WordPress is one of the most popular CMS today. It is easy to configure and use it for creating any website, but it was originally positioned as a platform for creating blogs. WordPress attracted a lot of people to blogging by the exuberance of the themes. But few beginners understand that not all templates are equally good, and to be honest, many of them are very dangerous.
Template Selection Criteria
Choosing a quality template is not so simple. Maybe that’s why no one has written manuals on the topic of the blog site building and created courses on how to create a blog?! Now it is good to say that only a specialist may distinguish a truly high-quality template from a mediocre or lousy one.
If you face a question of finding themes for your site or blog on WordPress, be sure to read the article and do not repeat the mistakes of many people. The main criterion for selection is not only «appearance». The design is not the last point, but there are more important requirements for a good WordPress template.
The decisive and most important moment of choice is a source of WordPress themes. Do not download templates from the first site you encounter, choose a theme from official sources or trusted ones. This ensures that no critical errors, vulnerabilities, viruses and spam links will be found.
The official source of free themes is WordPress official catalog. All themes are tested and added to the catalog of themes and are available from the administrative console of your blog through the menu Appearance → Themes → Add (or Install themes in older versions of WP).
A trusted source is the цуиsite of the author or the theam with the commercial patterns, which is recommended as a reliable source by acquaintances or specialized blogs / forums / community. The quality parameter will be the presence of a free template of the author (s) in the official WordPress directory.
If you download a theme from an unverified site, or want to make sure that there are no viruses and spam in your template – you can make use of special checkers.
Important criteria of quality WordPress themes
Downloading or purchasing a theme from a trusted source, we automatically get rid of the problem of spam links and viruses. Also, in most cases, it eliminates the problems with critical errors, vulnerabilities, and poor-quality code, which can damage the site or create a high load on the hosting service.
Now, it is worth considering the quality of HTML code and its derivatives.
The download speed
For any website, loading speed is a very important parameter. Not only because it can be taken into account in Google’s search rankings. The main reason is that if the site does not load for approximately 2 seconds, the visitor is likely to go away. “Failure” negatively impacts the position in the search, and the customer has the loss in his business.
The easiest way to check the download speed for the WordPress theme is trying the demo version. Firstly, it is a great way to estimate the rate of personal impressions. Second, you can check the speed of downloading with a special tool – Pingdom Website Speed Test, it allows you to estimate the number of the HTTP-requests and the volume of style files and scripts.
Such an approach would only assume the risk of long-term loading. On the demo version of the website, some CSS can be included as well as scripts (JS) of the plug-ins – in this case, it is difficult to talk about the future download speed in combination with plug-ins on your website.
Optimizing code is important the same way as an interesting text on your site. Almost all verified and reliable services use SEO optimization, this includes using keywords to improve your website rating (like pay someone to write your essay as for the writing services websites, or travel easy as for the travelling agencies websites). And it’s not some special “cunning” optimization, but the compliance with the correct document structure – the correct order of the headings on the page, the usage of only one «H1», maximum proximity to the top of the document content, etc.
There are no universal ways to optimize the test pattern, unfortunately. However, you may check the theme with the help of the following tools:
- HTML code validator,
- CSS Validator code,
- check the semantic structure of the document,
- microformats validators from Google and Yandex.
Over the past year, the importance of adapting the theme for mobile devices has become one of the most important quality criteria. The ever-increasing percentage of the use of mobile devices to access the Internet triggered more attention.
Many people are already familiar with the tool – Google Mobile-Friendly Test, which tells whether your site is useful for viewing and using it on mobile devices. We advise you to use a couple of minutes and check your chosen theme with this tool.
Is it worth paying for the theme WordPress?
In fact, the answer is ambiguous. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. However, we will give such a recommendation: If you have the means to buy a WordPress template, it is better to spend money and get 10-20 times fewer headaches.
If the financial issue is acute, then give preference to free versions of the themes from the official catalog but pre-study it, find and read reviews and recommendations.
In conclusion, we would like to remind once again – free themes should be downloaded only from the official WordPress directory. Moreover, today there are many worthy and high-quality options.