For a non-developer person, looking for a WordPress theme and choosing the best one can be a very difficult task.
Whether aesthetics or functions/options are the priority choice, the WordPress industry market is so diverse and rapidly changing that it is hard to be sure which one is the best theme for your project – business, personal, commercial.
For a developer, it is rather simple, though not less time-consuming. But most developers know where to look. They know the secret, that most of the quality products are not to be found in big stock marketplaces, even though they might sell through one of these. You wonder why? Because in a marketplace environment such as ThemeForest or Mojo Marketplace, the competition is so strong that it leads to the creation of more and more additional functions in a theme, more or less useful, more or less according to WordPress best coding standards. A lot of these functions are actually plugin territory and they know it. But with a commercial theme, developers’ expectations are related to profit so they choose to compromise. And again, you may wonder, what is wrong with that?
Well, that is wrong. Very wrong!
A WordPress novice is ( for an obvious and understandable reason) attracted by mega themes as a child (and as an adult, let’s admit it) by Disneyland. You got absolutely everything, hundreds of portfolio styles, menus, sliders, boxes, sections…all for 49$ or less. All dressed in shiny bright colors, typography, images and shapes. But let’s dig further and dissect what’s behind this mega, awesome, magnificent, grandiose WordPress themes.
For instance, a mega slider can actually be translated in “tonnes of code bloat” to achieve all the necessary options, to adjust images size, captions, animations, to be user-friendly and so on. The result is beautiful but the author actually knows these are not things that were supposed to happen inside a theme. And we’re not talking about a basic slider built following the best coding practices. The user will actually not use more than 20% of these functions and the tons of options will be frustrating at some point when all you want to have are 3 images with 3 paragraphs, yet their theme is severely bloated causing a slow page speed and an undeniable harm for SEO. And without SEO, your online business is pretty much inexistent unless you have a different offline established audience.
A mega theme developer is spending a considerable time speed optimizing the demo. But do you have the necessary skills & knowledge for that if you’re not hiring a developer? Sometimes, caching your WordPress website is causing lots of troubles to beginners, ruining their website instead of speeding it. The developer optimizes the demo to work at a reasonable speed, but without the usual dozen active plugins a regular user already has in their WP dashboard. Plugins installed for various functions that the theme cannot replace, no matter how mega it might be.
So what’s the right way then? There’s no win win situation, no way to achieve everything? Modern aesthetics, the options we need and a speed that helps SEO and a good user experience? Fortunately, yes, there is! Choose a WordPresss theme specifically built for your project. A theme as close as possible to your project purpose. If you sell digital products choose an Easy Digital Download theme, a theme built with this express compatibility in mind. Do not buy a theme that integrates both, WooCommerce & Easy Digital Downloads at the same time. There’s not a reason for that. I know, you believe you actually benefit a great deal by purchasing a theme that does both at the same time, but in the end you’ll only convince yourself that the tons of options are only getting in your way, a more time consuming set up process, confusing options, bigger files, a harder administration overall, when all you’ve ever wanted was a simple shop to sell your 5 books. Why all the trouble? And who benefits in the end? Neither you nor your website visitors or your SEO work.