WEB & TECH / JAN. 24, 2015
version 6, draft 6

Guidelines for Purchasing a WordPress Theme

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One of the most important elements of a WordPress site is the theme. Your theme will determine the appearance as well as functionality of your site. Buying an inappropriate WordPress theme will not only waste your time and money, but could also result in a negative reputation for your business.

Here are some things you need to consider when buying a WordPress theme:

1. The purpose of your site

Before you begin looking for a theme, you should first determine the purpose of your site. What exactly do you want to achieve with your site? Whether you want to sell products or services, podcast or just blog, you will find WordPress blogs that will suit your needs. You can find appropriate themes by simply doing a Google search for your desired theme. For instance, if you want to create a photography site, you can search using the phrase ‘Photography WordPress themes’. Pick a few themes from the search results and settle for one which has the features you desire.

2. Pricing

Pricing is another very important consideration when looking for a WordPress theme. Make sure the theme fits within your budget. In addition, find out if the theme is worth the investment. Will you be able to get free updates and support in future? Can it be used on multiple websites? Does it come with free plugins or will you have to buy them separately? You can find great premium WordPress themes from sites such as StudioPress, AuthenticThemes, ElegantThemes and Themefuse.

3. Easy customization

Whenever you buy a WordPress theme, it is important to brand it with your logos, colors, fonts etc. Therefore, be sure to choose a theme which can be customized easily. Find out if it comes with a theme options panel. Does it allow you to add banner ads or navigation links to the header? Can you easily customize the layout? If you don’t have the knowledge, you can hire a professional to customize the theme for you.

4. Review and ratings

Take time to read online reviews and ratings before making a decision to buy any theme. Carry out a quick Google search to find out what people are saying about the theme you are considering. You can use terms such as ‘StudioPress reviews’ or ‘StudioPress ratings’. Read both professional and customer reviews on the theme. In addition, most themes have forums where people discuss issues concerning the theme. The comments left in such discussions will give you a great insight on the theme.

5. Social media integration

Social media is vital for brand awareness, engagement and generating web traffic. It is therefore very important to choose a theme which allows easy social media integration. If possible, find a theme that has inbuilt social media buttons. This will save you the cost of having to buy premium social media plugins. In addition, it will save you the trouble of having to customize the buttons for your site.

With the hundreds of themes out there, choosing the right one for your site can be a very arduous task. The tips above will help you make the right decision.

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