WordPress Themes Vary Wildly
The theme you choose can make a major difference in how sustainable your website is. Many commercial themes are jam packed with features, plugins, and functions that you probably don’t need. Here are things to look for and avoid:
- JS Composer / WP Bakery or other variations of this shortcode based builder
- Multi-Purpose Themes
- Unique Page Builders
- Too Many Features
- Loading unnecessary scripts and css files on pages that don’t require them.
Free vs. Paid Themes
It depends. Some free themes are truly excellent! Some aren’t. The same goes for paid themes. The most important thing in my opinion to avoid is a theme that is tied to a shortcode based page builder. Shortcodes are not easily transferable when redesigning or transferring content to a new website.
On some website the theme is much less important. For example, when using Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer a compatible theme falls to the background and let’s you drag and drop your layout. This can work well for some people. Some themes are dead simple with regard to header and footer layouts and that works for your situation. Again, it depends. Even experience web developers make bad decisions because:
- That is what they are used to
- They aren’t concerned about sustainability
- They are unwilling to test other options
Subject Matter Themes
While we prefer to build custom websites there are many designers & business owners who want a template. A website that is almost pre-built. This is a slippery slope.
- There is no guarantee of quality.
- Your website will look exactly like potential competitors.
- You will be limited.
Be sure your theme is Gutenberg compatible. Gutenberg isn’t perfect but it is perfectly functional for many websites and unless you need a more robust page builder, Gutenberg is lightweight.
If you don’t want to test themes, research what other people have tested.