One the biggest challenges that every WordPress blogger or website owner will experience over time is moment when you need to switch or change your current WordPress theme and go with new one.
Each theme transition is challenge and you can at least avoid some headaches, by choosing theme carefully.
What are key things that you need to know about WordPress themes?
Themes are actually set of template files that are responsible for styling your website and for overall look and feel of your entire WordPress website. Themes are defining your website appearance and basically they are affecting both quality and performance of your website in serious matter.
Themes are handling menu positions, widgets and sidebar positions, width of the content area and almost everything your visitors will see.
They can further extend the default option and features and thus, make your WordPress more useful to you.
So, that’s why the themes are so important. If you fail on choosing the right theme, you will end up replacing it.
Now, lets begin… I will introduce the most important facts that are requiring your most focused attention.
Themes design, performance and features
As already stated, theme design is something that is crucial , if your visitors don’t like the design, they won’t be returning back or respect your website. Almost the same goes for the performance, You need a fast website that is performing fine on all devices and you need to pay close attention onto this detail for sure.
Next very important key figure is the feature set. Be sure to deeply inspect all advertised features as they are also very important and could save you a lot of work on additional customization. You can also skip many unwanted plugins if the theme you purchased is covered with needed features.
Once again, make sure that your theme provides features you find useful and needed.
Ability to test the theme before purchase
Most of the WordPress themes are offering demo pages where you can see how they are working and stuff like that. But, to be honest you can’t know for sure what is gonna happens when you purchase the theme and what you can expect from the theme control panel as the back-end demo is not available.
Well, some of the theme authors, (the ones that are sure in the total quality of their themes and items) are offering full featured back-end theme demo. Take the Meks for example, they are offering all of their themes for free test drive.
You can easily apply for free test drive using signup form on their theme demo pages. Once you submit your email, you will receive generate personal test drive website with full access to all theme options and features. So, you can evaluate theme and see if it fits into desired role.
Single author or team
Well, I thinks I don’t need to go to deep on this key point, single authors can’t handle that much work and support like the entire team, so I would advice you to check if the theme author is actually team, as it gives the advantage in support and security over the themes that are actually “one man show” projects.
Support focused on solutions
It eventually all comes to the support. So, if you purchase a theme that is powered by a team of highly skilled persons that are providing support in pro-active manner, you will gain a lot. It is very important fact, if the team is working pro-actively, they are most likely listening to their customers very carefully, they handle bugs and enhance features so that your purchased products stays fresh and up to date.
Its not so hard to determinate the level of support provided by the respective authors, just make sure that you read all comments on their item page if available, or check upon their support forums if any, you’ll get the picture for your self.
Open your eyes, look into details. The key things you need to focus are well described, so look for the theme that offers nice desing, cool features, ability to try before purchase, check how they do support and if they are willing to go beyond their support scope and make sure that its the team behind it and not some guru, that with all do respect can’t compete with the team.
Good luck and feel free to share your impressions on this.