Discover 12 qualities you need to look for in the WordPress theme for your blog. And make sure to snatch the checklist too!
Your blog is much more than your content. It is your brand, your vibe, and your hub. And so, your blog layout, your theme, should reflect this.
If you’re on the hunt to upgrade your blog themes, or if you’re just starting out, you will want to find the perfect WordPress theme for your blog.
Now, let me warn you, there is no such thing as a perfect blog theme. There will always be something you wish were different in it.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some pretty darn good ones.
And to find WordPress themes that can actually do (almost) everything, you need to do some research before you install them. You need to look for these 12 essential qualities.
12 Essential Qualities To Look For In A WordPress Theme For Your Blog
1. Simple Design
The worst impression you can give is having your blog all-over the place. Clutter is to be avoided like the plague.
If someone stumbles on your blog, they might read an article and they might like it. But if they can’t find anything else, they’re gonna leave.
So your blog theme should be relatively simple. It should also display clear menus and structure, without too many distractions.
Simple is best.
If you look at my blog, you can definitely notice that it only has the bare minimum.
Well, to be fair, I am a minimalist at nature.
You can add more stuff to your blog layout, but make sure to not overdo it.
2. Clear Pathway
A good WordPress theme should also be able to clearly guide the user to what you want them to do.
For example, if you want people to subscribe to your blog, you will want your blog theme to prominently display a sign-up call. In this case, you could maybe choose a theme with a large header image display.
If you want people to buy your product, you could choose a theme with a call-to-action widget under your blog title, etc.
Figure out where you want your audience’s attention, and choose a theme that highlights that area.
Customization is sooooooo important. The option to have multiple places to put widgets and codes will definitely come in handy in the future.
From time to time, you will want to add more call-to-actions or move them to different sections.
Or you might launch a product, and you’ll want to display it proudly.
So when choosing the themes, choose ones that have many widget options, and features. Also, check out if they have any optional/additional plugins you could install to add extra features.
4. Good looking Design
Now, this one is kind of a given. Who would buy/upload a theme which makes their blog look unpleasant? You’d be surprised!
While keeping in mind all the other 11 qualities, you also need to choose a theme which will attract people. They need to like the layout. They need to enjoy looking at their screen.
If your site is, well… unsightly (see what I did there, haha), most people will lose interest and move on.
So yeah, choose a good lookin website layout.
5. Reflects your business
Another visual related quality is that you need to choose a design which reflects your blog/business.
For example, if you’re in the business of creative designs, your blog layout should be fun and exciting.
If you’re into strategic marketing, you’ll want pie charts (do they still use them?), and billboards to be shown immediately.
If you’re in the minimalist business, your blog should likely look plain and simple, with a touch of something.
I could go on for ages, but you get what I mean.
Everyone loves images.
A blog full of text with no images is such a turn- off.
Now that I mention it, I just realised that this post has been mostly text. So here’s a picture of a cat.
Having loads of images on your blog will keep it beautiful, and not boring.
Images also have a power in themselves. They tend to add something to the blog. They are informational.
So choosing a theme which allows you to showcase a lot of images, will keep people interested.
7. Colour Scheme
Ahh. Colours… Or colors. I like colours.
In my personal opinion, I think a lot of colours, can give you headaches. And do you want to give people headaches? I don’t think so.
And not only that but a lot of colours cause confusion.
In your theme, you want to have 2-4 recurring colours. These colours should be your brand colours. You should actually use them everywhere and anywhere.
This way when someone sees those colours, they will think of you 😉
PROTIP: Lighter colours are usually more pleasing to users. White and pastel colours can give a feeling of…calmness?
8. Mobile Responsiveness
From this point on we’re gonna dive into the technical part of choosing a WordPress theme for your blog.
Nowadays, most of us use mobiles/cellphones to browse the internet. And so, it is a MUST that your theme works on a small screen. It should really be mobile responsive.
What does mobile responsive mean?
It should be able to display everything that is needed on small screens. And it should leave out everything unnecessary that only clutters the layout on a small screen. The widgets should be able to function and display properly.
In the theme description (before buying/downloading it), you will likely find written if the theme is mobile responsive.
PROTIP: After you install your theme, you can also check for yourself using this free website.
9. Browser responsiveness
Sometimes, themes may work very well in some browsers, but very inefficiently in others.
And when I say inefficiently, I mean total lack of structure and function.
Now, you don’t need me to tell you how bad that can be for your blog.
This has to do with how the theme is written, and so you have a lower chance of this happening with premium themes.
Before installing/buying your theme, read the description to check if it is compatible with all browsers.
Another thing that usually goes hand in hand with themes is plugins. Plugins are extensions we use to add to the theme’s functions, so we need them to be working well together.
And of course, you should read the description of the theme.
But if you’re reading it for plugin compatibility info, you will likely be wasting time.
In this case, I suggest writing a little email, and asking the developers themselves if the theme works with specific plugins.
Hey, discover these 17 free plugins that will ease your blogging life! Check them out, please.
11. SEO Friendly
Poor HTML coding in your theme can make you less favourable with Google. It can seriously affect your SEO game and impair your traffic-getting.
How to know if the theme is SEO friendly? You guessed it! Check the description.
Interested in SEO? Read the beginner’s guide to SEO. In this post, I also explain how to get Google to notice you!
12. Customer care support
Ok, so after you install your theme, you’re gonna want to customize it to your preferences. You will install plugins, add the analytics code, your Google ads, your tagline, header image, etc.
And if you’re a beginner, you will very probably need help with that. And that’s when after sales service comes in.
You need to make sure you can rely on their help after you purchase/download the theme. You may also need to contact them if there is a problem with the theme itself.
The thing is, free themes don’t usually have customer support. And in this aspect, buying a theme can be very favourable.
Additional Things You Can Do To Choose The Best Theme
• Read the reviews. Make an assessment based on both good and bad reviews!
• And yes, reading the description before purchasing is very important. (I think I said it like 20 times, sorry!)
• Email them about any unanswered questions you might have. Unfortunately, sometimes descriptions aren’t as forthcoming as one might hope. Don’t leave any questions hanging around in your head, just contact them.
Places Where You Can Buy Your Theme From:
Studiopress – Studiopress offers a mixture of themes from different developers. I have bought my theme from them, and I can honestly say their customer care is fabulous.
Restored316 – Restored316 offers a wide range of feminine themes. These really are perfect themes for young females. They sell genesis themes. Oh, and their customer service is also goooood.
As for the themes themselves, I use Genesis themes. These themes are highly customizable, and very cute. There are also genesis plugins which are awesome to add more functionality to your website.
Bonus Tutorial: How To Upload Your Theme
Go to your Dashboard> Appearance> Themes> Add New> Browse through the free themes.
Go to your Dashboard> Appearance> Themes> Add New> Upload Theme> Choose file> Install now.
That’s it friends.
Now, you know what you should be looking for in a WordPress theme for your blog.
All you need to do is to grab this handy-dandy checklist (for future reference) and go choose your (near) perfect website theme.
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What do you think of these 12 qualities? Will you use them when choosing your theme? Do you have anything else you check for? Share with us in the comments!