This is a short guide on how to pick the right theme, before you decide to purchase it. Different themes work differently and you would not know how it works till you purchase and actually use them.

Of course if you’re not fussy you can either download a free theme(which may cover your needs) and test it yourself. Free mobile responsive themes are also available, if you’re not looking into fancy features, you can take a look at this list.

However if the free themes does not satisfy your requirements, then you can purchase a premium theme that does. Do note however, though it’s likely that you’ll find a theme that fits your criteria, it isn’t always a 100% hit.

Before shortlisting the themes 

List down the requirements/features you would like to see in your website. Then, think of a few keywords that best describes the look and feel of your website and use these key terms to search for the themes. I’ll usually purchase my themes via themeforest

When purchasing your theme, you’ll want to make sure its worth your money, hence I would advise on doing a little research before purchasing your theme.

1) Theme updates
When looking at the theme, be sure to check the if its a regularly updated theme, if the last theme update was more than 6 months, it should be a red light not to purchase the theme. WordPress does updates regularly and its important that the theme author keeps the theme compatible with the latest wordpress installation.

In addition, most themes come bundled with premium plugins, which you don’t have to make an additional purchase for. However, as much as themes need to be updated, plugins too have to be updated to be compatible with the latest wordpress installation. Hence you’ll only receive the latest plugin versions, if your theme authors updates the theme regularly as well.

2) Plugins that the theme is bundled with
If majority of your requirements are satisfied by the plugins/theme functions. This should give a green light on the theme. Also do try out the demo to get a better look and feel

3) Reviews of the theme
Often themes might look wonderful, but its only when you actually use it, then you realise that the theme isn’t functioning as what it said it’ll be. So do check out the purchased reviews and look out for the problems faced by other buyers, and if these issues are significant enough for you to give the theme a miss

Assuming you’re done with picking your theme, purchase download and copy the theme folder insider you wordpress folder under wp-content/themes.

 

inserting your theme folder

Then login to your wp-admin dashboard and under Appearance/Themes, activate the theme by hovering over to the theme name and clicking on the activate button.

 

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Usually the theme comes with a documentation that you can refer to on how to utilise the theme, so follow the instructions and you wouldn’t go too far off.

This is the third article of my wordpress series on how to set up your first wordpress site.

You can checkout the first two articles here

  1. Setting up WordPress on Localhost
  2. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

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