The options for choosing a WordPress theme for your site are nearly endless, but choosing the wrong theme could ruin your blog. Free themes, in particular, can be problematic for your blog’s success. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when choosing a new theme for your blog.
Not SEO Optimized
Unfortunately, your free WordPress theme may not be optimized for SEO. Less time goes into the production of free themes and for this reason, are much less likely to have the necessary time spent on them to include built-in SEO components. Beyond this, the coding of free WordPress themes is often cluttered and messy. This kind of untidy coding is much more difficult for search engines to read. Premium themes, on the other hand, have more care put into their coding. Orderly coding means your blog will have faster loading times and will be easier for search engines to index.
Lack of Support and Updates
A free WordPress theme does not often come with support from its distributor. In the case of any issues with the theme, you may not be able to get any technical assistance from the company. Unfortunately, this leads to increased downtime for your blog. Moreover, free themes usually contain more bugs. Your blog will have no way of fixing these bugs without support from the theme’s creators. Beyond this, a theme without updates is the worst kind of theme to have on your blog. The internet is constantly evolving, and your blog needs to evolve along with it. This evolution includes updates to your WordPress theme. Without updates, the theme may be opening your blog up to all kinds of cyberattacks.
Using a Bad Source
A plethora of sites exist for choosing a WordPress theme for your blog, but not all of these sources are created equal. Many are created by amateur coders as side projects–this goes for both free and premium theme sites. Using a theme from a bad source could easily ruin the hard work you’ve put into your blog. Even worse than amateur coding is malicious themes that exist for download as well. Some themes exist with the sole purpose of destroying your site (or, in some cases, hacking into more of your organization). To avoid ending up with a malicious WordPress theme, download all materials for your blog at WordPress.org.
Choosing an Overly Complicated Theme
In attempting to stand out from the crowd, it can be tempting to choose a very creative theme for your blog. While original design aspects can help your blog be aesthetically pleasing, it is always more important to keep your blog readable. Flashy options often hurt your blog more than they help it. In most circumstances, it is better to be simple than creative. The purpose of web design is to help users find and read your content, and your blog cannot do this if it is difficult to read or navigate. A creative theme is only the right theme for your blog if it is usable. Bad themes can look good, too.
When navigating the incredible number of themes available for your blog, keep these potential missteps in mind. Free themes can be your blog’s worst nightmare, so stick with premium themes when at all possible, always air on the side of simplicity and be careful to download your WordPress theme from a reputable source. For help with WordPress, contact wpHarbor today.