The Dilemma Between “Pretty” And User Friendly: How To Pick The Perfect WordPress Theme

By WP Saviour •  Updated: 03/06/21 •  11 min read

The times when having a fairly theme was sufficient to face out within the web-jungle are numbered. The huge progress of WordPress, with a lot of new, gifted builders creating tons of fine trying themes that allow even essentially the most design illiterate of us to create a fairly web site with no large price range, and with out having to spend numerous hours studying design, made certain of that.

Immediately, to make an impression, the theme must be not solely straightforward on the eyes, however intuitive to make use of as properly. The excellent news is that it doesn’t should be a trade-off. In lots of circumstances, the person friendliness merely compliments an already lovely theme, and makes visiting your web site an entire pleasure on each degree.

However whenever you consider person friendliness, it’s straightforward to suppose that it’s one thing advanced, and costly reserved for larger web sites, like Fb and YouTube. But it surely doesn’t should be that manner. Person friendliness can imply

What Makes A Theme Person Pleasant?

Not like prettiness, whether or not or not a theme is person pleasant just isn’t one thing you determine on a whim based mostly in your aesthetic choice(which is perhaps totally different out of your viewers’s). It’s one thing you determine by having your (future) viewers in thoughts.

A theme is person pleasant if:

It’s can also be a bonus if the theme has options that help what you wish to do with the web site sooner or later. (This makes it attainable to allow new parts, with out vital downtime. And naturally, any downtime in any respect might be an annoyance to your devoted viewers.) Merely put, if it helps you talk what you wish to talk extra successfully, a theme is person pleasant.

For instance, utilizing a normal enterprise theme in your portfolio web site when you’re a photographer, may very well be sending the flawed message. (Until after all, your fundamental clients are company sorts that really feel most at residence when a web site that has smiling folks in fits because the background picture, then I’d say you will have the best concept.) An much more apparent instance, is the way you in all probability shouldn’t use a non-profit theme in your web site about offers on designer merchandise.

However after all it may be extra delicate than this. Most often, it’s much more delicate. For instance, there are various portfolio themes on the market that look nice. Out of these I’d go as far as to say Daisho, Yin & Yang and our personal Elegant free theme are all superb examples of minimal portfolio themes (see for your self under).

Daisho (Homepage mode)


Yin & Yang




At first inspection, they’re comparable on many ranges. Simplistic, clear, and delightful. However they’re not with out their essential variations. Yin & Yang permits for a heavier precedence on visible content material, optimum for say, a photographer or designer, however not so optimum for a copywriter. Conversely, Daisho (in homepage mode) permits a heavier concentrate on textual content, makes it ideally suited for a services or products that’s more durable to signify purely by way of visuals.

The content material that finest represents what you do ought to be the precedence. Whether or not that could be a Video, a picture portfolio, or the writing itself. (Identical precept for blogs and different web sites.)

In the case of how clear and intuitive a theme is, you may be pressured to make a judgement name. As a normal rule of thumb, you need there to be few choices and distractions that might take the eye away from the primary focus of your web site. In case you discover that the theme invitations you to take the actions that you really want a customer to take… for instance, take a look at a portfolio, or learn extra a couple of specific service, you then may need a keeper.

When In Doubt: Go For A Easy And Clear Theme

In case you’re not fairly certain concerning the matter but, otherwise you may take the web site in certainly one of a number of instructions sooner or later, choose one thing clear, easy, impartial. That manner, you can also make small, and even monumental adjustments to the subject and Brand, however maintain utilizing the identical theme. (Making ”redesigns” extremely painless.)

After I say easy, I’m referring to the design, not essentially the capabilities of the theme. On the very least, it ought to be optimized for cell in addition to the online, given the big proportion of cell customers nowadays. (That is often known as being responsive. A time period you wish to be looking out for.) If you wish to begin out with a easy weblog, however wish to have the choice to create an amazing trying service web page sooner or later, selecting a theme that helps each off the bat can prevent a headache, some hours, and presumably even a wad of money, sooner or later.

You may for instance go along with our very personal Complete, which is responsive, has a stupendous weblog format, in addition to a web page builder for when  you wish to construct these touchdown pages.

However you is perhaps questioning why do you have to choose one thing easy. You might have observed that there’s one thing of a minimalism growth nowadays in the case of internet design. Logos are getting simplified. 3D objects and buttons are turning flat once more. Huge manufacturers implement web site re-designs that disregard artsy options, and fancy animations, and as a substitute concentrate on simplicity and usefulness.

Possibly it’s as a result of the analysis is in, and it says easier = higher seeking to nearly all of folks. The extra advanced a web site, the much less engaging it’s to the tip person at first go to. (This doesn’t imply folks gained’t balk on the change throughout a redesign.)

Plus, limiting your self to easy themes will help you truly select one out of the a whole lot of hundreds which can be on the market just a little simpler. And the time you save might be put to raised use (like creating content material to your superior new WordPress website).

Does Your Chosen Theme Test Out?

Earlier than you lastly determine to purchase (or just set up) a theme, there’s a couple of issues it’s best to take a look at earlier than you

In case you’re utilizing the listing, or the Themeforest market, you’ll find out most of this stuff, and get deal with on the others, extraordinarily simply.

Is It Up To Date?

In case your theme just isn’t up do date, it might have safety holes, or lack compatibility with the newest model of WordPress. The latter gives you a tough time discovering suitable plugins, (or go away you with outdated variations which have much less performance, and even safety points). The most recent theme replace is listed to the best, below the ‘preview’ button within the WordPress listing.


And a bit additional down in the best sidebar on Themeforest.


In case you discover the proper theme, and it simply so occurs to be barely outdated, what do you have to do? It occurs on a regular basis. A developer/designer will create an under-appreciated masterpiece, and can cease taking note of it as a result of it simply isn’t value their time to fiddle with it. And who can blame them? It may be tempting to go for a theme like this. Particularly since not many different web sites are utilizing it.

As a normal rule of thumb, it’s a good suggestion to keep away from outdated themes that haven’t been up to date in a very long time. To begin with, they may not perform in any respect with the latest model of WordPress. Or perhaps simply a few of the newer capabilities aren’t supported. However truly, the worst case state of affairs is that it does work, till the subsequent replace of WordPress renders it ineffective, and it’s a must to cope with altering themes in your energetic website, on prime of discovering a brand new one.

However when you’re really in love with an outdated theme, you may argue: “Why not use an older model of WordPress that it does work with?” And my reply can be to ask you to google “WordPress bug fixes”, and remind you that compatibility with plugins may develop into a difficulty as properly. Save your self the attainable headache, and keep away.

Does it provide energetic help?

For WordPress.Org you will get indication from the numbers on the entrance web page that exhibits what number of help requests get answered, nevertheless it’s not at all times a really correct portrayal. A few of the tickets may very well be duplicates, or an issue because of set up and never the theme itself, or the menace writer may simply overlook to mark it as resolved after receiving assist.

On Themeforest, it’s best to examine the feedback, and in addition stay looking out for mentions about help within the physique textual content. On the gross sales web page of Yin & Yang for instance, there’s truly point out of a devoted help discussion board on the finish of the copy.

Is it bug free?

In concept, themes within the listing and Themeforest market ought to be bug free, as theme code is reviewed earlier than inclusion is allowed. However in apply, due to the human capability for error(particularly in the case of overworked folks reviewing code), there are some exceptions.

One solution to get a normal impression of the integrity of the theme, is to diligently undergo feedback and opinions and see if there’s a direct point out of a troubling bug that didn’t get resolved because of this, you is perhaps higher off avoiding the theme altogether (If there are some mentions of minor bugs, and the writer responds shortly, and implements fixes, this can often be signal reasonably than a foul one…).

Is It A Trouble To Deal With?

Whereas the feedback/opinions are a go-to supply for data once more, I might suggest searching for full-length opinions by individuals who know what they’re doing. There’s a couple of causes for this. To begin with it may be arduous to guage somebody’s technical literacy by a one-three sentence remark/evaluation. It additionally doesn’t say something concerning the expectations they’d moving into. Which implies brief feedback of this sort might be deceptive. In case you do determine to go strictly by feedback, or there aren’t any opinions, it’s a must to make some judgement calls concerning the commentator’s technical literacy, their expectations, and whether or not or not it’s just like your personal.

If at this level you’re worrying about whether or not or not it’s value spending this a lot effort on a theme, take into account this, the best way your web site LOOKS is definitely extra vital to any first impression, than the precise content material. And likewise, the extra diligently you undergo this now, the much less it’s a must to fear about it, and the extra it is possible for you to to stay centered on writing, designing, or photographing

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WP Saviour

I am a WordPress specialist. My mission is to help you create beautiful websites with ease!