What to Look For In a WordPress Theme

So you’re building your website on WordPress! Whether you’ve hired a designer or you’re going the DIY route, you’re going to need a theme. A wordpress theme is the design and layout of your website. Before choosing a WordPress theme, you’ll want to make a list of must-haves. These may vary depending on your business and site goals, but when it comes to creating your website, here are the questions that everyone needs to ask!

Is the WordPress theme responsive?

Before looking at the layout or design, find out of the theme is mobile friendly. Responsive themes work on all platforms, including mobile devices. Test out the theme preview on multiple devices before committing, especially if you’re spending money on the theme. Think about how often you read or even work on your phone. Smartphones are the norm for not only business owners but everyday users. Make sure your readers have an optimal experience when they’re checking out your site on their phones. Google even has a mobile-friendly test site to make sure your theme works on any mobile device!

Does the WordPress theme work with must-have plugins?

The joy of having a WordPress site is being able to use plugins to both build your business and give your users the best experience on your site. Most premium themes support popular plugins, but if your chosen theme doesn't work with the 7 essential plugins every blogger needs, it may be time to find a different theme. Here are the plugins you'll definitely want to check out for your new blog!

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the best plugin to make sure your blog shows up with search terms on Google! Make sure readability and search engine optimization (SEO) are ready to go with this plugin.

Google Analytics

Find where, how, and when your users are using your site with Google Analytics. This plugin is essential for every blogger, and if you want to work with brands, they'll want your analytics!

Akismet Anti-Spam

Keep spammers off your blog with this plugin that fits with most WordPress themes!

Pretty Links

Pretty Links gets rid of that long tailed url for affiliate links and makes an address that looks like it's coming directly from your site!

Elementor Page Builder

Elementor is a simple drag and drop page builder you can use regardless of design experience.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence is your website's security and firewall. Don't choose a theme that won't support keeping your site secure!

Mailchimp for WordPress

A newsletter like Mailchimp, is essential in building your brand and audience. Make sure your theme supports your chosen email service provider's plugin. Learn more about these important plugins and make sure they work with your theme.

Should you choose a premium or free theme?

It may be tempting to choose a free WordPress theme over one that costs some money. It's important to consider what your goals for your site are when you decide whether or not you are going to purchase a premium theme. Free themes generally have fewer customizable options. This means that thousands of bloggers may have the same free theme on their site. With a premium theme (costs vary), you'll have more customizable options, support from designers, and are less susceptible to viruses and hackers. You'll also want to consider your budget when it comes to purchasing a theme. Think about the return on your investment. If you aren't making a penny on your blog yet, it is completely acceptable to start with a free or very low cost theme.

How fast does your WordPress theme load?

Another thing to test on your site is loading time. Site speed impacts not only your user's experience but also SEO. Google doesn't like slow sites! If your WordPress theme has too much going on or isn't coded properly, your site may experience lag times. Keeping your theme (and plugins) updated will keep your site up to speed! You can test your speed on your site with a free tool from Blog Tyrant.

Is the WordPress theme compatible on multiple browsers?

With all the different browsers your visitors may use, it's important to make sure your theme works with each of them! Test each browser from your devices or use a Browser Sandbox to make sure the following browsers work with your theme:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari


  • Many themes mention what browsers they are compatible with before you download, but it never hurts to check! When deciding what you need in the WordPress theme, make sure you are looking for a compatible, mobile-friendly theme that works with all the plugins you need for your site. Don't get too fancy! You can find a simple theme that meets all your needs with these tips on what to look for in a WordPress theme!
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