Choosing and Installing a Theme for WordPress
Now that your site is live, you need to decide on a theme!
Your objective in this chapter is to understand what a WordPress theme is and how to choose one that’s right for your site.
By default, WordPress will install a theme. While these aren’t inherently bad to use, they’re typically not extremely professional.
If you’ve been following our guide, you may have already chosen a theme when you installed WordPress through Softaculous. If you’re satisfied with it, keep it! However, we want to make sure you know that there are many options for themes available on your website. Don’t feel confined to the ones offered via the Softaculous install.
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is an add-on to WordPress to allow for customization of your website. It changes the “look and feel” of your page. Themes allow people with little or no coding experience to create an eye-catching site.
Themes can be acquired from a variety of resources including from your WordPress admin area. There are also large theme directories such as Theme Forest. The pricing also can vary dramatically, from free to $300, with the average cost around $20-$70. In the end, you’ll need to decide on a theme simply based on the design that appeals to you and has the most positive reviews.
How To Choose A Theme
When you are looking through different themes there are a few important questions to ask yourself.
- Do I like the design? Many themes allow you to change the colors and layout. However, this is not the case for all themes.
- Is the design responsive? In other words, if someone visits your site from a tablet or mobile phone, will the website still be readable and navigable? Some claim to be responsive but are not. View their sample site and then test it yourself by simply resizing your browser.
- Is the website built with HTML5? Essentially, websites built with HTML5 are built on a new standard that will help your site operate faster and smoother than older versions.
- Is documentation available? Most will be labeled if documentation is or is not available. If you want to check if help will be available when you need it, google search for “(theme name) help,” “(theme name) tutorial,” or “(theme name) video.”
Note: Any site can be customized with the right coding. So, if you know a coder who is willing to help you update your site, you can keep this in mind as you choose a theme.
You’ve met your objective in this chapter of understanding what a WordPress theme is and how to choose one that’s right for your site.
Choosing a theme can take some time, but we’re convinced it’s worth it. We recommend looking through the popular ones or going to your favorite site to write down what you like. Then, search through the available options and choose 5 or 10 that stand out. Do your research on the four questions we mentioned above. You should be able, by that point, to narrow down your choices to just a few different options. Ask people you know for their opinions.
In the end, is it possible to change your theme if you’re not satisfied? Sure. But the more content you add, the more difficult it will be to fit your content into a new design. Try to get it right the first time!