Identify Your Aesthetic Before Choosing A WordPress Theme

choosing-wordpress-theme

When it comes to do-it-yourself web design, WordPress is the most popular choice by far. It is free and simple. Most importantly, there are thousands of free WordPress themes that you can customize, as well as thousands available for purchase from a variety of vendors. The advantage of themes is that they take the guesswork out of web design and provide a stable architecture for your website. As you peruse themes for WordPress, however, you still have to think carefully about the choices you make. Just because you can build a website in minutes does not mean you should.

Before you even begin clicking through WordPress themes, you should identify your aesthetic. This actually can be a lot of fun. Think about the websites you visit and the designs that most appeal to you. Pick three favorites based on design not content and go to each of those sites. What do you like about them? Write down three features and three adjectives that pertain to each. A feature can be something as simple as “links on the left,” and the adjectives can be anything that makes sense to you. Next, look at what these websites have in common according to your lists. Do not panic if you cannot immediately find similarities in your lists. You do have a clearly defined aesthetic; you simply may need to look a little more closely to find the common thread.

Next, go back to those three favorite websites. What do you not like about them? Try to find three things on each site you would change if you could. This may be a bit more difficult because you like the look of these sites, but it is worth putting in the time and identifying three elements you would change on each site. After all, it is just as important to know what you do not like as it is to know what you do. Once you have your lists of likes and dislikes, it will be much easier to narrow down your WordPress theme options.

Now it is time to start looking through those themes. WordPress will provide you with a sample page, a description, and the download statistics for each theme.  You should check the stats because the more popular a theme is, the more customization you will need to consider to make it distinctly yours. While nobody wants their site to be cookie cutter, this matters more if you are creating a commercial website than a personal blog. As with all things, moderation is key. Tweaks and modifications should never be made solely for the sake of change. If you like a primary element, such as the font or a particular color, feel free to keep it. You do not need to reinvent these themes for WordPress; you just need to make whichever one you choose your own. Making deliberate changes while keeping the elements that drew you to the template will result in a site that is truly reflective of you.

This is just one approach to selecting a WordPress theme. The most important thing to remember is that you should dedicate some time to thinking about your website design before committing to a theme. Yes, you can customize it and yes, you can always replace it with another one, but with this site you are establishing your web presence. First impressions are lasting ones; you might as well make a good and meaningful one.

Choosing a WordPress theme from the thousands available requires careful consideration. Identifying your needs before perusing themes for WordPress will help greatly.