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9 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a WordPress Theme

Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing website, choosing the right theme will make it easier to create a professional-looking site and achieve your online goals. But with hundreds of free and premium WordPress templates to choose from, picking one can be overwhelming. Here are a few ways to narrow down your options.

Make sure it’s compatible with Gutenberg

Gutenberg is WordPress’s block-based content editor. It lets you change text and images without writing custom code. Because Gutenberg compatibility is so important to building a successful site, most Theme Sellers create themes that integrate seamlessly with Gutenberg.

Check for current WordPress updates

Check the item page to make sure the theme you’re considering is compatible with the latest version of WordPress. If you have questions about WordPress version compatibility, you can also ask the theme author via the theme support forum on the item page.

Select a responsive theme

Web traffic is increasingly driven through mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. To capture that traffic, you’ll need a theme that is compatible with different web browsers, screen sizes, and devices. Testing a theme’s mobile responsiveness is easy; load the theme’s live demo, then shrink and enlarge your web browser to see how the theme looks in different-sized windows.

Avoid bloated themes

A few factors affect your site’s performance: your hosting plan, the number of plugins you’re running, what tasks those plugins are performing, the file size of images and video, and the size of your theme. Themes with many flashy functions have to run more code and take more time to load. Think carefully about the features and media you want to include and balance that against site performance.

Make sure it comes with support

The themes you see in the Marketplace are all created by members of our theme seller community. Some theme sellers manage support forums or even have personal subscription-based support, which means you can get assistance from the person who created the theme. Read reviews on the theme seller to get an understanding of how they offer support. Only themes with sellers who respond to support requests in under 48 hours qualify for Bluehost certification.

Look for themes with placeholder images

Placeholder images are generic images that help you visualize where your images will go to get a clear idea of how your final design will look. They’re also a great way to understand the relationship between images and text while you’re building, so your final design is more cohesive and user-friendly.

Look for themes with a live demo or one-click demo

Themes give you a framework to build, but the options you create with that framework are almost unlimited. So, duplicating exactly what you see in the Theme Seller’s example might be tricky. Check the Theme Seller Support Forum or the reviews to get an idea of how the theme might come to life for your site. Themes that include a live demo make it easier to visualize an existing site with a new theme. For easier installation, look for a theme that offers One-Click Demo Import.

Build for the future

Think about the future of your website. Maybe you only need a blog right now, but your long-term plan includes a storefront. Pick a theme that will serve your needs now and a year from now.

To summarize, remember that there are a lot of themes out there — you’ll absolutely find one that works your vision. Make sure you pick a theme that’s up-to-date, that’s compatible with WordPress, and that will meet your needs without adding extra features you won’t use. Finally, consider starting with a Bluehost Certified Theme.

To know more, please see these articles: How to Install Themes and Managing Themes & Plugins.

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You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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