#WebTalk is a blog where we talk about all things web design!
5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Theme
- Keep It Simple
Several years ago, websites were very loud, and companies wanted flash animation, fancy features and other bells and whistles. Now flat designs with a minimalistic approach are popular. Websites that are too busy take the user away from the desired call-to-action, and they are a headache to navigate on mobile devices.
- Developer Support Availability
This is something that not many people take into consideration when selecting a theme. It's very rare that you will be able to install a theme and not have to make updates as the platform you are using changes and advances. This could be due to feature changes or security issues -- no matter what you are using, from WordPress to Shopify and every other option, you need to anticipate there will be updates required to keep your theme from breaking. The majority of theme marketplaces will have information on the developer, as well as a log of all the updates that have been released for each particular theme. Pay attention to this information, as well as customer reviews and ratings -- it can give you a lot of insight.
- Mobile Readiness
Almost all popular modern-era website themes are responsive, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are guaranteed to provide an excellent mobile experience. There are plenty of websites that will pass Google's mobile test, yet provide such a poor user experience that they are worthless on smaller screens, in terms of conversion potential. Look for a theme that is extremely adaptive and built with converting visitors in mind.
- Check Available Plugins or Apps
It's very rare that you will run a website theme in its stock version -- you will customize the look and feel to match your brand, as well as add special features to enhance the user experience and turn more traffic into leads, sales and revenue. WordPress has over 54,000 plugins available, Shopify has thousands of apps and WooCommerce has Extensions available to help enhance your website theme. You need to know what platform is best for your business before exploring available themes, and once that is decided you can then begin to explore other add-ons.
- Check Cross-Browser Compatibility
Testing your website theme on all the popular web browsers is an important step, especially if you are considering using one that hasn't been updated recently. With so many different devices, browsers and operating systems being used, testing helps ensure that your theme will provide the same user experience and functionality for everyone.