While paying a website designer for a completely custom site may seem like the only simple option, there are some fantastic pre-made themes out there that are worth a look. Trawling through thousands of potential themes for your website is tedious enough, but throw in the fact that your choice can affect potential business, and that’s a whole new level of pressure! To narrow the search, ask yourself these 12 questions when choosing a website theme.
1. Is it mobile responsive? Google boosts the rankings of mobile-friendly pages.
2. Are you able to view a complete demo of the theme? This gives you the best idea of the true look and feel of the website.
3. Are the fonts easy to read? Concentrate on the menu, sidebar, page/post headers and body fonts. You can lose visitors if it’s too much like hard work for them to read your content.
4. Is navigation simple? Don’t be caught out by an inflexible menu design, or one that may be difficult for visitors to use and understand.
5. Does it display your social media links prominently? Pushing visitors through to your social accounts helps keep the conversation going.
6. Is it easy for you to customise? Font colours, background images and headers are the most important. You don’t want to have to play around with code if you can help it!
7. Are links clearly identified? It’s important for visitors to know what they can and can’t click on.
8. Will you be using the blog feature? If so, are you happy with how authors, publish dates, categories and tags are displayed for each blog post?
9. Are you happy with the comments structure? Is it easy for your visitors to use?
10. Can you update the site yourself? It’s important that you are able to make as many changes as you can without assistance, including adding blog posts, and updating text and images on certain pages.
11. What size do your images have to be? Some of the latest templates require super high resolution images, which if you don’t have the right specs, will appear blurry and affect the overall impression of your site.
12. Has the developer recently updated the theme, or do they offer support for the theme? Security or operational issues could be a concern if your platform (e.g. WordPress) updates and your theme doesn’t update with it. It’s also great to have the opportunity to ask the developer whatever questions you may have!