WordPress Themes
As mentioned, businesses can build robust, effective websites through WordPress’ many customizable theme choices. The first and most obvious benefit of WordPress themes is that they serve to make your site look much more professional and appealing to visitors. The aesthetics of a website are very important because visitors will make a judgment call about your site within the first 50 milliseconds (or 0.05 of a second) of seeing your website’s homepage. If your site looks cohesive and easy to look at, visitors are much more likely to stay on your site for a more extended period than bounce off right away. A good theme will represent your brand’s image and make your site stand out from competitors.
Apart from aesthetics, WordPress themes can help increase your online presence because many offer built-in search engine optimization (SEO) features. SEO is crucial for any website to gain a high ranking in Google searches. A custom theme can help your overall SEO by offering customization for individual pages. This includes changing the title tags, meta descriptions, and page headers for each page on your site. It also includes elements like the image you use to display an article on your homepage or blog posts. These custom themes shine in because they allow you to customize different pages of each section of your website without affecting other parts. As a result, you can customize unique pages and boost each of their SEO individually through a theme built with customization and SEO in mind.
You might be thinking: How will I have time for all of this? Unfortunately, most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have the kind of time available to make website updates and try to increase their SEO regularly. That’s another reason WordPress themes are so beneficial to businesses in 2022. They help you develop, launch, and keep up your website much quicker than building a site from scratch. For example, if you choose a theme in the morning, you could have your website up and running by the end of the day, depending on how much customization and content needs to be added. Themes are also often optimized for speed, which means they will load faster than built designs, saving you time and keeping your website updated overall. Not to mention that themes are especially easy to use, which is helpful for those new to coding or with no coding experience. Suppose you are still worried about the time and effort it takes to maintain a high-quality website. In that case, you can always hire a WordPress freelance developer who is an expert in this field and is often cheaper than internal or agency developers.
The Process of Choosing A Theme
Now that we’ve gone through the many benefits that WordPress themes offer your business’ website, you are ready to choose the ideal theme. Suppose you’re scrolling through the list of themes available. In that case, it can feel overwhelming, as there are so many different options, each unique offering features that benefit business sites. However, following the process below will make your choice much clearer.
Make a List of Desired Features
WordPress is an incredibly versatile system and offers thousands of interesting features that can be added to your business website, from something as simple as integrating your logo to something like adding 3D features. The first step in narrowing down which theme you will use for your website is to write down a list of essential plugins and features your site needs. What is most important to you as a business owner and your clientele? For example, do you need a search engine available on your site or a design that features infinite scrolling and multiple product variations? One of the best ways to decide which features are essential to you is by looking at competitor websites in your industry and finding out what their visitors are looking for in their website experience. Deciding on the important features to you is very beneficial to choosing the right theme because WordPress has a filtering option to help you narrow your theme search to the most critical features of your brand.
Check Out The Competition
The importance of checking out competitor websites was mentioned above regarding finding essential website features that your site needs. Looking at other websites in your industry or niche will help you frame what potential clients are looking for in a website, so you can both fit in and stand out. For example, if you’re a marketing agency, websites in your niche will look entirely different than those in the fashion industry. However, your website visitors will expect to see a website that has the overall look and feel of a website in your industry. That familiarity will help them feel more comfortable on your site. Now, this is how you can choose a theme that will help you fit in – but you don’t just want to fit in; you want to stand out. That’s why looking at competitors’ websites is so valuable because it can help you frame the things they are doing wrong and that you want your theme to change or do differently.
Think About The Simplicity of Factor
After you’ve looked at competitor websites and used filters to whittle down your theme search to only those with your essential features, analyze the choices from a visual perspective. You’ll need to determine whether your business would benefit from a text-focused or photo-focused theme. Most likely, you will need need a mix of both. Additionally, you should ask yourself questions like, is this theme easy to navigate on the backend? Also, will I be able to customize this theme to match my brand well?
While you should consider these smaller factors, ultimately, you need to weigh the simplicity factor above everything else – no one likes complexity in the websites they visit. Even if the information you are expressing is complex, people seek simplicity in web design and are often unwilling to stick around on websites that try to do too much. That’s why a theme that is too packed with features and incorporates too many elements on one page will often underperform compared to other sites that seek after simplicity. A complex theme is also more challenging and takes longer when it comes to personalizing, as you need to remember that you will have to go through and add your unique insights and information to each section. It can end up being hard to read and difficult to navigate. A simple design can make all the difference in site performance when you update your site with new pages, products, or promotions, so be sure to filter through and find the sites that offer a degree of flow and simplicity.
Determine Support and Maintenance Functionality
Few people know WordPress themes are living templates rather than static web pages. Anyone can create a WordPress theme and submit it to the themes directory. The best themes are the ones that are regularly updated and maintained by those teams, even after being admitted to the directory. When you select a WordPress theme, you’re choosing to edit a document made by someone else, hoping their template will be used to help further your business’ website. That being said, not all WordPress themes are created equal.
Perhaps you’ve found a theme you think will work for your business. It checks all the boxes, yet you notice that it hasn’t been updated in a few years, and customer support from the designer is nonexistent. If this is the case, you’ll likely want to move on to your next choice. Without a dedicated and routine update, it might be hard for this theme to get you ranked on Google, especially if it isn’t stable, lags when loading, or doesn’t properly index your information. Additionally, if you run into site issues, you’ll be stuck figuring them out yourself. On the other hand, if you choose a popular, regularly updated theme that offers strong maintenance and support for the theme itself, you are choosing something that will benefit your business in the long run.
Read the Highest and Lowest Reviews
At this point, perhaps you’ve decided on a style you like but are having difficulty narrowing it down further. One great way to do this is by reading the user reviews of the different theme options you have available. Over 80% of consumers say that reviews help them make their purchasing decisions because knowing another user’s experience can help you decide whether that product is right for you. This decision is the same for WordPress themes – check review boards and choose the themes with higher reviews or those that make the ‘popular’ section on the WordPress site.
These theme reviews often summarize the user’s experience and tell you important details that can help you decide if it is a suitable theme for your brand. This factor is especially important if you are looking at premium themes. Though the look and feel of the site are essential and can help you make your decision, something that’s more important is usability and whether people have had good experiences with the product in the past. Consider the good and the bad reviews, and identify where you might run into problems based on other users’ knowledge and experiences.
Be Your Customer
At the core of every business decision you make is the customer, so why not use that to help you choose which WordPress theme to build your website? Turn yourself into one of your customers by exploring other sites that use this theme or going through the customer experience funnel on another site. Or, if you have already chosen a WordPress theme, this is a great strategy in determining even further if it is the right site for your business.
As a business owner, you might get caught up in the look of your site or in what backend optimizations and plugins could look like, but it’s how accessible your site is for customers that will make or break your brand. Check how long each page takes to load, see if you’re struggling to find anything, and try submitting a query through your Contact Us page. The more seamless your experience, the more receptive your customers will be if you use this theme.
As can be seen, there are myriads of benefits to using WordPress themes, but choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Take your time, and don’t rush the process. By going through each theme slowly and considering things like competitor sites, the user experience, and your essential features, you can choose the best theme for your website. As a basic rule of thumb, choose a website theme that reflects your brand and identity. If you do this, the other details will fall into place.