WordPress themes is the habit that makes the monk! A theme is the dressing of your site, it is the visual rendering of your WordPress . So how to choose and install wordpress theme ?
We will see in this article, How to choose and install a WordPress theme in many ways, where to find themes for your WordPress and what to do before & after.
Choose a WordPress theme that meets quality criteria :
After discarding the WordPress themes that do not meet the needs of the future site, a second sorting can be done. A theme must meet criteria to offer a quality site or at least meet current standards.
Choose a Responsive theme :
First of all, the theme must be “Responsive”, that is to say capable of adapting to all types of terminals. It is therefore recommended to test the display of the demonstration of the theme with different devices. Built-in browser tools make it easy to simulate navigation with the most popular phones and tablets. A test with Google’s Mobile Friendly tool provides an even more objective verdict.
Choose a quick theme to load :
Websites must be fast to load. Firstly for the user experience but also for the good SEO of the site in the search engines.
A set of good coding practices make it possible to offer users fast pages. Before acquiring a theme, load time tests must be performed on the design demonstration.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool allows you to test the display speed. It provides two notes out of 100: a first for a mobile download and a second for a computer download. PageSpeed Insights allows you to test a single page. It is strongly recommended to test all pages of the theme and not just the home page.
Choose a theme compatible with all browsers :
A theme must be compatible with all browsers used by users. This compatibility test can and should be done with different methods.
The first is to test the same theme with different browsers.
The second is to use online tools to obtain a browser-based browser result.
The third is to use the tools of the World Wide Web Consortium, more commonly known as W3C. This standardization organization provides tools for testing the validity of the HTML and CSS code. It is thus possible to discover if a theme has coding errors. These may be misinterpreted by browsers and the display of the theme will eventually differ from one device to another.
Choose a WordPress theme compatible with the most used plugins :
If WordPress is today as popular it is thanks to the numerous extensions available. They can add features ranging from setting up a contact form to creating an interactive map.
It is important before acquiring a theme to make sure the compatibility of the latter with the most used extensions. If the sheet of the selected theme does not provide information on this subject, do not hesitate to contact the developers to avoid unpleasant surprises. The ideal is even to choose a theme that already includes the desired extension or extensions: not only do you make sure that the theme is compatible, but you also gain the time to install these extensions.
Choose a WordPress theme optimized for SEO :
If a WordPress theme does not allow access to the first places of search engines, it can instead prevent it. The duplication of content or the misuse of HTML tags can be for example brakes or blocking factors to SEO a website.
While it is difficult for a beginner to do an SEO audit of a theme, the mention “SEO Friendly” on the theme sheet can give an indication of the attention paid by the developers on this subject. If this statement is coupled with many positive opinions, it is very likely that the information provided by designer are reliable. Even more, if no subject evokes this problem in the support forums.
Choose a WordPress theme with a page authoring wizard :
A quality theme must offer a page creation wizard, or Page Builder in English. This tool allows via a graphical interface to easily modify or compose the pages of a WordPress site.
For example, to add a slider, the user will simply have to click on a “Slider” button and then choose the images to insert and the configuration options.
Favor a theme with technical support :
One of the strong points of paying themes is to offer their users technical support. It is essential to ensure that such a service is included before purchasing a theme.
The support can allow both to get help for the installation of its WordPress theme, the use of certain features but also for the quick resolution of possible bugs.
Read User Reviews :
The presentation sheet of a theme allows to discover essential information: the number of downloads, the average rating and the opinions collected by the theme. It is even sometimes possible to consult a forum of help where the questions put by the users make it possible to discover possible problems.
By analyzing this information, it is possible to eliminate a theme judged to be of poor quality by many users.
Choose a multi-language theme :
Choose a simple theme :
Applying all of these criteria can significantly reduce a first list or create a list of quality themes.
A final criterion allows to refine this list and to finally select a WordPress theme. The simplicity of a theme is essential. To provide an optimal user experience, it is recommended to choose the easiest theme of use. The best illustration of the application of this rule is the Google homepage. The search engine keeps from year to year a minimalist presentation with a simple text field and a validation button!
Where to find themes for WordPress?
You can use free or paid themes, some free themes are sometimes freemium versions (you use the basic version for free but you will have to pay a license to unlock additional features).
1 / On the WordPress directory or from your WordPress administration, you will find free themes and freemium. It is also here that you will find the default themes of WordPress namely the Twenty (ten, eleven, twelve …. Corresponding to the years of release).
2 / On specialized platforms like Themeforest, AppThemes and others, you will find premium themes that pay off. The price can vary from 39 to 99 € and more for the frameworks. Attention, a premium theme does not guarantee that it is more “secure” than a free theme, usually the premium themes offer more customization features or themes “ready to use” depending on the activity sought.
How to choose your theme?
Some points, which must guide your choice, are essential:
- The visual, quality of design, readability and originality.
- Originality, find the rare pearl and adapt it.
- The code, check the code and the loading times.
- Comments, get an idea about positive or negative feedback.
- Translation, prefer a theme “translation ready”.
- Support, verify that there is a real support or FAQ and a user manual.
- Compatibility, think about compatibility with the latest WP versions.
- Security, avoid free themes found randomly on the web.
Before changing the theme!
If you plan to change the theme, it means you already have one in place. The beauty of WordPress is that it makes theme changes very easy. This can be done (in theory) in a few mouse clicks. But changing the theme in good conditions requires a minimum of preparation.
To not forget anything and make a theme change smoothly and safely, I recommend reading 13 things to do before changing its WordPress theme!
How to install a free theme of the repertory
To install a free theme directory from your WordPress Back-Office, go to Appearance >> Themes. Then click on the “Add” button.
Choose from the suggested themes (you can filter: Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites, Feature Filter)
Once installed, you still need to activate the theme.
How to install a premium / paid theme
If you have opted for a premium theme, you must have downloaded to your computer a file from the platform in ZIP format.
Note: If your ZIP file comes from Themeforest, there is a good chance that it contains, in addition to the theme, documentation, source files and sample content. You will have to send to your WordPress only the part containing the theme.
Open the ZIP archive and check what it contains. In the example below, we see the folders theme, template, sample, psd, … Click on theme.
You will see in the folder, the theme in ZIP format. you have to send it to your WordPress site .
To add your premium theme, follow these steps: Go to Appearance >> Themes, click “Add New”
Then click on “Upload theme”