Laptop, notebook, mobile phone, and a cup of coffee.

If you’re looking for platforms on which to build a flexible and great-looking website, you needn’t go much further than WordPress. All of the style decisions and element templates are organized into themes from which you can choose – and there are literally thousands of them out there. But while this mighty array of options is good to have, it can also seem daunting. How do you choose the ideal WordPress theme for your website? Don’t worry, we’ll give you a few tips right here.

Thing About The Basics

As we’ve mentioned at the very beginning, knowing what kind of WordPress theme is best for your website isn’t always intuitively obvious. So, when you enter the WordPress theme directory and begin your search; there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind from the very beginning.

While all of the themes found here have their own specifics which can vary wildly, this theme directory categorizes all of the available themes according to three basic traits:

  • Layout
  • Features
  • Subject

First of all, you’ve got the general layout of your website; do you want a theme with two columns, three columns, a sidebar, or a combination of some of the above? This is one of the first stylistic choices you’ll encounter, and certainly one of the more important ones.

Secondly, there are the features. Before picking the ideal WordPress theme for your website, you should think about the features you want. Even if professionals like design your website, you still need to make this call on your own. We’ll talk about this in more detail below and take a look at some of the feature-related decisions you may want to consider.

Thirdly, there is the subject of your WordPress theme. Think about this as roughly speaking, the theme of your WordPress theme. Regardless of how unique you want your website to be, to paraphrase Charles H. Duell – everything has already been invented. In other words, if you want to start a website based on cooking tips: you’ll find that there’s already a theme with some of the basic functionalities you need to be built into it.

Responsive Theme

Once you begin your search for the ideal WordPress theme, there’s one expression you’ll encounter pretty quickly – “responsive theme”. Most themes out there will boast with this in their descriptions, but what does the buzzword actually mean? Generally, a responsive theme design refers to the attempt to make the theme as consistent as possible across multiple platforms.

Nowadays, people use all kinds of devices to access their online content – from desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets. With that in mind, website designers are striving to achieve an optimal user experience, that remains functional on any platform. In other words – you want to choose a theme that won’t require much fiddling around to make your website appealing on mobile platforms; the less scrolling and resizing, the better. You definitely want to pick a theme that does this well; essentially, the goal here is a seamless user experience without the need for a separately-designed mobile website.

Premium or Free?

One of the major deciding factors in your choice of an ideal WordPress theme is whether you want to get a premium (paid) or a free theme. We’ll say one thing right away; as you might expect, the free themes are of a somewhat lower quality than the premium ones. It checks out, as having premium themes wouldn’t make much sense otherwise. That being said though, sometimes you may be lucky enough to find a theme that’s free but completely fitting for your purposes.

Also, on the bright side – plenty of premium themes also offer a free version. So, you may want to give these a try before putting down money for the paid version. That’s especially true if your website is just starting out, and doesn’t have a lot of traffic. As the need for additional features increases, you can just upgrade to the premium version of the theme.

Depending on your own technical prowess in the realm of web design; you can also use a free theme as a basis and then code in all the features you need without paying additional money for a premium version. Still, this is a huge time sink, and it may be a better idea to go with a premade theme instead.

On the other hand, we won’t lie to you; buying a premium theme isn’t devoid of its own frustrations. The fact that you laid down a few bucks for a premium-quality theme doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work just like you expect it to.

Sometimes, you may realize that the theme doesn’t have all of the functionalities that your project requires, so you need to modify it further or go with another theme. With that in mind, we recommend going with designers that don’t offer solely premium themes. If you try out a free one that they’ve made first, you’ll have at least a passing idea of how many modifications you need to make for the theme to be in line with your needs. After all, the entire point of having a paid theme in the first place is to eliminate the need for excessive coding; keep that in mind and don’t settle on a theme you’ll have to spend countless time on rewriting.


The importance of choosing the ideal WordPress theme for your website simply cannot be overstated. The theme you pick will be instrumental in defining your website’s visual style, and thus your brand’s online presence. Just make sure you’re careful in choosing it, as making another switch, later on, will cost you in terms of downtime!

Author Bio: Samuel McGill is a freelance author and journalist, also acting as a consultant for the construction of safe and malware-free websites. In his spare time, he enjoys riding dirt bikes and extensive hiking.

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