If you’ve started looking for themes for your business site, you will understand that there are literally hundreds of thousands of possibilities out there for you to utilise. However with so much choice around, how do you know which the best is for you and your business? There are plenty of themes around which will fulfil your criteria upon first sight, but there are a few necessary questions you may want to ask yourself before taking the leap.
What is a Theme?
For many people crafting their business from scratch, this will be the first time they have ever engaged with WordPress; let alone considered what a ‘theme’ is. A theme is what makes your site look the way it does. By applying different themes you can change the entire layout, colour patterns and overall aesthetic in just in a matter of minutes.
The most important thing to remember is when it comes to picking a WordPress theme you have two options, ‘free’ or ‘premium’ themes. As a business owner you want to pick a premium theme. Of course, this costs money – but it is worth it. A premium theme is an investment; there are teams of people dedicated to keeping it up to date, bug free, security -safe and web tight. The last thing you want to happen is for your site to be hacked. Remember…no site, no online presence, no income. Avoid this by investing in a premium theme. On top of everything else, their design and aesthetic appeal often is far more superior to free theme choices.
Choosing the right theme
There is so much advice which can be found online concerning choosing the right theme for your business; this can be confusing when trying to choose something which will work for your specific business brand.
Since you will be investing in a premium theme, you don’t want to waste your strict business budget by choosing a theme which doesn’t actually suit your needs. Product photography, product development, marketing and branding will demand your budget so it is imperative to avoid website redesigns in the early stages, and get it right first time. It can feel a little overwhelming sometimes with so much choice; but there is one thing to remember – your site should be individual and a complete reflection of you and your business. Read up on the advice given from online business coaches and bloggers, but what may work for their business may not work for yours.
What is your business?
Businesses require different needs from a website. Some businesses set up a website purely as a first base for customers, where they can read about the company and what it offers, and maybe view a gallery of past work or projects. Other businesses are based purely online and sell a variety of products online and will generally require a lot more from a website.
Make sure you understand exactly what it is you are seeking. A basic portfolio website is easy to cater for. A demanding e-commerce business requiring strong product pages, video, 360 degree photography, and social media links, must be built within a theme which enables these plugins.
Conversion rate optimisation basically refers to the experience visitor’s gain when on a particular website. The goal is to transform these visitors into actual paying customers. Different design layouts can dramatically affect a customer’s decision whether they will spend their money with you or not.
You must make sure the theme you are investing in will connect with your customers, allow them to see your products in the best light possible, and most of all you MUST create a sense of trust and security so customers feel you are a genuine company. Conversion Rate Optimisation itself is big business and CRO consultants can significantly boost business profits. As you are starting from the beginning, make sure your theme ticks the boxes before investing, to save you future CRO consultancy fees.
Here are a few good questions to ask when it comes to choosing a theme:
- Does your theme come from a credible developer? Make sure your premium theme comes with solid web support, for it is highly probably that you will be constantly utilising it when comes to maintaining your site. A credible developer who has a track record for creating and distributing themes will offer good web support. If you are unsure, just do a quick Google search do bring up a wealth of information & reviews regarding the developer.
- What is your price range? You get what you pay for; the more expensive a theme, usually the better it is. However, you can get pretty decent themes for around sixty pounds. However, don’t be conned with a very expensive theme which does little; always research the one you are about to purchase. Check annual renewing fees also.
- SEO options? The very best themes have inbuilt SEO tools which help your website stand out in search engines. Look at themes which offer this as standard.
- Responsive theme? We live in an age where people access the internet in a multitude of different ways; whether it be on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. Responsive themes adapt to such platforms.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/2KpsDB39y3M” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
As you can see, there are a few things to think about when choosing a WordPress theme. Don’t rush your design decision; you need your website to convey the correct message to your visitors and match your brand feel. Do your research and pick a theme that is right for you and your business. There are plenty of reviews which can be found online relating to each theme, make sure you assess what is being said about particular themes you are considering, and if you still feel unsure, you could always contact other businesses which use the particular theme to ask them how user friendly it is, or if there are any problems the have encountered.
About the author: Hannah works for vouchercloud, and has recently been working on their website re-design and launch. Vouchercloud offer voucher codes for their customers such as Debenhams discounts and Travelodge offers where customers can make savings from top brands. A lot of planning, consultancy and time has gone into their new website, however Hannah began her career working from smaller brands, so understands how important it is to get design right, when on an unforgiving business budget.
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