7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Purchasing a WordPress Theme
I hate to break it to you, but you can have a stunning website that is also broken.
A quality website is much more than pretty pictures and well-written text. Sure, from your customer’s point of view, your website may seem fine.
If they can easily find the information they need and the site is good-looking, then what’s the problem?
The difference between a beautiful website and an effective website is everything your customer can’t see. In addition to aligning copy across your site for SEO, it’s important to make sure your site functions to further your business goals.
Selecting a premium WordPress theme and upgrading your site with quality plugins transforms your website from simply a place to publish content to an extension of your team, working for you around the clock.
Believe it or not, it’s within reach for any entrepreneur to have a website that automatically syncs with an email CRM system to capture and organize leads, sell products directly to your customers, and make creating engaging web content a breeze.
Envato Market is a great place to discover awesome WordPress themes.
Each theme has a profile page with details outlined in a sidebar on the right. It’s the information in this sidebar that is critical to making your decision.
Use the advanced search feature to filter and find the perfect site. In addition to looking at ratings and comments, ask yourself:
When was the last time this theme was updated? How often does the author update it?
At least within the last 6 months and at least with each WordPress platform update. Authors who stay current with widespread updates design themes that will give you more mileage for your money. No one wants to undergo a second website project in a year because a theme is lacking standard features.
Is it compatible with any specific plugins?
Just be aware of plugins you may need to learn in order to create content. If you want to sell products directly to your customers from your website then you’ll want to make sure the WordPress theme is compatible with Woocommerce. Your email or CRM platform might have a specific plugin that will take the work out of getting and converting leads.
Does the WordPress theme come with premium plugins?
The best themes typically bundle a number of must-have plugins that make a world of difference for your WordPress website. Most websites need basic plugins – you’ll probably need the classic editor, page designer like WP Bakery (formerly Visual Composer), SEO tools like Yoast, and connectors to your email platform.
While many essential plugins are free – the ones that offer dynamic functions typically are paid. Some themes’ prices include advanced plugins like Revolution Slider or Woocommerce extensions that make running your e-store much easier.
Are there screenshots of the customization dashboard or any other backend interfaces?
The more sites you create, the more opinions you’ll have about built-in theme interfaces. Every theme has a different user experience that controls that way content is created, including site-wide settings and individual page/post settings. Look for theme customization options broken down into lots of categories.
At a minimum you’ll want to see settings for:
- Social Media
- Custom CSS
Plus settings for any features the theme promises like contact forms, e-commerce configuration, client testimonials, maintenance mode, and more.
What are the theme’s navigation menu options?
If you sell many products in different categories you may want mega menu options. Many sites showcase contact information in a small top bar above the main menu. Logo placements, transparent backgrounds, sticky settings – there’s more to consider than you’d think.
What is the tech support like – paid vs. free?
You ALWAYS want tech support. If you can’t whip out the extra $20 for extra support, then make sure you at least have access to forums or troubleshooting articles with your theme purchase. Some authors even provide video tutorials that go over the basics. The best themes have support via live chat, email, or phone around the clock. But be careful of support that is limited by available hours or how you can get in touch. If you find yourself with a major site glitch, you may have to wait DAYS to get a response.
Is there downloadable demo content?
Demo website content is a lifesaver for beginners. Beware of themes that bundle all their demo content. You’ll wind up slowing down your site by uploading a huge .zip file full of duplicate content and unnecessary media files.
Spend a few minutes on each theme profile pages to investigate the features breakdown and poke around demo home pages.
The truth is, you can make the same (very nearly) website on almost any theme you purchase. How difficult that same website is to create and maintain depends entirely on the theme you purchase.
As you browse options, remember: the absolute aesthetic differences from theme to theme are relatively minor. Your company’s media files are what really give simple site functions a WOW-factor. Focus your efforts on figuring out how the theme features you love work behind-the-scenes.
Even if your business website doesn’t need advanced features, it should be a tool that works for you, seamlessly moving prospects through the buying cycle while nurturing relationships with your current customers.
It’s 2020 and you deserve a website that is easy to maintain, makes manual business processes automatic, captures & nurtures leads while also being aesthetically beautiful.
I have personally built over a dozen WordPress websites and created content on another dozen, so don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you’re interested in working with me on your WordPress site!