How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog

How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog
Photo credit: Ashley Ella Design

{ THE PERFECT WORDPRESS THEME FOR YOUR BLOG } 

As you begin to develop your blog, finding the perfect WordPress theme for your site can be a daunting task. With a multitude of selection out there, both free and paid, it can become very overwhelming. We here at The Modern Alice understand the struggle so we have developed a checklist to help you pick the right one!

Before delving into the checklist, we highly recommend to take a moment and establish your blog’s vision and mission statement. Find out what is the purpose of your blog. 

How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog

Click here for the PDF version: TMA Mission Worksheet

Having a clear understanding of what your goals are will help expedite choosing the perfect WordPress theme for your blog. The reason being is because it helps narrow what features you may want to use and also help give a foundation of what the layout may entail.

Another suggestion we have is to look at other blogs that you admire and then take notes. Look at their business model and see what you like and from there, determine which aspects you can apply to your own blog. Ask yourself what is it that you like about the layout and keep that in mind.

Now without further adieu, let’s get started. 

1. WHAT TYPE OF WEBSITE ARE YOU BUILDING?

Before immersing yourself in the hunt for the right layout, first decide what type of website you are building. This will help determine the perfect WordPress theme for your blog. Ask yourself these simple but powerful questions:

  • will my blog strictly be a personal blog focused on large bodies of texts?
  • will it be a portfolio mainly consisting of my photography?
  • will it be an e-commerce website where I can sell merchandise specific to my business?
  • or will it be a culmination of all the above?

These are important questions because although WordPress themes are rather versatile, it can be quite difficult to customize your chosen website if the layout was specifically meant for something else. For instance, trying to embed a magazine styled blog template to showcase and sell your web design and graphics portfolio; or your expertise on make-up exclusively is not the best solution. It’s not the right fit and can take hours trying to make adjustments to do so. So first things first, have a precise and clear understanding of what type of website you are building to avoid choosing the wrong one and losing precious time replacing it. 

2. WHAT FEATURES ARE REQUIRED?

To piggyback on the previous questions, make a list of what features are required for your blog. This is absolutely essential. When we were first building The Modern Alice, we had not done this which resulted in us changing our theme a whopping four times in one year to accommodate what we wanted to give our readers! This equated to our website being down and unfortunately losing old posts that were not backed-up along with relatively new readers. It definitely affected our traffic, but we definitely learned our lesson as well. Also, doing your due diligence and knowing what features you’d like to have either in the beginning or future will help in the long run. Trust us!

If your plan is to provide a “Shop” page that sells merchandise specific to your brand or services, make sure WooCommerce is included as one of the advanced elements or is compatible if it will need to be downloaded as a separate plugin. If you are big on posting your outfits on Instagram and would like it to be a prominent feature on your homepage, see if your theme supports the Instagram roll on the homepage footer.

Create a checklist of different features that you would like. 

This is why it’s important to scout other blogs to see what features they have that you may want to incorporate on your own website that you may not have thought of.

Piece of advice, however, be sure to create a checklist of features you will absolutely need. Having all the bells and whistles when it may not be necessary can affect the speed of your blog which is a big proponent in site turnovers. So know which features are necessary and stick with them.

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3. PRICING: PAID OR FREE?

This is extremely important to ask yourself! WordPress itself in the “Appearance” section has an array of free blog themes that can be the perfect one when starting out. However, they are more limited in giving you authority to tailor the layout to match your vision for your website. They have your standard layouts but can be quite cookie cutter. Now there are alternatives to this which is the premium route. You can pay for a WordPress theme for your blog that is more unique than those offered directly through WP. These, on the other hand, can cost you.

The premium route may be more lucrative for you if you are looking for something that is less standardized and more aesthetically pleasing with better functionality. When you are going the paid route there are a few things to highly consider.

Do your homework FIRST before purchasing!

Here are things to look for when considering buying a WordPress theme for your blog:

  • What is the pricing structure?
    There are various types of pricing structures that theme suppliers and developers offer.  The three most common are as follows:

    • A one-time fee that includes lifetime updates and support;
    • A recurring payment structure for access to theme updates and technical support;
    • And another option where you have the ability to join a theme club which gives you a membership to multiple themes from the developer

    Make sure to check which ones the supplier offers!

  • Pre and Post-Sales Support
    When debating which way to go and you have already narrowed your list, spend some time investigating whether or not your source provides pre and post-sales support. This is definitely worth exhausting effort on. There are marketplaces like Envato that allow open access to their support forums. This is incredibly helpful because it gives you the opportunity to see how they deal with queries and how quickly they respond to requests. Not only that, but can help answer questions you may have about their themes prior to your actual purchase. This saves you time, energy, and money! Make sure you also figure out how to get in touch with the support team and what their preferred communication method is. It’s quite a hassle trying to get help on your theme but not know how to get it.
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    How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog
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  • Customization Options
    Typically, when you buy a theme, you have the ability to tweak it in one form or another to match it to your preferences that fit your vision for your blog. Some themes allow the user a colossal amount of access to customization options via the custom control panel while others give a lesser approach. Some developers give you fewer options and although the design of the theme is unique, the only changes allowed are your basics including font, colors, logo, etc.
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    Now depending on how much freedom you’d like in altering the appearance of your website, look into the features available. Ask on their support forums if customization is available or test out their “Demo/Preview” mode. We highly suggest to go with a theme that gives you the ability to demo a WordPress theme. This will give you a good feel of how the layout flows, how fast it loads, and if they have different styles offered for one theme. A good example of this is The Voux from Envato. A good rule of thumb is that if the website loads longer than 5 seconds, forget it! In a day and age of instant gratification, if your website takes too long to load and is hard to navigate, your bounce rate will skyrocket. 
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    How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog
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    Another thing to consider is whether or not some theme developers offer bespoke theme customization services. Bespoke customizations can come with a heavy price tag but is definitely tailored to what you have specifically envisioned. This service extends passed your basic changes and add more complex features. Remember those blogs that look nothing like the rest that you’re completely obsessed with? (Think: WhoWhatWear, The Everygirl, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and In The Frow) Those are typically bespoke blog themes. You can check out idthed for examples.
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    How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog
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  • Reviews
    When it comes to purchasing a WordPress theme from a developer, look at the reviews. Reviews are extremely important. They help verify whether or not the theme you are considering is worth spending the cash on. It’s like purchasing anything online or on Amazon. You always look at the reviews to ensure that the product being offered is authentic, compatible, and is well received by the public.

 

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{ RECAP }

With a plethora of themes offered today from various developers, it can be easy to get distracted and disheartened. The wealth of options and knowledge available out there can be too much. However, having a clear understanding of what you want and what the purpose of your site is, finding the perfect WordPress theme for your blog can be a breeze. So as a quick recap we have created a worksheet for you to reference while you shop around for the perfect WordPress theme for your blog.

How To Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog

Click here for the PDF version: Finding Your Theme Template

We know it can be a daunting task, but we are dedicated to helping you in any way! That’s what we are here for! So leave a comment, send a private message on our Contact page, or send us an email directly. We are here to help!

Let us know what your thoughts are on the post or if you have any additional best practices for starting bloggers. Hope you enjoyed our mini guide. If there is anything else we can elaborate on how to choose the perfect WordPress theme for your blog, please let us know. 

The Modern Alice will also be starting new series of posts specifically pertaining to blogging tips. So don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our NEWSLETTER! <3 

DISCLOSURE: I USE AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST IN WHICH I GET A PERCENTAGE OF A PURCHASE. FOR THE FULL DISCLOSURE GO TO MY DISCLOSURE POLICY PAGE.

* Image Disclaimer: The Modern Alice creates no claim or credit for images featured on our website unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to it’s respectful owners and we make every effort to link back to original content whenever possible. We follow typical web protocol through a general creative commons license, also generally known as “guide for internet sharing” where we believe in providing and receiving, proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer. If you own rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear here, please contact us and they will be promptly removed.

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