A ‘Theme’ on WordPress is the template for your website’s outer skin – what it looks like when people visit your site. No need to design one yourself, you can easily choose from a wide variety of customizable themes right on WordPress itself. As with everything WordPress, you have a lot of options here, just visit themes.wordpress.com. You can choose to go with a Free theme or pay for a Premium theme, but before you go ahead and start making big decisions like that, let’s walk through some tips you should consider for your theme:
You already know the importance of social media for small businesses, so you have to be able to showcase or at least link to your social media presences directly from your website. You’re already investing time into your online presence, so don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Don’t go for themes with small social icons on the top corners, get one with social icons on the sidebar, preferably with a counter or a direct ‘follow’ button.
Think about how much visual media you will be showcasing on your website. Are you a bakery and intend on putting up pictures of cupcakes every other week? Then you should find a theme with large spaces for visual media, maybe even a slider at the top. If you’re using images, you don’t want them hidden inside posts, you want them previewing on your front page! Visual media always works great, but if you’re not going to be posting pictures all the time, then find a theme that focuses more on text presentation than showcasing images.
You have your logo and your color scheme, and you want your site to be compatible with them. A lot of themes are customizable in terms of colors but very few have a wide variety for you to choose from. You also don’t want your logo to be hidden in a corner. So, ask yourself these two questions when searching for themes: 1. Is there enough real estate space for my logo to sucessfully capture attention? and 2. Does it have the colors on my logo?
Don’t overlook the navigation bar:
One of the most important and frequently overlooked aspects of a website is navigation. Your navigation bar is extremely important to your visitors for two reasons: getting where they want to go, and knowing where they currently are. Find a theme with a navigation bar that tells the visitor where he/she is located on the site by either highlighting or making the current page stand out (like below).
How much are you willing to spend?:
Premium themes on WordPress go anywhere from $30 to $150. People choose Premium (paid) themes because they are generally more customizable, higher quality, and have better customer support. While the first two may be mostly true, that isn’t an indication that support for free themes is bad. WordPress has a serious rating and review system that you can trust — for example, Suffusion andResponsive are two popular free themes known for having good support, and it’s shown on their reviews.