Building a website is a big undertaking. While most of the most common platforms are fairly easy to learn and can be managed by anyone, even without technical experience, there are still countless decisions that will need to be made.
And one of the most important decisions is what kind of look you will have for your site.
WordPress is the worlds’ most popular content management system (otherwise known as blog) and powers a hefty 38% of all websites on the internet.
One reason for that is its ease of use.
To manage the look and feel of a WordPress site you will need to choose a theme.
There are literally countless options, all with different options and capabilities.Because of the high touch nature of this service, and extreme levels of customization, we only offer 10 of these websites per month.
So how do you choose?
How do you know if a theme is good or bad, if it will last or need to be changed, and if it will work for how you want to use your site.
There are a handful of things to consider before committing and diving in.
The first you will likely notice is that there are some free themes and some are paid.
So what’s the difference? Does it matter? Do you HAVE to pay for a theme?
The direct and simple answer is no, you don’t.
WordPress comes with a few free themes, and you can download from a selection of others if you want something more specific.
It’s important to note, the free themes that come with WordPress take a bit more knowledge to set up. They are user friendly, but if you are not familiar at all with WordPress and building websites I would not recommend using one of these to start.
The free themes can work just fine if you are building a fairly simple site. If you don’t need a ton of functionality or integrations, and you don’t need to customize things and are pretty flexible about how things look, then these are fantastic options!
They are usually good quality, updated fairly frequently to stay compatible with WordPress updates, and have been tested by multiple users.
These really can be great options for beginning websites.
If this sounds like you then I encourage you, once you get your site started with WordPress installed, to look at the free themes you can find.
See if there’s something you like and you can start playing around and building your site.
It’s a great way to get comfortable with WordPress and what it can do.
Ok, let’s talk about some of the other considerations when choosing a theme.
Will you be offering courses? If so, will you be hosting them on your site? If the answer is yes make sure to look at your LMS (Learning Management System) to find out what themes it works best with.
LearnDash, for instance, has some integrations set up with some of the most common page builders but doesn’t always play well with themes.
Check out what kind of community they have. While most themes offer some sort of support you are likely to find better support via a Facebook group of passionate users who use that theme on a daily basis.
You can find groups on Facebook by doing a quick search for the theme name and seeing what comes up. Make sure it’s an active group with a sizeable number of users and recent active posts.
Next, think about what features you want to have on your website. Try to think ahead 6 to 12 months and consider what you hope to offer.
What capabilities do you imagine yourself wanting to offer? What do you think would be most valuable to your learners? What would support your students in the best way possible?
Now that you have those things in mind look at the themes you are considering and see which of them offer the things you’d like to see.
The key to choosing the right theme for your WordPress Website lies in being clear about what you want to get out of it.
Taking the time to do your research first, determining what your needs will be in the coming months and understanding how the theme you choose will work with your goals will help to ensure you aren’t looking for another new theme in 3 or 4 months!
If this sounds overwhelming to you, not to worry, we’ve got you! We offer several affordable website options that all come with our priority concierge level service, personalized training, kickoff and launch calls, and support throughout the build process.Reserve yours here and let us take care of the rest.