Overview: The theme you choose for your WordPress website goes a long way toward influencing users’ opinions of your online presence. If you’ve been using the same theme for a long time, it might be time to consider a change. Read on to learn why!
WordPress is an incredibly versatile platform that empowers millions of websites around the world. The technical features available with WordPress are essential to maintaining a great website — but visual appeal is also important. The human eye gravitates towards beautiful things, and whether consciously or not, consumers tend to make choices for aesthetic reasons.
WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) around, and offers many benefits to those who use it. One of the great things about WordPress is the ability to change the look and feel of your website by switching themes. A WordPress theme sets the design and layout of your website, and changing it can significantly impact your site’s appearance and functionality.
So, should you change your WordPress theme? The answer is: It depends. There are several factors to consider before making the switch.
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The first thing to consider is the purpose of your website. If your website is a blog or personal website, changing the theme can be a fun way to refresh the look of your site. You can browse through the available themes and choose one that reflects your own personality.
However, if your website is for business or professional use, changing your theme should be done with caution. You can’t let a funky theme represent a cause such as fundraising for an important nonprofit, and you don’t want an excessively flashy theme for a serious business like a financial advisor or a funeral home. The new theme has to be appropriate for the content and tone of the website.
Also, be mindful of the fact that a new theme may require changes to your site’s layout. Re-organizing all your content can be time-consuming if a new theme throws your site into disarray.
Consider a change if your current theme does not meet your website’s needs. For example, if your website has been online for a few years and isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s definitely time to find a new theme that is.
Do you wish you had access to more features, widgets, and flexible design options? Upgrading to a newer theme that offers more customization options or better compatibility with plugins can also improve your website’s functionality.
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As we mentioned earlier, aesthetics play a big role in web design. If your current theme is looking outdated, unprofessional, or hard to read, it’s time to look for a new one. A new theme can breathe new life into your website and make it more visually appealing to your audience.
Just make sure you take the new theme for a test drive when you first make the change — you’ll want to know right away if the theme interferes with your website’s functionality or user-friendliness. Which brings us to the next thing to consider…
Before switching to a new WordPress theme, ensure it’s compatible with the plugins and widgets you’re currently using. Some themes may not support certain plugins or may require additional customization to make them work. Testing your new theme on a staging site can help you identify potential compatibility issues before going live.
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When it comes to getting your website discovered by search engines such as Google — especially Google, the giant of the field — the entire game is about SEO. Changing your theme can have an impact on your website’s SEO. A new theme may present different code structures, page layouts, and other elements affecting your website’s search engine ranking.
With the majority of potential customers beginning their journey with a Google search, the wise website owner should consider SEO their top priority. With the internet growing and diversifying each year, websites that aren’t SEO-friendly get lost in the shuffle. SEO web crawlers need to be able to find your content to rank it better in search engines.
So here’s your chance to be the wise website owner. Choose an SEO-friendly theme for your WordPress site and avoid any potential negative impact on your search rankings.
Here are some other factors to consider when choosing a new WordPress theme.
Intuitive, responsive design, compatible with desktop and mobile: Imagine this scenario: You go to a website in search of some specific information. But as you repeatedly try clicking or tapping on things, you get increasingly confused as to how to navigate the site. Or worse, the website fails to load the pages you’re trying to access, or loads them extremely slowly.
How would you feel? Frustrated, right? That’s how visitors to your site will feel is your design is not responsive. A responsive design is vital — equally so for the desktop and mobile versions of your site, as mobile internet traffic accounts for almost 60% of global traffic.
Plugin support: Plugins provide functionality and unlock WordPress’s full potential. If you plan to take advantage of the customization options allowed by plugins, go for a theme that offers excellent plugin support.
Browser compatibility and regular updates: Web browsers are constantly evolving, with new upgrades and versions being released on a regular basis. Most WordPress theme developers are good about keeping their themes up to date, but don’t get left in the dust — before committing to a theme, check how old it is and whether it’s updated frequently. This will keep your website working efficiently even as changes are made to the browsers that your audience will use to access it.
>> Related Reading: How to choose an SEO-friendly WordPress theme
Changing your WordPress theme can greatly improve your website’s look and functionality, but it should be done with care. Before making the switch, consider the purpose, functionality, design, compatibility, and SEO implications. If you finally decide to make the change, test your new theme thoroughly on a staging site if possible so you can make any necessary adjustments before going live.
For assistance with anything in the world of WordPress websites — from themes to plugins to hosting to tech support — get in touch with MyUnlimitedWP. We’ve been experts at WordPress since it was new, and we love helping everyday heroes like you!