WordPress has remained the most popular content management system (CMS) for many years. It is estimated that over 50% of the CMS market is controlled by WordPress, powering a great number of blogs, small businesses, and popular sites. For a business, developing a site using WordPress allows easy access to themes, plugins, hosting, continuous development, and useful training. It is important, though, to choose a theme that is right for the long-term development of your business. The following factors should all be taken into account when deciding which theme to use.
History of Development
If you browse through the themes within the WordPress marketplace, you will inevitably see items that have not been updated recently. Developers can often abandon themes if they are not profitable, causing potential issues with new updates. Look at the history of the developers before choosing a theme, ensuring they have a history of updating their products. If you decide to go with a newer developer, it can be wise to contact their support desk to check they are responsive and helpful.
Can Grow with Your Business
Your business may start small, but there will usually be a plan for consistent growth. It is important that the theme you choose is able to grow with you, providing the features that weren’t required in the early stages. You may, for example, want to add an e-commerce section to your website, so the ability to integrate a plugin like WooCommerce will be useful. Consider your long-term business plans and try to anticipate what your theme will need to do in the future.
A slow loading site can seriously damage a business, leading to low conversions and SEO issues. Along with hosting providers, a theme is a leading cause of slow loading times. Many developers advertise the speed of their theme, recognising its importance for users. However, it is also wise to perform your own tests. Run the demo theme through the Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix tools, avoiding themes that have a low-performance score.
Coding issues can also hamper a theme, leading to persistent problems. For example, if your images are not configured correctly, each new post you add will suffer some problems. Coding issues often cause a site to lag as files are not compressed, but you could also see problems with image size and independent apps that don’t appear correctly. Additionally, coding errors often lead to sites that don’t work properly across all devices, preventing a site from working on a phone.
It is unlikely you want to be editing code each time a change needs to be made. A good theme will include various options that allow easy editing and alterations. A number of different colour schemes or options allow for quick updates, while access to font types and sizes across all types of text makes life easier. Ideally, there will also be options for using various page layouts and integrating some of the most popular plugins.
The ability to quickly change your theme is one of the attractive aspects of WordPress as a CMS. For a business, though, there will be a reluctance to frequently make changes. A theme can help with branding, while regular visitors will appreciate the consistency of a site. Updating a website is something that most businesses plan well in advance and perform rigorous testing on. Therefore, making the right choice with your theme is critical. By analysing these factors before you choose your theme, you should find you have a website that can work for an extended period of time.