It’s very important how we choose a theme for a website.
A website is an essential element when launching and developing your business/personal brand, and your success might hinge on it. Currently, it’s not enough to ask ourselves whether or not we should create a website.
Actually, there are complex aspects to be taken into consideration, like the kind of website that needs to be built (depending on the main activity and the way of generating revenue), browser compatibility, upload speed, and most of all, adaptability to various devices.
Therefore, it’s necessary that the website representing your business or personal brand to be frequently revised and to be modern (concerning both the visual and technical aspects).
Actually, according to Gomez’s case study, 88% of potential online clients don’t visit a website again after an unpleasant experience.
Whether you choose to rebuild your site from scratch or just partially update it, one of the best ways of developing an adequate website is by using premium themes.
Underneath you will find a list of why you should buy a theme (referring especially at WordPress). We see which criteria we use in order to choose it, along with useful resources and details concerning budget.
A Beneficial Ratio Quality-Price
Most websites work on CMS (Content Management System) platform, called WordPress.
Having a widespread community of programmers who contribute to its continual development, updates and innovation, WordPress is possibly the most suitable platform to develop a small or medium website. (with some programming skills, a bigger one can be built as well). It can be a blog, corporate or an online shop (with the help of Woocommerce).
Presently, more than 34% of online website use WordPress. You can find here the versions which you can download: https://wordpress.org/download/releases/.
Why WordPress? Because:
- It’s free;
- It’s very versatile – it has support for any kind of website.
- It’s the best CMS on the market – no programming skills required to manage it;
- It’s fast, optimised and secure;
- It’s built with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind;
Some of the most well-known brands that use WordPress are:
- BBC America
- The Rolling Stones
- TED Blog
- PlayStation Blog
- The Walt Disney Company
- Fortune Magazine
Therefore, by having a platform like WordPress, you can create or rebuild a wonderful website, which will represent your business, organisation or personal brand.
By choosing WordPress, the theme for a premium website that you’ve acquired, with a standard license (the Exclusive one has different costs) can be as creative as you wish, for 80 dollars with taxes.
Why Premium and not free?
Depending on the design, features, size and the type of website, a correctly chosen premium theme has a code of higher quality. It has technical support that can be extended, a complete documentation and it’s constantly updated and improved.
In addition to this, a theme for a premium website has more options and features. It’s easy to personalize, the updates are free and the design can be original.
Criteria for choosing a premium theme:
Features and Design
Before acquiring a theme, it’s necessary to establish what you’d like your website to do and look like.
If it’s a blog, think about possible content, the amount of images or videos. The fonts and text alignment are also relevant.
For a shop online, you need to take into consideration: showing the products, prices, reviews, as well as making sure the images can be seen well.
When it comes to design, the freedom is almost boundless. However, you need to consider UX (User Experience) which refers to everything a visitor might experience that would make him feel he can find what he’s looking for. They’re meant to ease navigation and hold attention.
Currently, studies show that a visitor chooses in maximum 8 seconds whether he’ll stay on a site or not, based mostly on overall look (better if it’s unitary): text, buttons, graphic elements, pictures, spaces, etc.
Design Mobile Friendly/Responsive
More than 50% of Internet traffic is generated by mobile phones.
More and more people surf, search, buy and socialize on a mobile phone. So the first criterium that a premium theme has to fulfill is to be mobile friendly.
Here you can test a website’s adaptability: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly.
User experience is determined firstly by a website’s accessibility (meaning whether a website can fully load or not). A premium theme comes as a full-package and it’s built with every existing browser in mind, making sure it doesn’t interfere with transfer protocol.
Starting 2 years ago, all browsers demand secure protocol (https), which can be obtain with dedicated SSL certificates. If a website doesn’t have such a certificate, it can be classified as inaccessible.
A standard SSL certificate, for one domain can cost only 14 euro + TVA/year – https://www.xservers.ro/certificate-ssl.php.
Therefore, make sure that the creator of theme specifies that it’s compatible with the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome and Edge.
The date of creation and latest update
If a theme has been recently created (in the last 6 months), it usually indicates that it doesn’t have many updates. So many bugs are undiscovered, so by buying it, you’re going to be among its’ testers.
Check the date of the latest update as well and the changelog. It indicates how active the creator is, so you can ascertain dedication and future involvement. You want an author that won’t abandon the theme, so that it can keep up with upcoming technological standards. Otherwise it can become unusable and in the end, inoperative.
Ideally you want a date of creation older than a year and date of update as recent as possible (minimum 1 month).
Popularity, Reviews, Commentaries
Another good indication is the number of views. The higher it is, the more likely it is that it was tested by more users (who report irregularities, bugs or propose improvements). Public comments can serve as a forum with Questions and Answers; it’s an opportunity for research, to find out strengths and weaknesses, compatibility, possible bugs etc.
At the same time, the comments section shows how helpful the author is. You can observe the amount of time it takes them to answer the questions of the interested commenters.
Type of editor
Most recent versions of WordPress come with their own editor – Gutenberg. While it can be a smart and useful interface, it can be difficult to operate due to the lack of familiarity. One needs to dedicate some time to study some tutorials to understand how it works.
WPBakery and Visual Composer are 2 of the most intuitive models of building and editing, which use drag-and-drop. They don’t require any programming code, but some HTML and Shortcodes knowledge might be useful.
(Therefore, don’t forget to check what editor your desired theme uses!)
Other built-in modules and general compatibility
There are many other modules that a theme can have; this indicates that it’s generally highly compatible – so in the future you might install other necessary modules, like creating the website in other languages or a chat box.
The most useful modules that a theme can have are:
- E-commerce (Woocommerce is created especially for WordPress)
- Subscribing to a Newsletter (usually Mailchimp)
- Creating versions of the website in a different language (the most popular one is WPML, but we’ve also successfully used Polylang)
- Creating personalized contact forms
At the same time, it’s good to find out the WordPress versions it’s compatible with. As WordPress is updated and improved, the old versions of the platform become unsustainable, which presents security risks.
When choosing your theme, keep in mind that a standard licence can cost up to 100 dollars, with taxes. No matter how attractive and well optimized it is, you still need coding knowledge if you wish to modify its’ elements.
The price for an exclusive license can start with 3000 dollars without taxes, and technical support is 800 dollars/year.
A good website works on desired parameters if it has necessary resources: personalised and adapted hosting, enough RAM (minium recommended is 1 GB), enough disk space, possibility of updating PHP and MySQL versions, etc.
So choosing a good website host is important. It’s recommended you choose one which offers support 24/24.
I’ve personally been working with www.xservers.ro for many years, and beyond its quality services and accessible prices, the technical support is excellent.
Retina ready, Ultra-High Resolution graphics and icons for social media.
Retina ready (222 DPI) indicates the quality of images and icons that a theme can stand. It’s important that the images chosen to personalize the theme (if you wish to change them) to be of high quality (so they don’t appear blurry on phones)
- In the era of social media, it’s necessary to have our social media showing up on our website
- If you plan on building a site with a lot of information or an online shop, it’s useful to find a theme with an advanced search field.
- A dynamic map is usually found on Contact page and it must be easily accessible and used by navigation apps such as Google Maps.
These are the most important criteria for choosing a Premium theme. I recommend researching thoroughly and to ask questions before purchasing anything.
Naturally, even if it’s predefined theme, you’ll have to personalize it according to your needs, and you will need some knowledge on using WordPress (installation, security and administration), on modules of creating and editing web pages, on installing and personalising the theme, etc. These require time and patience.
For any other information, you may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Estimated budget for developping/changing a theme using a Premium Theme:
- Quality hosting service: 15 euro + TVA/month
- SSL certificate for the domain – 14 euro + TVA/year
- Premium theme – between 80 and 100 dollars (taxes included)
- Personalisation with the help of a WordPress specialist – between 30 and 45 euro/h