How to find the perfect WordPress theme ?

written by Marie Last updated on October 1, 2018

Published on May 8, 2017

How to find the perfect WordPress Theme for your blog? How to buy a theme you won't regret? How to make sure it's a good choice? I give you all my tips in this blog post! #wordpress #bloggingtips

A few months ago, I was looking for a new template to change the look of my WordPress blog. Since it was my first purchase of this kind, I was a bit lost when it came to making the right decision. There are so many WordPress templates available on the market, so how was I supposed to know if I was choosing the right one? As a student, the money invested was a considerable amount, so I knew I was going to have to make a decision for a long-term theme. I had no desire to regret my choice.

Of course, I made some mistakes (like not verifying if my theme was WPML compatible)! In this article, I will explain step by step what I did and what I should have done to avoid these errors. I will also guide you on the right criteria to look at so that you choose to buy the one that suits you the most!

This article contains affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything, but I can earn a small commission if you buy something or sign up on a website. This helps me to maintain the blog. My full disclosure is here.

 

How to find a theme for your WordPress Blog

Step 1: Test the waters

The first step towards selecting a theme is to browse other blogs similar to yours and clearly identify what you like, what you dislike, what is missing, and so on. I advise you to create a folder in your bookmarks. When you come across a blog that you like, save it in this folder and come back later when you’re on the hunt for a WP theme!

Once it’s done, it is now time to move on to something a little more serious!

 

Step 2: Browse WordPress Templates

The two most popular sites to are Creative Market and Theme Forest.

Have fun with the search criteria on these two sites. Particularly on ThemeForest, you can easily view the results by popularity, the number of sales, and several other highly relevant criteria. You can also do a very accurate search on the characteristics of the desired design. This should be easily feasible since, in step 1, you already identify some “features” you want!

When you find a theme you love, put it in your favorites. We’ll come back to it later!

Once you’ve seen a lot of themes (maybe 30?), wait a few days or even a week. This will allow you to rest a little, forget all of them, and make a much more informed choice.

 

find wordpress theme

Step 3: Establish a list of essential criteria sought

After completing the first two steps, you should now know what you want in your design. Set a clear list of desired criteria.

To give you an example, here is what my list looked like when I bought the template Soledad:

  1. Sticky menu on the top
  2. Slideshow with images of articles on the top (but not landscape) (slideshow)
  3. Categories displayed very well so we can see them at first sight on the homepage
  4. Full-width articles
  5. Instagram Widget in the footer
  6. No forced scroll
  7. Great possibilities of customization – in other words, to be able to completely change the visual look of the blog without changing the theme (I want a profitable investment!)

Once you’ve completed your list, return to your list of favorited themes on ThemeForest. Browse the list, and remove from all the ones that do not meet your standards. When you find one that will meet everything on your criteria list, you will be one step closer to finding the right theme for you.

Reduce your choice of favorited WordPress templates to 3, approximately.

 

Step 4: Collect information on these WP templates

You should not rely solely on the beauty of a design. You need to find more information about the author, SEO, speed, and so on.

Check out the ratings and reviews from those who have purchased the theme before you. Pay attention to how the creator of the theme responds to people’s comments because it says a lot about their customer support service. Also, go to the support forum and see how long it takes for people to get a support response. Also, very important, take a look at the documentation of the theme. The bigger, the better! You will probably need it at some point.

Now compare this information to your remaining three favorite templates, and make a final decision!

I have to mention PenciDesign, the creators of my design Soledad, who answered me several times in as little as 2 minutes! What an excellent service, right?

 

Also to be considered

Why you should pay for your theme

I’m not an expert at all on premium themes, but I think that the overall quality of paid ones is way better than the free ones. As soon as I changed my theme, my bounce rated decreased, and my visitors stay for a longer duration on my blog. This could happen in any change of design, paid or not, but I’m confident enough to say that quality, functionality, security, frequent updates and excellent support will all be better with a paid WordPress template. ManageWP has a great post about this.

Do you have a multilingual website?

If so, then I strongly suggest you check with the translation plugin if the theme is considered to be 100% compatible with your plugin. I just changed from qTranslate-X to WPML, so for WPML, you can verify whether or not your template is compatible. If not, you can ask WPML‘s team to add it in this form.

If it isn’t compatible, you can still use it, but you might face undesirable situations where certain text cannot be translated. You have to be aware of it!

 

Conclusion

If you follow the tips mentioned above, I’m sure everything will be just fine in your hunt for your next theme! Tell me how your first template purchase was! Did everything go well? 😉 I want to know!

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27 comments

Abigail May 9, 2017 - 8:53 am

Wow you know your stuff. I always want to revamp my blog but can never seem to find the time! x

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Marie May 9, 2017 - 6:59 pm

Thanks! 😀 Yes, it takes a LOT of time! It took me 2 weeks of working almost full-time to revamp my blog in December! Thanks for your comment!

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Christine May 9, 2017 - 9:39 am

Great post! I love browsing WP Themes – kind of addicting actually! You’re right about waiting at least a week, there have been so many times I’ve wanted to purchase a theme and then a few days later thought better of it. I love how wide and clean your blog is.

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Marie May 9, 2017 - 6:58 pm

Exactly! Thank you for your comment and kind comments about my design! 😀

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Scarlet May 10, 2017 - 12:25 am

I love this post-great idea to start bookmarking blogs with designs I like! I can’t afford a pro theme right now, the ones I want are so expensive! But I love shopping around anyways. 😉 thanks for the great tips!

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Marie May 13, 2017 - 10:48 pm

Hi Scarlet! Yes, you never know when you will decide to do it for real! 🙂 Good luck for your blog, all the best!

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thebarefootangel May 10, 2017 - 11:36 am

This is such great advice, I’m currently just dipping my toe into this particular quagmire and investigating moving from .com to .org. There just seems to be so many!! I never would have thought to do it so methodically, I’m sporadically jumping from thought to thought. I do need to slow it down and this is really helpful. X

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Marie May 13, 2017 - 10:54 pm

Hi! Yes, there are many themes! Slowing down is a good idea; if you don’t do it, you might buy a theme in the spur of a moment, and regret it a couple of days later. That’s why I chose my theme so methodically, I didn’t want to regret my $70!

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Andrea May 13, 2017 - 1:13 am

I can tell you spent a lot of time on this article! Your writing is very well thought out. You give many key points for one to consider in their search for a theme!

Also, I like your folder idea! This is a much more organized system than keeping loads of tabs open (I’m often guilty of this).
Great suggestion!

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Marie May 13, 2017 - 10:45 pm

Hi Andrea! Thank you so much. And you are right – I started this blog post 6 months ago! haha, so I had a lot of time to think about it. 🙂
By the way, I also keep way too much tabs open. My friend Stephen suggested a Chrome plugin to close them without losing them, and I love it! Click here if you want to learn more about this extension!

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Deb Osorio May 13, 2017 - 10:21 pm

Thank you Marie! This was very helpful. Your blog is a clean design and I like it. Maybe now I can finish the backend work, and go live!

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Marie May 13, 2017 - 10:46 pm

I’m glad you found this post useful, Deb! And yes, GO girl, do it ! 😀

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Jen May 14, 2017 - 2:56 am

There are some excellent tips in this post, you’ve done a great job! Especially love the tip about stopping theme research and thinking about it for a day or 2! It’s important not to overwhelm yourself… there are soooo many different themes out there now, it’s crazy!

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Marie May 14, 2017 - 10:18 am

Exactly, Jen! 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Your website is absolutely gorgeous by the way!!

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You created a WordPress blog. Now what? – Girl Knows Tech May 22, 2017 - 11:05 am

[…] Blogging […]

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Brandon Graves May 25, 2017 - 4:16 am

It is necessary that themes are compatible with your WordPress website if you need great user experience and to make it relevant for information purpose. Here you provided some useful information to find the perfect WordPress themes to blog site. We applaud your work guys, keep it continue.

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Marie May 25, 2017 - 7:41 pm

I agree. You don’t need a complicated theme if you’re just doing a simple informational website!
Thanks for your comment
Marie

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Angela Penton May 29, 2017 - 7:34 pm

Love your explanation on how to select a theme. I noticed a change in the website when World Apart went from the free to premium.

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Marie June 4, 2017 - 10:25 am

Yes, I think a premium theme is definitely worth it!
Thanks for your comment!

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Pam Avoledo May 29, 2017 - 8:24 pm

Thank you for the tips. I’m going to redesigning soon and it’s a tedious process. I didn’t realize the bounce rate factored in.

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Marie June 4, 2017 - 10:24 am

Yes, it does! Good luck on your redesign!
Marie

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Gillian May 29, 2017 - 11:13 pm

Excellent advice. I have been reluctant to buy a theme for fear it’s not going to be right for me.

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Marie June 4, 2017 - 10:23 am

I think this blog post should help you make the right decision! xx

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Abbey Olivo August 14, 2017 - 8:58 pm

Great advice! I have switched my theme once so far and was much happier once I did, but still feel like I wish my organization/menus were better. I am thinking about going self hosted which is why I have been holding off!

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Marie August 17, 2017 - 10:14 pm

Ah! This blog post can definitely help you then, I think! 🙂
Going the self hosted route is the best choice too in my opinion! You have great things coming! 😀
Marie

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ISLAM MOYNUL December 5, 2017 - 9:24 pm

Love your explanation on how to select a theme. I noticed a change in the website when World Apart went from the free to premium.

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Marie December 7, 2017 - 7:22 pm

Hi Islam!
Glad you liked my explanation! Yes, me too, a huuuge difference!
Thank you for your comment!
Marie

Reply

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