The theme of your WordPress site or blog plays a major role in its performance. Choosing a weak theme that loads slow and doesn’t show your content appropriately will drive your visitors away and will result in lowered engagement and conversion rate.
Therefore, you don’t simply choose a theme without thinking about it. You need to consider the different factors that determine the kind of theme to choose.
This is especially crucial when going with paid WordPress themes. You need to make sure that the theme is worth all the money you spent for it. You don’t want regret looming on you because you bought an incorrect theme.
If you are seriously thinking of buying a theme, you need to ask yourself these questions.
Is there a free counterpart of the theme you plan on buying?
Free WordPress themes get a bad rap simply because they’re free. However, unlike premium themes, free themes pass through a rigid manual check from the WordPress team to see if they have the necessary coding and security standards. Once they pass, the themes will be available for download from your dashboard.
Some of the downsides of free themes are the lack of customer support and the limited customization options (you need to have coding experience to tweak some of the designs). However, when is comes to security and usability, the free themes are a great starting point for newbie bloggers or site owners with their very first site.
If you can find a free theme similar to the premium one you plan on buying, then you should use that first. If it’s not to your liking or it lacks the features that the paid counterparts offer, then it’s a sign that you should make a purchase. For starters, you can choose from from the different WordPress themes available at Colorlib for free.
What do people think of the theme?
You need to do your research before making an informed decision. You can’t foolishly buy something without taking a closer look at something. Since you have no firsthand experience of theme, you need to read its user reviews.
Users are honest and vocal about the products they use for the benefit of people like you deciding on whether to purchase something or not. With WordPress theme, you can simply check the reviews from the theme page and see what people think about it. From here, you can gather all the information you need to know about the theme and whether or not it’s as good as advertised.
If the theme page doesn’t have any user reviews, then you can Google for reviews about the theme. Before reading them, you need to be aware that some publishers are writing a positive review of the theme for the purpose of making a sale and not for providing readers with the right information. The publishers are most likely part of the theme’s affiliate program where they split the sales with the theme developers.
While there are theme reviews from sites which are part of the affiliate program, not all are in it for the profit. Some actually want to provide you with relevant data that will help you make a wise decision, so it’s up to you to determine which those sites are.
Are you willing to test it first?
When buying something online, it doesn’t mean that the sale is absolute. In this case, some developers offer a money-back guarantee over a period if you are not satisfied with their themes.
As mentioned, the more efficient your theme is, the faster your site will load. Since loading speed is part of the user experience and a big factor in the SEO field, you need to make sure that your theme loads fast enough to keep your visitors from leaving. There are many case studies about how site speed affects visitor engagement, but they all point to one thing: make your site load faster!
Once you have installed and activated the theme, there are three tools you need to use for benchmarking the loading speed of your site.
Pingdom Website Speed Test will help you analyze your site speed based on multiple factors. The elements are aggregated into a final score that will help you make sense of the data. Another tool to help you determine actionable items to make your site load faster is Google PageSpeed Insights.
Assuming that your theme is responsive (and it should be), you should run a Google Mobile Ready Test to ensure that your site adapts to the different screen resolutions on mobile devices.
Once you have the data from the tools, you can compare the results using another premium theme you are trying out. Sizing up the themes you want to purchase and will help you find which one performs the best so you can go with that.
Buying a WordPress theme is a commitment. Aside from the fact that you’re shelling out money for it, you are essentially leaving your site and its performance to your theme. By following the tips I shared above, you will be able to find a paid theme that you should buy that is a guarantee to decrease your bounce rate and boost your conversion.