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Top 10 Considerations for Selecting the Perfect WordPress Theme

1&1 WordPress is the number one content management system in the world with more than 73 million websites globally. WordPress usage is growing fast and increased by 18.9% in 2013 alone.
  • Roughly 20% of existing websites are running on WordPress
  • 1 in 4 new websites are built with WordPress
Perhaps you’re one of the 20% with a WordPress site? If so, you’ll know that it can be quite time consuming and often overwhelming to choose just one: over 2,500 free themes are available in the WordPress library, and thousands more premium themes can be purchased from various marketplaces. An easy way to narrow down the possibilities is to have a clear vision of what qualities and features are required for the project. Here are our top 10 recommendations of what to consider before embarking on your search for the perfect WordPress theme:

1. Purpose of your project – The most important consideration for choosing a theme is what you hope to achieve with the site. Some of the most common WordPress creations are blogs, business websites, e-commerce sites, personal websites, landing pages, portfolios and galleries. Keeping this in mind, you will find it easy to narrow down the possible themes that fit the purpose of your project.

2. Features – The perfect features are, of course, also dependent on the purpose of your site. Whether it is text or images, certain themes will cater to specific content. Consider features such as the number of page templates, widget areas, post formats, custom headers and backgrounds before settling on a theme.

3. Design & Layout – Choosing a theme that is attractive and optimally displays your content in a logical way is important to the success of your website. Some questions to ask yourself: How many columns should appear on the site? How are images featured?

4. Colours – Not all themes are available in every colour. For businesses and organisations, the colour palette is an integral component of successful branding. By coordinating with the image style of existing logos and marketing material, your web presence will exude professionalism.

5. Site Navigation – A logical navigation will help your website visitors find their way around your site. The complexity of the navigation should reflect the type and amount of content and enable visitors to easily discover what they are looking for. Anticipate what is most important for your visitors and choose a theme that features appropriate navigation options.

6. Budget – Depending on your needs, a theme created by an independent developer might be the best option. Premium themes are available for a fee. In addition to having more possibilities for customisation, a great benefit to using a premium theme is the ability to get support from the developer regarding any issues or questions you may have.

7. Technical Skills - Can you edit the theme by yourself and will you need to edit it? Many themes have built-in configuration options for the most common settings. Others, however, require coding to make adjustments. Experience in HTML, CSS or PHP coding could be necessary for customisation.

8. Browser Compatibility – Your website visitors’ browser preference will affect how the site appears and functions, which is why it is important to be aware and prepared to accommodate these users. The most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. Choosing a theme that is compatible with all major browsers will ensure a consistent user experience.

9. Responsive & Mobile Friendly – Ideally, your website will adjust to various different screen sizes and resolutions. It is estimated that 65.8% of the UK population will be using smartphones by 2017. A theme that displays favourably when viewed on mobile devices is essential for online success.

10. Recent Updates – Choose a theme that was recently released or updated. This ensures compatibility with the most recent version of WordPress and thus improves the security and functionality of your site. Occasionally, themes are abandoned by their developers. To reduce this risk, choose a theme that is less than three years old and ensure that it has been updated within the last year.

With all of this information in-hand, you will be prepared to find an ideal theme. Furthermore, the amount of time needed to dedicate to this endeavour is significantly reduced.

Submitted by: 1&1 Internet Ltd | http://www.1and1.co.uk/

1&1 1&1 Internet Ltd based in Slough, west of London, is Europe's No.1 web hosting and domain name registration company. 1&1 Internet Ltd is the UK arm of 1&1 Internet AG based in Germany (a subsidiary of United Internet Group, a public company with a market cap of more than 5 Billion GBP). 1&1 was established in 1988 and holds more than 13 million British, German, US, French, Spanish, Austrian, Polish, Italian and Mexican customer contracts. 1&1 Group manages more than 19 million domain names worldwide. More than 70,000 servers run in 1&1’s five state-of-the-art, green data centers. 1&1 prides itself on being the one-stop-shop for web solutions.

1&1 Internet Ltd entered the UK domain registration and web hosting market in June 2000. As a well funded profitable company, it is in a strong position to deliver a high quality service at low cost. 1&1 is an ICANN accredited registrar with VeriSign (.com/,net), Nominet (.co.uk), Afilias (.info), NeuLevel (.biz) and PIR (.org).

1&1 Hosting now includes 1-Click WordPress installation so starting your WordPress website could not be easier.

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