Being the most preferred CMS around the world, WordPress has the market share of about 60% when it comes to content management platforms. What makes WordPress amazing? It’s user-friendly interface, it’s customization, it’s easy-to-install and it requires minimal technical knowledge.
Since WordPress is expanding exponentially, choosing the perfect theme or plugin from thousands of options is a dilemma faced by most developers. Most businesses need a top notch website in such a competitive digital landscape, so choosing the right themes and plugins is crucial.
Here are 10 key tips that shouldn’t be ignored.
Is the theme responsive? This is the top priority for choosing a theme that makes your site a success. According to Marketing Land, “Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, while the desktop is becoming a ‘secondary touch point’ for an increasing number of digital users.”
In today’s digital landscape, more people are using mobile devices over desktop or tablet. So, why not choose a theme that will make your website responsive. It’s important to figure out whether your theme can display content properly on different mobile devices and screen sizes. Moreover, responsive design is also a ranking factor for your website’s SEO as Google favors websites that are mobile responsive, and places them higher in search results.
With the launch of various browsers, cross browser compatibility is another important feature to consider when selecting a theme. Your website visitors will use a range of browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari to access your site. So, as a website admin or developer, you need to make sure that your website’s UI looks the same in every environment.
How does cross-browser compatibility boost your website? Designing your website to work seamlessly on all major web browsers ensures that your site will cater to a large audience. Don’t forget, if your visitors can’t access features on your website you’ll lose out on potential customers.
Appealing website design is essential in the competitive digital landscape. Your website is a unique entity that reflects the philosophy, principles and nature of your business, so choosing a theme that is fully customizable allows you to deliver a website that gives the best impression of your business and attracts your target audience.
How to choose a theme for your website? You should select a theme that allows proper customization of fonts, color schemes, header, footer, navigation, gallery and other components. A quality theme has various predefined built-in color schemes, easy to customize header section, image and video friendly gallery, predefined widget areas with custom formatting and styling, and allows creating a custom homepage.
SEO friendly Structure
Why should you choose an SEO-friendly theme? Regardless of your business, your website should be SEO optimized for better drive placement in search engine results. A theme that has SEO-friendly structure is valuable because it has more potential for organic traffic from search engines.
What makes a theme SEO friendly?
- Clean and simples structure
- Titles and descriptions for every post and page
- Headings tag
- Visible categories and tags
- Supports popular SEO plugins
Social Media Integration
In today’s marketplace social media has significant popularity among users of various age groups. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube are the top social channels that drive a remarkable amount of traffic to one’s site. As social media has billions of users around the world, it is a proven source of potential customers for your business.
To avoid cluttering your website with too many plugins, you should choose a theme integrated with social media widgets and buttons to expand your website’s customer base. The most popular way to share content is through follow, share or like buttons on posts, profiles and videos.
Multi-lingual websites have become a necessity for businesses and organizations to expand. It gives a competitive advantage, increasing the client base worldwide and increasing the sales volume.
Multilingual websites provide an opportunity to improve the user experience for those visitors who aren’t native speakers of your language. It also gives visitors the impression that your website is customer-centric, which helps in building trust and converts visitors into customers. Moreover, search engines also favor multilingual behavior and this ensures maximum potential for your website to be visible when searched for.
Compatible with the Newest Version of WordPress
Checking whether a plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress is the most important point to consider when selecting a plugin. WordPress is a fast changing environment and a plugin that has not been updated for a long time might not work properly with the latest versions of WordPress. In this scenario, the plugin can generate errors on your website or can disturb functionality altogether.
Number of Downloads
When looking for a plugin for your website, focus on how many times the plugin was downloaded. Number of downloads reflects popularity of the plugin which gives a fair idea of its effectiveness.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews reflect the quality of a plugin. A WordPress plugin with low ratings or bad reviews should raise a red flag. Every plugin has a rating from 1 to 5, depending on the number of stars given by the users. More stars indicate better user experience and credibility, so it is better to go for a plugin with a rating of 4 or above.
Apart from the rating, it’s always best to read the reviews written by the users. A WordPress plugin that works as promoted will definitely have a good rating and positive reviews.
Support and Documentation
Every WordPress plugin page has a ‘support’ forum where plugin users can post queries, leave feedback and report bugs. Everything in the forum is communicated to the author. If the forum has many unresolved threads and the author is not responding to user feedback and complaints, you might want to consider choosing a different plugin, as this probably means no one is maintaining the plugin or no one if in charge of customer support.
A plugin without proper documentation will likely be difficult to install or configure. Moreover, you need to check if the plugin features are well cited in the documentation.