Choosing a WordPress theme is a very formidable task. Not only do you have the challenge of finding something that looks good to you, but you also have to worry about whether your viewers will appreciate it.  Your big question should be, “does this theme represent the brand I am trying to promote to my customers?”

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a theme:

  • Is the theme easily customizable without programming?
  • Will it support the widgets I’ve been using?
  • Will it support my plugins I’ve been using?
  • Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress?
  • Is it following the documented API to ensure future compatibilty?
  • Will this theme meet my present and future needs without customizing?
  • Is there a large community of users that endorse this theme for their own websites?
  • What is the performance like?  Does it load quickly?
  • Is there a support forum for it?
  • How quickly do the developers respond to issues? 

At the time of this post, there were 1,029 free themes to choose from just on the WordPress.org website.  That doesn’t even include any of the premium themes available.  The premium themes range in price between $5 and  $100.  Some are priced a little higher but you get more support.

I think the major decision boils down to the kind of customization you are willing to do.

Things you might have to customize:

  • CSS (Style elements)
    • background color
    • font color
    • font size
    • positioning
  • content
    • images
  • PHP (Logic)
    • how content or comments are being displayed
    • disable code that isn’t necessary
    • adding scripts for plugin support

So, what am I going to do?  The themes I am currently looking at are all FREE themes.  The only problem is that these themes kind of meet my needs, but not exactly.  I have chosen one that will suffice until I find one that meets my needs. I have been avoiding the premium themes, but I have a gut feeling if I start looking into the premium themes, I’ll quickly find exactly what I’ve been looking for.  If I put a price on my time, the cost of using a premium theme isn’t so bad.