Must Have Features in Choosing a WordPress Theme for your Website
WordPress theme trends come and go. Some popular features a while back have faded away while others went mainstream and have become basic and essential features integral to a WordPress theme. A lot of the WordPress themes in the marketplace today are feature-packed and sometimes it gets overwhelming to choose the perfect one. Website owners need to be able to sort through long menu of features, pull out those that are relevant to their own specific website needs and goals, just to make sure they don’t get an over bloated and slow-loading website. Here are some basic features to look for in selecting a WordPress theme to fit your website needs.
Flexibility and Ease of Use
User experience is a key factor in web design. WordPress themes must be flexible enough to adapt to the user’s needs and provide way for customization to be simple and easy. A popular feature nowadays is the drag and drop feature where layouts can be configured and reconfigured by simply dragging and dropping elements into specific areas. WordPress themes that include this feature already have a fan base as it makes customization convenient and friendly even for WordPress beginners.
Responsive (On or Off feature)
The emergence of mobile platforms in internet usage makes its users a population that shouldn’t be ignored. A lot of people think that mobile might eventually displace desktop as the dominant platform for internet access. In light of this, website owners need to consider WordPress themes that are 100% responsive enabling content to be presented efficiently on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile or handheld devices. Themes that include features such as menus especially designed for mobile devices, responsive sliders, and responsive images are also a plus factor. Some also prefer that they have control over whether they want the responsive feature turned on or off which means that WordPress themes that have this option will appeal to this type of web user.
Search Engine Optimization
It would be a pity for a site with amazing content to be left to obscurity because search engines can’t find it. According to Joost de Valk, creator of the popular SEO plugin Yoast,
“Out of the box, WordPress is a pretty well optimized system, and does a far better job at allowing every single page to be indexed than every other CMS I have used. But there are a few things you should do to make it a lot easier still to work with.”
WordPress themes that are built according to best code practices and are integrated with sound SEO measures will do well as far as search engine visibility and ranking are concerned.
Multi Media Handling Capabilities
Gone are the days where people are merely content reading stuff on the web. Today’s generation of internet users seek more interactive and media heavy content. Website users tend to lean towards WordPress themes that are flexible enough to handle all types of media formats (audio, video, images, etc). Support for self-hosted videos, Youtube, Vimeo and SoundCloud, and other third party multi media content hosts is always a plus as internet users today.
Animations, Parallax, Sliders, etc.
Some people detest sliders and other visual eye candy. Some don’t even think that it helps a site at all while some consider these visual effects necessary features in a website. When people get to your site, you want to ensure that they get enough interest to go through your content. The use of all these visual effects can go from cheesy to spectacular depending on how it is presented. Today’s media bombarded user can benefit from well-thought of and creative visual presentations that feed both the eyes and the mind.
Translation or Multi Lingual Ready
WordPress already powers more than 21% of the Internet and will continue to increase even as of this writing. This means that more non-English speaking users will be thrown in the mix of users and will need themes that can be translated into their own languages and with RTL (right to left provision). This segment of WordPress users will be more attracted to themes that are easier to adapt to their local audiences.
These features listed here may or may not be on the top of your list. If you do have some suggestions, feel free to leave us a comment and tell us why you think so. We’d love to hear from you.