How To: Choose a Theme

Making your website presentable, fluid, and functional is one of the most important aspects of having a successful website.  While some people might not judge a book by its cover, many will certainly judge a website by its homepage.  Choosing a theme might not be easy, but there are some tips that’ll help you decide.

Figure out your Features

The first thing you need to do is figure out what you need/want on your website.  Themes come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some might work better with a vide0-heavy website while others might be best with a full blogging style.

Make a list of the different features you know you’ll need and have a rough idea of where you might want these and how.  You may need to be a little flexible when it comes to the specifics, but you should always know what it is you’re looking for.

Avoid Clutter

Having a lot of things on your website at once might sound great, but in reality it becomes a mess.  People don’t need to see all your videos, pictures, clips, posts, friends, interests, and information all in one page.

A cluttered homepage also might cause users to lag and cause server issues if there’s simply too much needing to load every time a user looks at the page.

Look for a Flexible Theme

There are a lot of themes out there that not only work with computers but also mobiles and tablets.  Try to find one that’ll work for a multitude of different devices. This would be called a responsive theme.

If you do end up having to choose one that doesn’t, there are ways to make it more responsive to other devices.  You may have to do a little customization yourself, but ultimately it’ll be a good learning experience.

Brand your Website

Most websites these days have a logo or a brand and yours should, too.  Look at Facebook and their website and logo is all about the blue and white (and the same with Twitter, ironically).  If you’ve already got a logo, try to incorporate its colors into your website.

If you don’t, think about making one.  Marketing is important in running a successful website.   Just keep in mind that very dark websites are almost always harder to read than lighter ones.

Pay Attention to Fonts

Let’s face it, websites are meant to be read.  If you’ve got a font that looks like a crazy cursive teacher suddenly got hit with an earthquake, I can guarantee you that you’ll never have any repeat visitors reading a single thing you write.

In general, choose fonts that are easy to read, a good size, and simple.  Make your writing pop and you don’t have to try and overcompensate with a fancy font.

Lastly, Test your Theme

The worst thing you can do is just install a theme and assume it’s going to work how you want.  Some themes might not work with all your plug-ins or might need a little customizing to fit the way you want.  Test all the parts on your new theme before setting it loose so that your website remains stable.