How to Pick a WordPress Theme

glossary of website terms


 This article is part of the WWW 101 Series which provides an introduction to small business websites.


Now that you have decided to use WordPress for your small business website or blog, it is time to pick a theme. Selecting a WordPress theme can be great fun, but to some, it may be overwhelming. Do you pick a free theme or buy a theme (premium theme)? Where should you start your search? How do you decide among the thousands of options? Hopefully this guide will help…

Factors to Consider when Reviewing WordPress Themes

Type of Website

Is your site a website, blog, website/blog, or ecommerce store? Look for themes that are designed for your type of site. You can find themes tailored toward different types of sites such as retail, corporate, creative, magazine, etc.


There are many wonderful free themes available. There are also some spectacular low-cost premium themes. The cost to purchase a premium theme typically ranges from $40 - $100. In my opinion, the cost to purchase a premium theme is so low that it really isn’t a factor in my decision making process.

Process to Search for a WordPress Theme

Here’s how I approach my search for a WordPress theme.


It is possible to customize just about every feature of a WordPress theme (your website designer can do this). But this involves time… Some things are easy to customize such as colors, fonts, and background image. Other things take longer to change, like the layout. So, I tend to start my search by focusing on the features that are harder to change.

If you are going it on your own and don’t know how to read and write code, look for a theme that allows you to do basic customizations. Some themes include a section in the administration console where you can easily upload your logo, change the background color, and other basic design features.


I typically start with the layout in mind: number of columns (one, two, three, or four), location of sidebar (left or right) or no sidebar, and header area (size of header area, type of header, e.g., large image or logo only).


Although you can customize many features, it saves time if you find a theme that aligns with your the type of business and branding. Many themes are designed for specific types of functions, e.g., service, travel, magazine, creative portfolio, etc. If you are adding a blog to your current website, you should style the blog to match your site’s design. In this case, look for a theme that will be easy to customize.

Try a Few Themes

Select your top options and try them out. For free themes, login to your WordPress Administration console, install the themes, and then activate them. For premium themes, most websites have a free demo where you can check out a few pages.

Sources for WordPress Themes

Here are some great sources to find WordPress themes.
Elegant Themes
Woo Themes

Are you ready to look for a WordPress theme?

Hopefully you now have some guidelines that can help you pick the perfect theme for your small business website or blog. Good luck and have fun!


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