There is a lot to consider when choosing a theme for your WordPress website. Even more to consider when you are planning on building your inbound marketing strategy on top of it. That being said don’t be intimidated because if you follow a few pieces of advice you’ll make the best selection with ease. Follow the steps below for help with choosing a WordPress theme for inbound marketing.
Select Your Theme from a Reputable Theme Marketplace
Most people start their theme selection journey in the WordPress themes database which is searchable from within the WordPress dashboard where many of the themes are free. Although that is OK and their are many quality themes in there it would be in your best interest to pay a little bit of money for a premium theme which you can find at places like themeforest on the envatomarket. Theme marketplaces like these do all the heavy lifting of theme selection for you by ranking them and allowing you to easily browse and compare by category.
Select a Top Seller Theme
Make sure not just the theme author but also the individual theme are top sellers. Usually the best theme authors will have more than one top ranked theme for a good reason which shows they have a history of quality work. This will show in the design on the front-end of the theme but even more on the back-end within the code and compatibility.
Features to Look for in a WordPress Theme
Most people choose a theme because of looks and design but almost more important are the features packed in to the theme that make the theme more robust. Here are a few you should ensure your theme comes with:
This is critical if you are planning to do any sort of advanced development with the theme and are not a developer yourself. Many of the top themes offer incredible free support if you are respectful of their support agents. Some of the best themes offer additional paid support to get you through any major development roadblocks you might have.
- Responsive Design
Tablet and mobile friendly websites are no longer an option. It’s much much easier to buy a theme with this already built into it than to try and recode your current site to be responsive on any device or browser. Don’t reinvent the wheel and make sure the theme you choose has this feature.
- Layout Builder
Also known as a drag and drop editor this allows you to easily built responsive web pages without any coding knowledge or experience. Fast approaching are the days of no longer needing to be a developer to create beautiful designs and content. Modern layout builders in WordPress have been known to be extremely reliable when used correctly. Almost the ‘new way’ of coding without any code at all.
Display amazing design elements on your posts and pages without having to use any HTML or CSS code. Shortcodes allow you to easily display forms, galleries, Call-to-Action buttons, testimonials and so much more with simple shortcodes instead of confusing easily broken code.
- Theme Options
Usually when you select a theme you install it and then wonder “I wish I could just change this one little part of the theme you think there would be an option for”. That’s what Theme Options are for – All those little things you can easily toggle without having to write or modify any of the themes codes. This gives you a handful of easy and accessible options to customize your theme easily from the WordPress dashboard.
Open Source Inbound is all about documentation. So why shouldn’t a good WordPress theme come with good documentation? Most do. Usually in the form of instructions hosted and updated online for reference. Many top themes will also have support forums that if you search on Google for your theme name and the issue your having will pop up with the answer you need. Getting free community support is what it’s all about!
- E-Commerce Capability
This won’t be relevant for everyone but if you are planning on selling online many premium WordPress themes will mention they are compatible with the top e-commerce plugins for WordPress. Make sure you pay attention to this to avoid conflicts down the road when you try to integrate the e-commerce platform into your WordPress site.
- Sidebar Manager
This is helpful although there are other good plugins to handle this as well. With inbound marketing you want to be able to customize your sidebar content per page and post to make them contextually relevant for higher conversions. Some of the best themes have this feature built in.
How to Avoid Choosing the Wrong WordPress Theme
Now that you know how to choose the right theme for inbound marketing with WordPress let’s talk about some common thing to avoid. You’ll see this is the case with many of the free WordPress themes that are available so you are better off giving yourself a budget for a premium theme of about $50 which will get rid of a lot of the junk.
You Get What You Pay For
If you choose a free theme it’s going to cost you one way or another. Considering the very best premium WordPress themes are available for under $100 often under $50 you might as well fork up the money now than have to pay your developer down the road to get the functionality you need.
When Was The Theme Last Updated
Another telling characteristic of a poor theme is that is has not been updated or supported in some time. As we know WordPress gets updated all the time and so do good themes. Look for a theme with an author, person or company that stands behind it with support and updates and you’ll be much better off.
It’s not all About Looks
Don’t be short-sighted and select a WordPress theme based purely on looks. That’s like judging a book by it’s cover and we know not to do that. As a developer myself I can assure you that a theme goes much deeper than it’s looks and there is much more to consider when it comes to evaluating a quality theme for your inbound marketing foundation.