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4 things to check when picking a new theme

One of the main advantages of WordPress is its flexibility. You can change the look and feel of your website by picking a new theme. Yet, while switching a theme is simple, selecting the right option for you may be time-consuming.

There is plenty of WordPress themes available on the market. Digging through them and exploring their features may take you hours. In this blog post, we will focus on giving you some directions that will make the decision process easier.

What’s important

We all know that when we are talking about websites our users do not care about what is going on under the hood. What they really want is a fully functional website that is easy enough to use, that has nice look and feel (definitely not an eye-aggressive website) and that is able to guide the user to solve its problems or reach his goals.

Although they may not care about what is going on behind the scenes, you, as a site owner, must care about what is happening on your website and how it works. And why is that?

Well, have you ever heard about Google? It cares about how your site works behind the scenes. If your website looks good to it, the chances that you’ll appear in the first pages are higher than if it looked at you and thought: hm, this website is not good.

What can I do to make my site a top-notch?

Speed

A well-developed website has an infinitely higher chance of being loaded faster than a bad-coded one. You must care about your theme loading time because your user will do. According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.

Yocto Theme by Humble Themes

How to check page loading speed? 

The easiest way is to use a speed test tool that will analyze your potential theme loading times. It’s important to notice that you should focus on loading times only. Custom grades, percentages are cherry on the top of the cake. It’s not relevant to your users since what they care about is how fast the page loads.

The most popular services for checking actual page speed are:

Accessibility

Currently, around 650 million people live with a disability. This means that on average around 16% -19% of working-age adults suffer from some kind of illness.

You don’t need advanced math to see that if your site is not accessible, you risk losing almost 20% of your traffic, and it is just from such a basic reason as that people are not able to use your site. It’s worth remembering that people with disabilities are consumers too.

An accessible website is a website that is friendly to 100% of its visitors. It’s simply a win-win relationship since you reach a wider audience. The good news for you is that you win twice because an accessible website is SEO friendly too. It’s highly likely theme that was created with accessibility in mind will have Semantic HTML, a proper heading structure, will provide a proper option for alternative text and so on. All of that makes it easier to understand by Google bot. This, on the other hand, can increase your site’s traffic.

World report on disability – Wikipedia

Extensibility

What does extensibility stand for? Simply put, it’s how easily software can adapt to shifting requirements. What if you want to extend your website, by creating an e-commerce or simply adding a new feature you’d like a lot – and so would your users? 

In the WordPress ecosystem, we call the extensions plugins. There are a lot of them available in the WordPress.org repository, providing thousands of options and features to your website. It’s essential to keep in mind when choosing a theme that if it’s compatible with many plugins, then it will be easier to extend your website.

Simplicity

Many WordPress themes are overloaded with features and options you don’t need. Think about all those fancy layouts, jumpy hover effects, shiny buttons and animations. They may look nice at first sight but is it what your users want? 

Let’s be frank about it. As a blog owner, you should believe in the ‘content first’ principle. Your users visit your site because they want to read all the good things you write.  

People love simple things because they’re easy to process by their brains. They want to find information quickly. They want the navigation to be intuitive.  So you would you distract them from content?

Conclusion

These 4 steps are the ones we believe that are highly important for ANY website – even more important if you are using the awesome WordPress CMS.

If you want to pick a new theme, you should consider the ones we develop, as they are focused on providing a high-level user experience, bringing functionality, speed and accessibility!

Try out Yocto or Salzburg!

Featured image credit: www.freepik.com

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You can also check out Salzburg, our modern personal blog theme that really makes a difference if you are serious about blogging.