It’s a question I’ve seen many times in a bunch of forums and on sites like Quora. The problem is it’s such a massive open-ended question. Asking people to define which WordPress theme is best for blogging will literally result in a thousand different responses, depending on the viewpoint of the person responding and their assumptions about why you want to know.
In a sense it’s the same as asking something like what’s the best pet! Let me give you an example to explain what I mean.
If you’re thinking seriously about getting a pet, there will be a set of circumstances specific to you that will determine whether or not a certain type of pet is suitable for you and your situation.
You might live in a small house, have small children and spend 9 hours a day away from home. If this is the case a large, athletic dog with lots of energy might not be the right choice for you.
Framing such a general question about WordPress themes in this way is exactly the same as this. If you ask anybody what the best WordPress theme is, will likely result in either a subjective opinion or a series of questions coming back to you such as:
- What do you blog about?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Do you want to spend money and if so what is your budget?
- Are you new to blogging?
- What type of layout do you want?
- … and a raft of other similar questions!
It’s simply not possible to determine the best WordPress theme for you without an appreciation of your wants and needs.
What do You Want from a WordPress Theme?
You might want a theme that’s super refined for SEO. Perhaps you want to sell physical products directly from your blog. Maybe you just want to upload some pretty pictures.
The purpose and requirements for your blog will play a huge role in determining an appropriate WordPress theme for you.
A better way to find this out is to reframe the question to narrow down the options:
- What’s the best WordPress theme for photography portfolios?
- Is there a free, lightweight theme that loads faster than others?
- What are the best themes for technical product reviews?
These types of questions help to reduce the number of possible themes to give you something fitting for your needs, rather like using search engine operators to refine a search.
How to Find the Best WordPress Theme for What You Need
In IT projects, the requirements gathering phase comes before anyone touches anything. This ensures what gets delivered at the end of the project is fit for purpose and satisfies the needs of all stakeholders.
Now I’m not suggesting for a minute you build a project team and assign a project manager! However, you can take the requirements gathering process and use it to really think about what you need from your WordPress theme.
- Can you specify the purpose of your blog?
- Will it be formal (business) or informal (personal)?
- Do you want a free theme or a premium one?
- Is the theme compatible with your version of WordPress?
- Does the theme work with the plugins you have or need?
- Is the theme compatible with page builders such as Elementor?
- Has the theme been built optimally and does it load fast?
- Does it support child themes?
- Is the theme supplied by a reputable developer, updated regularly and supported?
- Has the theme been optimized for SEO?
- Is it responsive and built for mobile devices?
Of course when you brainstorm your requirements there may be many other details you want to add to your checklist. But if you can answer yes too all of the requirement questions you have, then you likely have a good understanding of what you’ll need from a theme.
The next step is to choose one!
Where to Find Themes
There are tens of thousands of themes to choose from… possibly more! The problem with themes is there’s almost too much choice, which is why it’s important to decide what you need before beginning to look.
Once you have a good idea about the basic things you require, a good starting point is the WordPress.com theme store. I think we can agree that WordPress would be a pretty reliable source!
The beauty of the WordPress theme store is the way you can filter your searches to really drill down to what’s best for you according to your requirement list.
Need a free theme? Just select the free option. Have a specific layout in mind? No problem, you can choose the layout filters you want.
WordPress Theme Designers
If you want something a little more sophisticated, you can search online for designers that sell Premium WordPress themes, which tend to offer more sophistication than free themes.
Most premium theme designers offer free, lite versions (freemium) of their more powerful themes, which you can trial and decide whether or not you want to unlock the premium functions by purchasing it.
A strong word of advice though. As I mentioned above, make sure you do your homework before buying any premium theme. Research the designer by:
- Checking out their reviews.
- Finding out how often they are updated.
- Learning what support is available.
The last thing you want to find out when you need post-sales support is that it’s not forthcoming!
Once you’re comfortable with a premium theme seller you should be okay to proceed with the purchase.
- There are thousands of themes from which to choose.
- Defining what you need from your theme makes the process of choosing one much simpler.
- The best wordPress theme is one that meets all your requirements!
- Research any premium theme seller before you make a purchase.
That’s it for now.
What WordPress themes have worked best for you? Drop me a comment below to share your experiences and thoughts?