Foundations are key
Start as you mean to go on
The theme of your website is essentially the overall style, appearance and functionality of your site. This can be anything from changeable colour schemes and layouts to an e-commerce theme which will give you the ability to sell products and services. The theme you choose will have a direct impact on the consumer experience and should always reflect your brand. Due to the importance of a theme to a website, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to decision time. There are so many options, some new, some old, some free and some paid. So how do you pick the perfect theme?
Keep It Simple
What may look good on the eye, may not always be beneficial for your website. When choosing your theme, make sure that the presentation style is not too complicated. You will be given options for complex layouts and eye-catching animations etc. But, you have to ask yourself if these things are 100% necessary for your website? If these factors are poorly coded then they could end up harming the functionality and usability. It is easy to forget the main reason for a website which is, to help a user find the information that they need regarding your service or product and then to help the website owner achieve their goal. You need your users to be able to easily navigate your pages and get what they need from it, if your theme looks good but does not provide this then it is not a suitable theme. Simplicity can provide you with the ultimate functionality and sophistication.
5 Star Support
Just because you have a theme installed doesn’t mean that nothing will go wrong, believe me, it does. When selecting your theme, research what support you get when using it and how regularly the comments and forums sections are being used. When using a free theme, more often than not, your support will be limited if any! This means, if something goes wrong, you’re on your own and you can waste several days down a number of rabbit holes trying to find the solution whereas, a decent support system will have the matter resolved in hours. My advice would be to always use a premium theme, you may have to pay a premium price to begin with but the support you receive, you will make your money back in time saved.
Be thorough when installing your theme and follow the documents from the beginning. If you miss something early on, you may not realise until it is too late.
Responsive Is A Must
Having a responsive theme will allow you to build a website that will adjust its layout across multiple screen sizes for different devices. Depending on the topic of your website, the traffic that is generated through mobile phones, iPads and other handheld devices could rise to over 50% of all searches. By having a mobile-friendly site, your chances of appearing at the top of search results on Google rise significantly. It is essential that you carry out the relevant research in the beginning and test how mobile-friendly a theme is. Google has a great mobile friendly test tool and you can also manually check its responsiveness yourself by viewing the theme on different devices to see how the layout adjusts.
Reviews And Rating
Like the majority of things these days, you can tell the popularity of a product or service by the number of customer reviews and comments it has. It is important to consider this when selecting your theme. We always like to compare the number of times a theme has been purchased and how regularly it is being bought to the amount of good reviews and positive comments it has. Don’t get me wrong, most themes will always receive the odd bad review but as long as they aren’t a common trend and the good heavily outway the bad, then you are good to go.
When you are diligent, then choosing and installing the perfect website theme for you can be a simple task. But, if you take your eye off the ball for one second then it can go very wrong, very quickly. At Chrisp Design, our web design team understand the importance of using premium themes and take the time to research a theme that has the functionality you require. Your website is the hub of your business and this should be reflected in the expertise needed to build and maintain it.