At the last count there were something in the order of 10,000 WordPress themes available, so it is understandable that if you are building a site or blog, particularly for the first time, you can feel a little overawed.

Of course, you want a theme that is in keeping with the subject matter on your site, and that conveys the right image, but there is more to it than just choosing something that looks nice.

To help you along, here are five questions you need to ask yourself when narrowing down a shortlist of possible themes.

1. Is it mobile friendly?

In 2015, Google confirmed that mobile had overtaken desktop as the browsing platform of choice for searches, so anyone who tells you that mobile internet is the future is living in the past. A mobile friendly theme is not a “nice to have” anymore, it is an absolute prerequisite. If you buy the best WordPress blog themes, you can be sure they will be mobile responsive, but be cautious about free themes, as there is no telling what you might get.

2. Does it work across different browsers?

As well as being mobile friendly, the theme needs to work across the range of browsers that people use these days, such as Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, Safari and so on. Again, if you are sourcing your theme from a reputable provider, this should be explicitly stated, but if in doubt, you can always check it for yourself.

3. Is it multilingual / ¿es multilingüe?

The world wide web is so called for a reason. It is a big old world out there, and online, every corner of it is right on your doorstep. If you hadn’t thought about creating a multilingual WordPress site, maybe now is the time to give it some consideration. At the very least, it makes sense to ensure your theme is translation ready and able to support multilingual plugins, so you will be ready for anything.

4. Is it SEO friendly?

Optimising a theme for SEO is not a simple matter. It goes beyond looking good and depends to a large extent on the html coding that lies at its heart. For the layman this can be enough to send your head into a spin. There are tools like WC3 that will check it for you, but you need to understand what you are looking at, as this will flag all sorts of warnings that are perfectly normal, but will send the uninitiated into a blind panic. This is another reason to buy a premium theme, where you will get explicit confirmation from the developers that it is SEO optimised.

5. What do other people think?

Finally, check out the reviews. These days, everyone is an expert and an influencer, so it makes sense to canvass opinions. If you are taken with a theme that has a heap of 1-star ratings, by all means dig around to find out why, but ultimately, it is probably best to walk away.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.