Choosing a WordPress Theme
Many do a mistake by choosing a “nice” theme when they create a website instead of checking first how well optimized it is. You get a beautiful website with extremely bad load times…
Table of Contents:
1. There are usually two choices
- Some agency may create a website for you. They might be good and optimize it for the best performance (and even SEO) but unfortunately, they often offer you just a good-looking website with NO optimization at all. As soon as you start adding content or products you start to see that your website becomes slower. So make sure to ask about speed.
- You create a website by yourself. Your fresh new installation of WordPress is going to have a default theme. It is ok for a small blog but not for a professional website/blog. You can find many great themes for your niche on ThemeForest. Many are free, some cost. Make sure to read the description and see that they are optimized.
Go to some online speed site test tools and check your website speed. There are a lot of free tools. You can try Gtmetrix. Make sure to choose a test location near you. You will not get any true results if your server is in the USA but the test location is in Japan.
I got TTFB 199ms which means web host I use is very fast. Time to interact starts at 1.4s which is good. It should be no slower than 2s. Perfect if you can get it under 1s.
For every 1s of additional load time, you are losing 20-30% of visitors. People don’t like slow websites.
Before you install any theme make sure that it is fast and SEO friendly (you can see it in the theme description) so you can focus on the growth of your blog/website instead of how to optimize the SEO and load speed.
Nobody likes slow blogs and SEO is essential for ranking high on Google.
2. Which one to choose
1. If you don’t want to search for a theme you can use Publisher (I am using this theme). It is great if you want to publish some news/articles.
Publisher has over 97 different designs for different niches, is fast, SEO friendly and is excellent for blogs and small businesses. It is a premium theme so it has a small cost but is worth the money.
2. For my e-commerce ADV Presets website where I sell books and presets, I am using Shoptimizer. It is an excellent fast and SEO-friendly theme but it also requires a subscription. If you are planning to create an affiliate store then Rehub is a good one. It is a one-time purchase.
3. For a small business website I have used Illdy many times. It is totally free. It is minimal and with good looking design.
3. Speed enhancing plugin
You will also need a speed-optimizing plugin for your website to improve load times even more. It helps to remove unused scripts, minimize images, files and much more.
- WP Rocket.
- WP Fastest Cache
- Cache Enabler
- WP Super Cache
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Minify
So a fast website = fast web host + fast theme + optimization plugin