As a WordPress professional for more than three years, I can tell you there are plenty of things that make your website stand out in a bad way.
But, how do you move past mediocre and get it to catch the visitors’ attention firmly?
That’s the burning question, a question that is often discussed but barely settled.
A right WordPress theme with the right content would make your website stand out from the rest. It would make your visitors keep engaged in your site for hours or encourage your customers to make a purchase from your website.
So, what makes a theme right for your website? A theme that helps your website turn into something that addresses the needs of your visitors; it certainly is the right theme for you. Such a theme would probably cost a lot, right? Well, NOT SO.
There are so many such themes out there that you can get at around $50.
The secret to building a great website isn’t about using the most expensive developers and designers; it isn’t even about choosing expensive themes, and it isn’t about using themes that have countless features.
The only way to create a valuable website is to understand what makes your visitors tick. You can choose a WordPress theme that has a set of features that are just enough to create a website that addresses the needs of your customers.
If you are new to WordPress and want to learn how to create a WordPress website, this beginner’s guide to building a WordPress website can be helpful for you.
Here, I advise you on the features to look for in a theme before choosing one for your website.
Yearn for Simplicity
While building your business website, you may want to stuff as many features as you can on your website. At the end of the day, it’s all about providing your customers with everything they seek for on your website. Right? Turns out, it would just backfire.
Customers tend to get confused when they see everything stuffed in their small screen. Instead of helping your customers, your website will make everything chaotic. Your web visitors would struggle to complete even small tasks, something like finding your contact information or browsing through your services section.
So what really sells? A website that uses a clean layout with easy navigation!
So, aim at a theme that focuses on simplicity and avoids using any unnecessary bells and whistles. Using such a theme would emphasize the usability of your website.
When your website doesn’t make your visitors feel uncomfortable, they are more likely to turn into your customers.
Mobile-first Design Approach
In the past, website traffic was all about desktop users. Websites were designed to look and function well on desktops. Mobile design – it was an afterthought.
Oh, how the tables have turned now. The majority of web traffic comes from mobile devices these days.
Mobile-friendliness has already become a common and must-have feature of a WordPress theme. But, mobile-first design is still not so popular in practice.
Majority of traffic on your website would also probably come from mobile devices. So, find a theme that uses a mobile-first design approach and responds well to all the screen sizes.
Super-fast Loading Speed
Nobody likes a laggy website. Your customers – they will hate your website and Google disfavors it if your website is slow.
If you choose a theme that is heavy and slow, your website will lack the pace that it needs to compete in this web of fast-loading websites. If you own an e-commerce website or business website with monetary transactions, slow loading will hit you harder; many visitors who are prospect customers will move away and never come back if your website makes them wait while browsing your website.
If you want to learn about speeding up your website, these 10 free tips to speed up a WordPress website can be useful for you.
There are so many irresistible benefits of translation-ready themes. Since English-only websites reach less than one-fourth of internet users around the world, you should have a website that can be translated into multiple languages.
So, break the language barrier with a translation ready theme. You will reach a wider base of audiences, find more customers, and there will be more customers who will love your website.
While choosing a theme, make sure it supports the major translation plugins like Polylang.
You don’t need a theme that lets you customize everything. But, it is certainly good to have a theme that offers you enough customization options to modify the color, typography, simple layouts, and some other general features. You can make changes to your website and reflect your brand on it.
Most of the WordPress themes allow you to customize your website through the live customizer. You can make changes to your website and see the live preview.
Too many customization options may just confuse you. So what you need to do is find a balance between customization options in the theme and the design of your website. Pick a theme that suits your website and offers the right set of customization options.
To Sum Up,
These are the five most important elements I look for in a theme to build my website.
There are obviously other important features like plugins compatibility, regular updates, security, compatibility with major browsers, SEO-friendliness, and more. These are undeniably the features that a theme must have to attract website owners, but the ones I mentioned above are where many website owners go wrong. And this makes them pay a high price as their websites perform below par.
You can build the most beautiful websites in the world, but if your website does not deliver what customers expect, you’ve wasted your time creating it. So, to avoid your customers stopping from making a purchase, get into their heads. Choose a theme that understands what your customers want.
And don’t miss these above-mentioned features!