The foundation of every successful marketing venture is a good site. Choosing a suitable theme for your site can improve your business’s reader experience and overall performance. There are tens of thousands of themes available online.
Sifting through one theme after another can seem daunting. On your quest to find the perfect fit for your blog, you must at least have an idea of what you want. Different themes work better for various functions.
If you want to give your readers a visual experience, you want to find a colorful and vibrant theme. Alternatively, if you need your readers to focus more on the content, you’d want to tone it down on the color and focus more on the formatting.
Not sure where to start? Below are helpful pointers on how to select the best theme for your blog.
Selecting the Best Theme for Your Blog: Dos and Don’ts
Knowing what to avoid in your search for the ideal theme unburdens you of half the load. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts you should consider to clear off the fog.
Have a Rough Idea of What you Are Looking For
From features, site format, colors, and so on, chances are, you already have a rough idea of how you want your site to appear.
For example, do you want a single-column blog or one with multiple columns? Avoid combining many features on the same site. It creates visual noise that may prove distracting to your readers.
Remember, the whole point of owning your blog is engaging the people who visit the site. The rule of thumb that less is more applies here.
Also, figure out whether you want a free WordPress theme or a paid theme. Free themes, while fully functional, do not have as much to offer as paid themes when it comes to features and versatility.
Avoid the Clutter
Too many features will make your blog appear bloated. It’s easy to get carried away and use as many features as possible to customize your blog. However, too many details create clutter that may affect the success of your site in the long run.
Note that special features like music players and gaming features may look super cool on your blog. You’d barely think twice about using them. However, such features tend to take a lot of space and energy to stay running. The result is a slow site that takes ages to load.
Unless yours is a blog on music or gaming, you can always go for supporting features that serve the purpose yet aren’t bulky enough to interrupt the smooth running of your site.
A Responsive Theme is Key
Choose a theme that will give your readers an easy time, whether they visit your site from their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The theme should have features such as the menu section and several widgets that make it easy for visitors to maneuver your site.
Research shows that over 61% of the people who click on websites do so via their mobile phones in the U.S. This means that over half of your target audience will likely come across your blog using their phones. Therefore, it is crucial for the theme you choose to be responsive, even on mobile phones.
The good news is that most premium and free themes are smartphone friendly. With a significant fraction of your traffic using mobile phones, a responsive theme is one whose layout effortlessly adjusts irrespective of screen size.
Choose the Right Colors
The right colors guarantee instant brand recognition. They are bright enough to attract attention, set the right mood, and send a message. On the other hand, the wrong colors make your site seem less attractive and dull, and few readers will be curious enough to explore your blog.
Yes, colors are that important!
When identifying the perfect color for your blog, you are always safe with neutrals. Add a dash of color here and there to make things more interesting.
To go dark or to go bright? While personal preference plays a significant role in the colors you prefer, brighter colors seem more attractive than darker colors. Research shows that people respond faster to bright colors. To increase your readability, stick to bright colors that correctly represent your brand.
Choose a Simple Font
Readability is vital for a successful blog. Choose a unique yet simple font. Regularly posting useful content is one thing, but you will not meet your goals if you use a foreign font that no one can read. Choosing a simple font means that your content is easy to read.
In no time, first-time visitors will become regular visitors and soon convert to your best brand ambassadors.
Some of the best fonts you can use include Holgada and Temeraire. Avoid using standard fonts like Helvetica and Arial. There’s nothing wrong with using these fonts, but remember you want to stand out from your competition, even in the font type you use.
Free or Premium Themes?
Your budget determines whether or not you should go for a free or a premium theme. If you are serious about establishing yourself as a serious contender in your field, premium themes are far better than free themes.
Free themes double down on quality and versatility and limit how far you can go when customizing your site. Plus, there are no regular updates/improvements, and there’s minimal or no support for when you need help solving an issue.
A premium theme, on the other hand, gives you limitless options. They have countless features that allow you to set yourself apart from the rest. Most premium themes require a one-time fee instead of a recurrent weekly/ monthly payment.
Test the Theme
Have two or three options before narrowing it down to one theme. Leave no stone unturned by testing out each theme thoroughly. Put yourself in your target readers’ shoes. Readers want the theme to load fast and look good, efficient, and easy to navigate.
Make as many tweaks as necessary to fine-tune your blog and bring it up to the high standards you’ve set for yourself. Before telling everyone to check out your blog, review every part of your theme and the content. Test out your blog on mobile phones. Are the images clear?
Consider adding different plugins and choosing a reliable hosting solution to keep your blog exciting and functional.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Theme for Your Blog
As a new blog owner, finding a theme that supports your quest to build a creative digital experience is overwhelming. When every theme you look at looks better than the last, choosing one for your blog can be difficult.
To help you out, below are a few factors to consider when selecting a theme for your blog.
Sophisticated Yet Simple
There’s a thin line that separates simplicity and sophistication. In your search for the ideal theme for your blog, find a theme that blends these two principles.
The theme must have a simple and sophisticated color and layout. Avoid bright animations and widgets which can distract the reader.
The best theme is usable and meets you and your reader’s demands.
Functionality Is Key
What is the primary purpose of your blog? The theme you choose for your blog should support your answer to this question. Have a list of requirements and find a theme with several features that can meet these requirements.
Instead of choosing a theme that’s appealing to the eye, it would be better to seek the opinions of a few random people about the theme you choose. The result tells you whether you are on to the suitable theme or if you should keep looking.
Fast Loading Speeds
Due to the many features some themes have, it can take ages to load pages and images. Most people are impatient. Studies show that if a site takes longer than three seconds to load, there’s a high chance the reader will opt out and venture elsewhere.
Instead of going for an ambiguous theme, how about a lightweight theme that loads fast and checks all your boxes?
Fast loading speeds enhance user experience and increase conversion rates. You will realize exponential growth as more people pass by your blog. Ultimately, the number of regular followers will rise to great heights within weeks of launching the blog.
Initially, a theme may look flawless. However, even the best themes need adjustments here and there to make them even better. Find a theme that gets regular updates.
A theme that doesn’t get frequent updates becomes outdated pretty fast. Choose a premium theme whose author strives to offer you and your readers a fantastic experience.
Most site owners focus on making their blog compatible with various devices, but very few think about making their site compatible with different browsers.
There are numerous search engines people use to browse. Therefore, choose a theme that works efficiently across different browsers.
Remember, you want to reach as many people as possible and convert them into loyal followers. Do not isolate people who use the less common browsers. This is only possible by choosing a theme that guarantees smartphone and browser compatibility.
Ratings and Reviews
If you are unsure about a theme, nothing will help clear your concerns better than an honest review from people who have tested it out before. A quick way to tell whether or not a particular theme is worth your time, take a peek at online ratings and reviews.
Search for ratings across social media platforms, among your friends, and renowned third-party forums online.
Ratings and reviews are the fastest way to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially when you like many themes and find it hard to select one.
Why Selecting the Right Theme Is Crucial for Your Blog’s Success
Many blogs fail before they start because the owners make a series of wrong decisions. Deciding to start a blog is great, but choosing the right theme is one of the most important decisions you will make. The right theme represents your brand and business and determines who your audience is.
Some themes are better suited for a blog whose target audience is kids below ten years of age. The same goes for teens, young adults, middle-aged people, and seniors.
Choosing the right theme is important because:
It Supports your Agenda
Every blog looks to spread the word about a particular idea. The right theme effortlessly supports your goals and purpose. The same way your logo represents your brand, a theme should also do the same.
The right theme builds a strong bond with your readers, is easy on the eye, and is simple enough to support the message you are sending.
Good for Business
Most blogs start simple with their aim solely to build numbers. However, when you surpass a set number of followers, you start finding ways to monetize your site. The best thing about working with the right theme is that it works just as well whether your site is monetized or not.
The right theme leaves a good impression on first-time visitors. They want to keep scrolling down, from page to page, through your blog to find out what the site is all about. Use this time as leverage to convert the visitor.
The best theme supports your aim to maintain old readers, attract new ones and sell to your general audience. Bottom line, the right theme can significantly contribute to growing your revenue and is, therefore, good for business.
Boosts Your Site’s SEO
Search Engine Optimization-SEO supports content and sites that are less common and original. If your content and site are copied and appear like everyone else’s, there’s very little chance you will rank high in browser search results.
The perfect theme is unique enough for the search engines to notice and, as a result, gives it a high SEO rank.
Customizing your site takes a good deal of time and effort. You want to make sure that you select the right theme before you start customizing your blog. Above are valuable tips that will help you evaluate and choose the perfect theme.
Check out all our other articles and learn more about ways you can market and support your blog.