First, a theme

featured-themesOne of the first things you are faced with when designing any WordPress site is selecting the theme. The theme is basically the core of the design — some allow a lot of customization, some not so much — and changing a theme after you’ve selected all your plugins can be problematic. In fact, a poorly designed theme may not only conflict with plugins but also with web servers as I discovered when building this site (a poor choice in theme caused a “white screen of death”). As tempting as it is to try new themes, I often end up back in the same place, using either themes I’ve already tested or checking out themes from the same developers.

One of my favourite developer teams is Catch Themes. All of their themes are responsive, well-coded, and have enough customization to make them “yours”; I’ve yet to find a plugin conflict in using any of them. They do both free and premium versions of most themes; this site was built using the free version of Catch Box which does a fantastic job of displaying on any and every device.

While I find Elegant Themes hit and miss (many are difficult to customize and I’ve run into a number of pretty basic conflicts with plugins), I have been impressed with Divi, especially in a multi-site environment, but it can be overwhelming to a new WordPress user.

There are thousands of themes to choose from and it can seem like a fool’s errand to find just the right one, but if you don’t know where to start, try using the feature filter at wordpress.org/themes to narrow down your search then it’s a matter of trial and error.

featurefilter

Check the ratings, check the preview site if one is available, and check how often a theme has been downloaded before you test it on your own site. While none of those guarantees it will work for you, each one can further thin the numbers.

If all this seems like too much work, then consider hiring me to do the search and test on your behalf. Just send me a quick note for a quote.

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