how to choose a WordPress theme - SocratesI love WordPress and always recommend that people use WordPress when creating a website or blog, but one thing that most people struggle with is how to choose a WordPress theme. There are so many theme choices available that you can easily spend days searching for the right one for you and end up feeling more confused than you were when you started! In this post I’ll give you a few points to consider before choosing a WordPress theme. Read these first and you’ll find it much easier to choose your theme!

1) What Does the Theme Look Like? This a very obvious question, but probably one of the most important for you when deciding how to choose a WordPress theme. The majority of people want their website to be professional looking and attractive, so this has to be one of the main considerations when you choose a theme. Have a think about the impression that you want your site to portray to others. Should it look business like and professional? Or informal and fun? Or perhaps sleek and flashy? The answer to this is going to be dependent on the type of people that you are trying to attract.

2) Is the Theme Compatible with all Browsers? Not everyone uses the same browser as you, so it is important to consider what the theme looks like in other browsers. At a minimum consider looking at a demo of your potential theme choices in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome. You may find that it looks different in one of these browsers.

3) Is the Theme Widget Ready? The majority of website owners like to add things to the side bar of their website. For example an opt-in box, some banners, a list of recent posts or some links. Before you decide on a theme make sure that it supports widgets and find out where the widgets can be added.

4)  Does the Theme Support adding Banner Ads or Google Adsense? Do you intend to add banners or Google Adsense to your site? If so, consider where on the site you would like these positioned. Does the theme support the addition of a banner or an ad in the sidebar? Footer? Header area?

5) Is the Theme Search Engine Friendly? Clean code and fast loading graphics are just some of the things that you may want to consider. Some themes also have built in SEO features, but if not there are excellent SEO plugins available such as the Platinum SEO plugin.

6) Has the Theme been overused? If a theme is very popular, particularly in the market that you are in, it could look a little bit tired. In this case you may either want to consider a newer, fresher theme, or customize the theme with a new header and layout to make it look more unique.

7) Is the theme Easy to Customize? Most people want to modify their theme to make it their own. For example you may want to add a custom header, change the font size and colors, move the sidebars or create menus. Does the theme make it easy for you to do this, or will you have to go digging into the theme’s PHP code?

8 ) Do the theme owners provide support? Most professional theme owners will provide some sort of support, either included with the purchase or as an add on option. For free themes you may be able to get some support, or you may find that you are on your own. If you think you will need some help customizing your theme or troubleshooting problems when they crop up you may want to consider choosing a theme that provides support.

9) Are there any Reviews? Before you decide on a specific WordPress theme it is worth searching for some reviews on that theme first. You should be able to find some reviews on Google to help you understand the pros and cons of a particular theme before making that all important decision.

10) Should you use a Professional or Free Theme? The answer to this question is going to depend largely on your budget, but if you are serious about building your business you may want to consider investing in a professional theme. A professional theme is more likely to be kept up to date and you are more likely to get support. Professional themes are often coded much better and come with lost of additional features that make your theme so much easier to customize.

If you are an internet marketer, I recommend the Socrates theme. This theme is designed especially for internet marketers and it is very easy to customize with products in the header, footer and sidebars. You have lots of different layout choices with this theme and the ability to choose from hundreds of pre made headers.

Hopefully these 10 points will give you more insight on how to choose a WordPress theme, but please feel free to comment if you have any questions or suggestions of your own!

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