Choose right WordPress theme
In this tutorial you will learn how to choose right WordPress theme for your business. The theme contributes a lot to overall performance of the website. If site performance is not good, its search engine ranking will not be good. Google has clearly said that websites optimized for speed and mobile devices will be given more priority in ranking. It is therefore important to install a theme optimized for best performance.
You have decided to launch a website for your business in WordPress Content Management System (CMS). Now you are thinking about which theme will best suit your business and how to choose the best one among several available themes. We will talk in this article about speed, performance and page size etc aspects of the theme.
Which Theme Suits your Business?
The theme depends upon your business nature. You will have to choose the theme according to your business but which one to choose will be discussed here. For example there are many themes available for education, photography, blog, magazine and colleges etc. The best theme among these several available will be having beautiful design, will be loading fast, will be having less page size etc. I will recommend to forget about free themes. Free themes have good performance when you install them for first the time but it degrades with the passage of time. The reason is that it does not receive regular updates. Therefore it becomes non compatible with future updates of WordPress.
Now let’s discuss about different features of a right WordPress theme and why they are so important.
Google has clearly said that every developer should focus on mobile friendly design. If all other things are same, Google will rank a mobile friendly website better than the one that is not mobile friendly. There was a time when mobile friendly was an option but it is now necessary for every website. To check whether a theme is mobile friendly or not, “Google Mobile Friendly test” is used. Just type “Mobile friendly Test” in Google search and you will be asked to provide a URL to check. Provide the URL of theme demo over here. Suppose I provide the URL of this website and click on “Run Test”. The following screen appears in another window but I pasted with this one to make one picture. So you should not be confused with that.
Yes, this is different from mobile friendly. A responsive theme adopts itself to every screen resolution. The theme must be responsive and should adapt to every screen resolution.A responsive design is always mobile friendly but a mobile friendly design may or may not be responsive.
You can use this URL to check responsive design; it checks the design in mobiles, desktops and tablets of different sizes.
Compatibility with all browsers
This point is also very important. Your website must load perfectly in all the available browsers. You should check the theme in all browsers to ensure that it pose no problem with any browser. Also keep in mind that check the theme in all browsers of desktop, mobiles and tablets.
Page speed is an important factor for choosing a theme. Every theme seller provides a demo of the theme. There are many online tools which check the performance of website. Pingdon, Google Page Speed and GTMatrix are examples. Simply copy the URL of the theme’s demo and paste it in one of these tools. It will give you the performance of the theme. The page size should be in Kbs for better performance. Page speed contributes to loading time which is an SEO factor. Also remember that the demo provider of the themes keep the demo on dedicated servers so it loads instantly. You should think about the performance when it will be hosted on a shared hosting.
The load time of the theme should be under one second. Because of being hosted on good hosting, the demo will load fast but this speed can degrade on a shared hosting environment.
No of Requests
This number will give more help as compared to the above two. Every good page renders quickly so it requires less number of requests. This value should not exceed 20 for a demo. No extra Plugins are installed in demo, the number of requests and other two metrics can increase when we will install Plugins.
Testing Theme Demo with Tools
I will give you a practical example of a theme demo. I will hide the name of theme so as to keep privacy. You can check any theme using this method.
Suppose I need a theme for e-commerce website. I will type the search query for e-commerce website in Google. Now I will check the themes one by one. So let’s start.
I typed the demo URL in pingdon tools and it gave the following result.
Performance grade is C, Page size is 2.7 MB, Load time is 1.24 second and number of requests required are 78. Now this theme obviously is a bad theme. The performance will further degrade when we will further customize it and add install some Plugins.
The result of theme demo in Gtmatrix is given below.
The results over here are more frustrating. The fully loaded time is 19.1 second and page size and number of request are the same as in pingdon. The difference in load time is because pingdon gives first time interactive value when page is not fully loaded yet while Gtmatrix gives fully loaded time.
The result of the theme demo in Google page speed is below.
The result over here for desktop was above 90 but the mobile score is 43. We want our theme to perform well both for mobile and desktop.
This was all about how to choose right WordPress theme for you business. Hope it has finished your confusion about which WordPress theme to choose. If you have any question or suggestion, please tell it in comments. Your feedback will help us grow. You may also be interested in how to create a blog in WordPress