Top quality WordPress themes are available by the hundreds online. Many fall easily within blogger budgets. But this creates a painful decision crunch: Which theme will work best for your content?
What features should you focus on to narrow down the myriad choices? If you’re stuck in the endless lists of themes that all look pretty good, try to focus on these six essentials to identify the best of the best.
1. Proper Customization
Customization options should be a given in any popular WordPress theme, but there are good and bad ways to offer it. You should be able to customize specific options with clear choices and tools that explain themselves well and do not overwhelm you.
Popular customization options include layout changes, new colors, specifications for ads, and of course all kinds of easy menu management options. Make sure your theme can really become your own through these customizations.
2. Clear Spacing and Font Sizes
If you aren’t big on customization features or just want something that already looks great without too much work, then focus on spacing and font sizes. Consider the appearance of the theme samples when it comes to striking, high-quality graphic design.
Proper font sizes, a good use of positive and negative space, proper spacing related to menus and fonts … all of this will show that your theme has been developed by someone who know what he or she is doing. In the best of the best, all themes should have good design quality, but this is still a useful way to weed out the less talented themes.
3. Localization & Responsive Options
Localization refers to the capability to have your blog be readable in multiple languages. It offers basic translation services and similar automatic features for people in other nations.
If your blog has a strong foreign readership — or you want it to — then consider a theme with these features. Responsive options, on the other hand, customize your blog for mobile devices so people browsing on smartphones or tablets will be able to view your blog without too many weird things happening.
4. Strong Comment Capabilities
Comments are a key element in every blog, especially when it comes to building conversations and connections with readers and other bloggers. Ideally, the theme you choose should come with a great comment section, one that’s easy to use and manage, including clear tools for both you and your readers.
Being able to follow discussions, differentiating commenters from each other, and making it easy to tell when you the blogger are responding to a comment, are all vital features. Test out comments before you buy, if you can.
5. Frequent and Proper Updates
Take a look at the history of the WordPress theme. How old is it and how many updates does it have? The best themes will show a steady history of updates that fix bugs and correct problems while adding new functionality.
If you look at the history of the theme and find that it’s been available for while but there have been no updates, you could encounter plenty of bugs and other issues that will get in the way of your blogging. Checking the updates can show you a lot about how skilled and dedicated the theme creator is.
6. Good Reviews
When in doubt, look at the theme reviews. Most theme websites and stores include review sections that show ratings and similar valuable information. If you like the look of a theme but it has a significant number of negative reviews, it’s time to find another version by a better creator.
You might consider searching themes by the highest rated to start off with those that have the best reviews — a move that might save you a lot of time.