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Digital tablet computer with sticky note paper and cup of coffeeBefore Genesis, I would spend days pouring over WordPress themes trying to find the perfect template for my sites. Those days, I didn’t know anything about CSS or PHP, so I was looking for lots of color options and all the other bells and whistles needed to turn my sites into exactly what I wanted. Sometimes I bought based on emotion, without taking the time to pay attention to important criteria.

When I finally purchased a template, I would learn about its limitations (which they don’t include in the sales pitches!) and be disappointed. Today, I want to share with you a few questions you should ask yourself before you buy a new WordPress theme.

I learned the hard way, and here I am today, creating beautiful sites that are uniquely you. I am a stickler for my custom-designed sites, for which I use WordPress and Genesis, which I’ve come to realize is the best in the business. However, I understand that you may want to buy a WordPress theme out of the box, hence this post.

What to Look When Buying a WordPress Theme

Your WordPress template is going to be the face of your business. You should consider more than just the look, the feeling and the price. It is important to consider the theme’s benefits and drawbacks carefully before you buy the WordPress theme to ensure it matches your criteria and that you will be able to turn it into a successful blog or website.

Ask yourself:

1. What am I looking for in terms of aesthetics?

If you buy a premium theme, you can change some elements in order to customize it within the framework of the theme, but you can’t do whatever you want with just a little tweaking. Some WordPress themes have many options and layouts and color options, but you get what you pay for, so choose carefully. Select an option that meets 80% of your needs .

Choose a theme that enables you to change colors and other small aspects, but remember that a design professional will have to take care of the rest.

2. Do I need a theme for a blog or a website?

While WordPress caters to both, some themes are more suitable to blogs, while others are meant for e-commerce and other websites. While most themes allow for conversion, it is best to choose WordPress themes that are aimed at your specific needs.

3. Will my theme work with the latest version of WordPress?

It is essential to keep WordPress up-to-date for security and functionality purposes. However, some older themes don’t support the latest versions of WordPress. Therefore, check that your theme is supports the latest version before you click on “buy”.

4. Does the WordPress theme support my website’s navigation needs?

Decide on a basic layout for your site before you even start looking at themes. Decide whether you need one or two menus, because you may use one menu for pages and another for categories. You may also want navigation in the footer, or a footer widget with links.

5. Will I need call to actions?

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that call-to-actions are crucial for an e-commerce site. You need them on the home page and in your side-bar. Your design needs to have built-in options that offer professional-looking call-to-actions.

Consider the actions you want your visitors to take and consider them when you go theme-shopping.

6. Is my WordPress theme SEO friendly?

WordPress is an SEO friendly platform, but that doesn’t mean that all WordPress themes follow best SEO practices. Choose a theme with clean, optimized code if you want to achieve good rankings on the search engines. To do that, verify that your theme includes breadcrumbs, excerpts on archive pages, displayed taxonomy descriptions and the proper anchor text on post titles.

7. Will I need WordPress Theme support?

Be sure that your theme still offers support from the developer. This is one of the main reasons to get a custom theme, such as those we create at Unbound Website Creations. But if you’re buying a theme, make sure that you have access to video tutorials, email and phone support.

WordPress Theme Purchase Take-Away

If nothing else, be sure to make a list of all the requirements you have for your new website’s WordPress theme before you set out to look at available themes. There are so many themes to choose from, and it’s easy to get lost in the maze, or to completely freeze up – unable to make a decision. When that happens, it may be best to speak to us about creating a site that suits your brand image perfectly, a site that is uniquely you.