WordPress Themes: 5 Things to Look For

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It’s that time of year when prognosticators of all sorts start making their predictions for the coming year. Predictions of the best 2019 WordPress themes began in earnest in early September, and with good reason. It’s not uncommon for WordPress site owners to embrace new themes in January as part of an overhaul or site refresh. Perhaps you’re thinking of a new theme for your site.

Rest assured there are plenty of free themes to choose from as we head into the new year. There are even updates of older themes that keep the mechanics intact but make the look a bit fresher. If you want to go the paid theme route, you can get just about anything you want for 2019.

Just be warned that not all WordPress themes are appropriate for your site. You need to spend some time thinking and looking around before you settle on something. While you’re looking, pay attention to the following five things:

1. Page Load Time

Internet research consistently shows how important speed is to keeping users on a website. In fact, two past studies demonstrated that the average internet user expects a site to load in under 2 seconds. Anything longer and visitors are likely to abandon the site and move on. Furthermore, the clear majority of internet users will not return to a site on which they had a bad experience.

Your site needs to load as quickly as possible. Therefore, don’t choose a theme for 2019 that is so loaded down with complicated code, graphics, and plugins that it slows down load times. Keep load time at 2 seconds or you risk losing your audience.

2. Responsiveness

Responsiveness is the ability of a site to display and function properly on a variety of devices. Given the popularity of mobile internet access these days, responsiveness is a must. You need a theme that works equally well on desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.

3. Readable Fonts

Some theme developers seem to go out of their way to use fonts that are barely readable. This is a big mistake. Website visitors want quick and easy access to the information they are looking for. If they have trouble reading a poorly chosen font, they are not likely to stick around long enough to find the information they want.

4. Appropriate Colour Choices

When it comes to colour choices, there are two things to consider. First is the appropriateness of certain colours for certain kinds of websites. You wouldn’t use a bright red and gold theme for a funeral home, for example. Second, colour choices generally affect how links are displayed. Certain colours are hard to read on a computer screen, making them inappropriate for links.

5. Graphics Capabilities

Finally, studies show that visitors respond better to WordPress sites that offer an ample supply of graphics. Look for a theme that makes working with graphics easy. Also consider a theme with either a slideshow or a static image background that scrolls with the user.

Sources:

Kissmetrics – https://blog.kissmetrics.com/speed-is-a-killer/

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