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3 Essential Features your WordPress Theme should have

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Born out of a desire for an elegant and a well-structured website publishing system, WordPress was launched in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Since then,  its growth has been nothing short of exponential. According to WordPress.com, WordPress is being used by around 30.2% of all websites.

All the front end designing and styling of a WordPress website is provided by the WordPress theme selected. Right from the fonts, colors, widget positioning to page layouts, a theme helps you manage it all. With thousands of free and paid themes to select from, choosing one that is best suited to your business can be intimidating.

A good theme should supplement your website content while not taking too long to load. Remember, you WordPress theme will decide how the users and search engines perceive your website. To learn how to install a theme in the right manner, check out this interesting post.

If you have a website with a lot of written content (blog/ news updates), then you would ideally need a theme that helps you increase the readability of content. A wrong choice can have dampening effects on the website experience and may also lead to reduced organic search visibility. Be judicious.

Here are 3 essential features your WordPress theme should have:
  1. Plugin Support: The way it is designed, WordPress packs a punch due to the plugins offered. These are those magic wands that helps you do absolutely everything with your WordPress website. And these plugins may/ may not be supported by every theme. Hence, it is important to ensure that the theme selected by you supports at least the popular plugins.
  2. Mobile optimized (Responsive) and multi-browser compatible: While most WordPress themes are responsive and multi-browser compatible, it is prudent to ensure that the theme selected by you is mobile optimized and works well with major browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc. Mobile usability is gaining a lot of importance not only from a usability standpoint, but even from a SEO perspective. Google has announced that they are moving to a Mobile First Indexation model, which means if the website is not mobile friendly, it can severely affect the organic search visibility of your website.
  3. SEO Friendly: Organic search is more often than not, the highest contributor of traffic and visibility to your website. Hence it is of paramount importance that you ensure your website remains SEO friendly. Certain themes make use of coding technologies such as Flash or Ajax which makes it difficult for search engines like Google and Bing to read through the content. If the website content is not understandable to search engines, they will not index the website and its chances of ranking will go down. Hence it is very essential to ensure the theme that you select is search engine friendly. To verify of the theme is SEO friendly, there are a couple of checks that you can do. For instance, check if all elements of the theme are visible in the Google cache copy of the page. Verify if content part of the theme is not driven heavily by JavaScript or Ajax. Check if the theme HTML and CSS is light enough to load faster so that you will have to take lesser effort to optimize for speed in the future.
Another element that might be useful, especially to beginners is the availability of support. It is important to note that not all theme developers provide support. If you run into a problem, then you might have to either solve it yourself or spend money to hire a developer to solve it for you. Another good alternative would also be to host your WordPress website on Managed WP Hosting where the WordPress Hosting provider’s dedicated account managers will assist in taking care of the technical and management tasks including plugin and theme management of your WordPress website.

Hope this helps, and if you have any follow up questions or thoughts, please feel free to mention them in the comments section below.


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