If you are choosing a WordPress theme for your site then read this article first…
When we get asked to create a new site the Customer is alway very keen to get the look and feel right and quite rightly so, but the basis for choosing the right WordPress theme should not be based on the way it looks, it should be based on the functionality needed in your site; what do you need it to do? Look and feel is very important and first impression count but styling a website is the easy part.
We’ve seen various customers who come with a long list of plugins for various functions they want in their WP site and they also give a couple of links to sites they like the look of, they see them as two totally separate considerations. Plugins can offer loads of different functions, but sometimes they don’t work well together, or work well with the theme chosen and if you update your WP core with so many different plugins, you may find it messes up your site when one of them doesn’t work correctly. Keeping your plugin amount down is preferable.
What we tend to do is find a theme that has been built for the purpose, containing the functionality that is needed for that Customer’s site. This means it has been set up to fulfil a specific function and works seamlessly with the theme, as it’s part of the same thing – get that right and you’ll have a site that is easy to run and update with less plugins to cause errors. Styling the theme after it’s been set up to function as the Customer needs, is the easy part.
So the next time you’re choosing a WordPress theme for your site, think about what you want it to do first. Functions should be your 1st priority, style comes 2nd. There is no point having a great looking site, that doesn’t function well.
Here are a few of our favourite themes with built in functions, or have been set up to work seamlessly with few plugins, out of the box!
Templatic’s Directory theme
Elegant Theme’s e-commerce Boutique theme
One Community’s BuddyPress & Forum theme