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Selecting the Perfect Theme for WordPress

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Selecting the Perfect Theme for WordPress

Selecting The Perfect Theme for Your Blog determines the future of your site. Not only does a good theme makes a good first impression to your user, but it helps your SEO. Yes the structure of your design plays a major role in search engine optimization. In this article, we will share our expertise on picking a design that is right for your industry and your blog.

Pick a Theme that Relates to Your Industry

The most obvious point, but it is the most important one as well. You should pick a theme that relates to your niche, industry, and/or business. If you have a blog about politics, then don’t use a design what was made for a web hosting site. For most bloggers, the option is very simple as they choose a theme that is very generic and add a logo that matches. This might not be a bad option for someone with a low budget who is just starting out.

Strive for simplicity

There are many free themes in the market that has alot of complex features. It might look very good in the display, but it might not be the best for functionality. If you want a theme that has alot going on, get a custom one because that is the only way you can assure functionality. We suggest you don’t get into the fancy work instead go for simple designs because they are easier to modify and are compatible with most browsers.

Check for Browser Compatibility

Always make sure that your new theme is compatible with all browsers. It is good for those themes to be w3 valid and cross browser compatible because you know that you are not leaving any one behind. Some people might suggest that you should not worry about older browsers like IE 6 if it doesn’t work. And most tech designers are now ignoring Internet Explorer compatibility completely. You don’t need to support a theme or a designer when he/she did not put enough time to provide quality work for you. There is still a large audience that use Internet Explorer and other browsers, so make sure you look for browser compatibility.

Be Aware of the Terms of Service

When you are choosing a free or commercial theme make sure you are aware of the terms of service. If a free theme requires alot of backlinks then move on. There are thousands of free themes in the market. You can pick another one. Always follow the terms of service because we appreciate the work of all designers and we want them to keep producing good themes for us.

If you are looking for a free theme, we are working on to release some themes by wpbeginner, but there are some really good ones available in the WordPress Theme Directory. But you may also check out our footer for more resources because there are other themes that are available.

Our Recommendation

There are tons of free themes that you can download. But we recommend that you go for something that you will get guaranteed support for. Commercial themes are a one time fee, and you get life time support. Below are the commercial theme providers that we highly recommend:

ThemeLab – (WordPress themes by our team)

Headway Themes

Elegant Themes


Themify – 20% off coupon “wpbeginner”


If you are looking to get a custom WordPress theme, then please use our Custom WordPress Theme service.

Installing a Theme

Installing a theme is very easy in WordPress. Just follow the steps we are showing you below:

1. Download the Theme

Considering the tips that we gave you above, download the theme files. Unzip the file and upload the theme in your following directory: /wp-content/themes/

2. Activate the Theme

Once you have uploaded the theme, all you have to do is activate the theme. You can do so by going to your wp-admin panel. Look at the sidebar on the left. Click on the tab Appearance > Themes. Find your theme there and click activate.

Install WordPress Theme

Once you have the theme activated you are good to go.

Remember if you don’t want to go through the hassle of uploading a theme and installing WordPress, you can have us install WordPress and install the choice of your theme in your new blog. Get Free WordPress Setup by WPBeginner.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Kay says:

    Unfortunately my research into themes has just produced more questions than answers. I am not a blog, or a church or a real estate agent. I may want a blog in the future but for now, it is just for my management services company. I do not need an eCommerce store, just forms to be completed and submitted. I am just starting out and can purchase the theme but not the wrong one where I will end up purchasing 2 or 3 until I get the one I need.

    Other questions that I have:

    1) There are a couple of Themes that are advertising free install but it appears that they then also charge for support services. Others charge for the install but offer free support service.
    2) Several mention ease of logo install which leads me to believe that this may be an issue for placement within a theme’s template exactly where I might want it.
    3) SEO Ready
    4) HTML5 Code ready – some mention it and some don’t.
    5) Forms – there seems to be a limited amount of placements for different contact forms in the templates. Some say they include the Ajax Forms or Contact Form 7 plug-in but those weren’t visible in the demo. I will have at least 4 forms.
    6) I have an idea for the slider pictures for the Home page if a text box can be added to the photo which a couple of themes showed like the Biz-Net Home 3 theme.
    7) Responsiveness – important so the pages will format correctly in all browsers and screen sizes.
    8) I like the color of Divengo. Can colors of themes be changed?
    9) Maybe Macro’s theme? Possibly Besta but it looks like there is a limited number of pages and I am not sure if these themes allow for the addition of several pages.

    I read the reviews/comments on a couple of them asking how to delete this section or that section. I am concerned that the Theme may actually hinder adding/placing content more than sprucing up.

  2. Puneeth says:

    Can you please suggest me about taking complete backup of site in wordpress …thanks in advance

  3. Obidigwe Kenechukwu says:

    Please am running a site where I will be blogging about school activities and other school gists.
    Please suggest a them for me.

  4. Sridhar says:

    Recently I viewed a video on wordpress and just developed a small website for my community with static pages and adopted a theme suggested in the video itself. Now I am trying to develop a blog but when I tried to select a them, I am surprised… there is an ocean in front of me… can any fellow bloggers suggest me a suitable theme for my website
    1. this will be a website to provide information on diversified topics
    2. Only one post will be displayed at a time
    3. below the post, viewers can post their comments
    4. On the right / left column there should be list of categories / tags
    5. Small Search form on top of the right / left column
    6.Better if I can have one more column on the left/right for other gadgets

    At this moment I am looking for a free theme, bun I can go for a paid version also.

  5. Brian Brandt says:

    Great post. One of the things I usually recommend, is putting the theme you found through some of the testing services on the net. You could use Pingdom, Google Page Insights and such. That will give you an idea of the performance.

    That is also some of the advises I give in my ebook about choosing a theme.

    But one of the most important ones are support and regular updates. That will make sure your theme are future-proof.

  6. James says:

    Great site with lots of useful information. I am going to be putting a “joke of the day” site together and would be happy to pay for a premium theme if it creates more traffic. There will also be joke catagories for readers to choose from. I would love to get a suggestion for a theme. Thank you.

  7. Ado says:

    I need to create a blog site that I can upload large quantities of photographs to, documenting an art project…which theme do you suggest?

  8. WPBeginner Staff says:

    No it will not be a problem. You can change your WordPress theme later if you want.

  9. alik myratov says:

    hello, i would like to know, what should i do first, buy a premium theme and then write the posts etc… or i can use from the beginning one free theme, and then after one month maybe i buy one theme. will be problem if i install premium theme in 1 or two months>??

  10. Chris De Backer says:

    great post, great site

    With all those experienced people together i still want to ask your opinion
    If you look at this feature list, what would be the perfect theme ( free or payed)?
    tx for all your help

    Less is more
    flexibility with fonts
    responsive website

    easy way to post an article
    add images (video) into that article
    quote in blog post (article)
    add table (spreadsheet) would be nice
    able to create categories, display them

    add comments (registration needed to add a comment would be nice but then a very simple way)
    author comments stand out
    comments look cool, stand out

    what are the most popular blog posts
    next and previous post
    feature post (a slider)
    search feature, top search bar,
    search by author, name article, by month/year, popularity, most commented,
    social bookmark, linked to twitter ,Facebook, RSS

    readers have a possibility to ask questions

    footer, about the author

    linked to analytics

  11. Ali says:

    I learnt the lesson the hard way!!

    I have a job portal with a link for wordpress blog post. I used a free theme for over two years without getting the anticipated readership. After reading your article, I made the move and went for a paid theme and it did make a difference. I actually bought the theme from one of the providers you suggested in the article.

  12. Libby J says:

    Hi there. I have been reading your guides and are ready to finally make the leap to and would like to use your free transfer once I host with Bluehost. My question is that my current Fontfolio theme is unavailable on I run a recipe site and like the visual, clean aspect of Fontfolio, but want to be able to move up to .org and all the things that go along with this ie: advertising, adding a logo, changing fonts etc.
    Any suggestions as to which theme to use on
    Do I purchase the theme at the same time I sign up for hosting?
    How much fiddling about will I have to do with all my posts once it has been transferred to the new theme?
    I am scared about loosing everything (now) and backing up (from now on, on Is back up and upgrades in the future a big headache or am I capable of learning this (not very techy).
    Sorry for all the questions. I like to know exactly what I am getting myself in for before I change.
    Many thanks, Libby

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Fontfolio theme can be downloaded and used on a self hosted site. All your posts will be imported as well as any images you may have uploaded to your site. In most cases, even if there is a decline in traffic, it usually gets back to normal very quickly.

  13. Lee-Anne says:

    Hi Im wondering what would be a good template for a painter & decorator (tradesperson) to use? I currently have a delegate – woo theme but I would like to modernise it & have the header accept a few moving images of our work & under it 3 buttons with images of our work called house painting , commercial painting, roof painting, Any suggestions
    thank you its very confusing and there are so many to choose from, after awhile they all start to look the same.

  14. Dag says:

    Hi, I am in a process of selecting the right theme for me. I am building a website to create a community. My idea is to have a simple welcome first page with buttons that will direct the visitor to either the blogs or a forum I will put there later. I am very new to creating web pages whatsoever. Some photo gallery with steps in preparing meals might also be there and perhaps some commercial activity, such as providing analysis of the diet so that it could contain guidance in portion sizes, etc… After reading some comments above I am now aware that some features are not the matter of template, but still: any specific recommendations for which kind of themes I could focus at and choose from?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Dag, look at some basic themes, perhaps practise with a default twenty thirteen or twenty fourteen theme. This will help you get a idea of how to do things and what features you would need from a theme. Concentrate on the appearance and display thats what themes are for. Themes are not supposed to be offering extended features, for that you would find plenty of plugins to create recipes, galleries, and everything else.

  15. Corazon says:

    Can you please suggest a theme for a elementary school’s parent teacher organization (PTO) site which handles fundraising, event coordination, calendar, form repository, newsletter.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Corazon, themes are not supposed to handle fundraising, events, calendar, forms, and newsletter. All these features come in the plugin territory and there are great plugins to do all these things in WordPress. So what we would recommend, is that you choose a basic theme, from any reliable theme shop, or use a free theme if you want. After setting up the theme, you can setup all these features using plugins.

  16. Mark says:

    This is a great site, helped me a lot on beginning my blog-site. Still looking for good theme. I will be blogging information on tips and basic troubleshooting on certain device, can you recommend a theme for my blog?

    Thanks a lot.. :-)

  17. Asif says:

    I am new with word press. I want to develop a personal blog with diverse articles on different topics. I would appreciate if someone could suggest me which theme I should choose for that blog. Thanks

  18. Rahel says:

    Hello, I am a poet and I want to start blogging and sharing my poems and short stories.
    What would you suggest?



    • WPBeginner Support says:

      We would recommend you to choose a theme that comes with great typography and a clean interface.

  19. rahul says:

    Please suggest themes for a publishing services providers…

  20. Twila Wyatt says:

    I am a Realtor with a small budget for web design so I am trying to figure out what is the best theme for a Realtor….could you please make some suggestions.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Our friends at StudioPress has made this AgentPress theme for realtors. It is built on Genesis Theme Framework which we use on WPBeginner as well.

  21. Mandeep Singh says:

    I’ve been following you all on Twitter for awhile now…Thanks for twittering :)

    I am in the process of overhauling our youth group’s website and now being asked to do our whole Church’s site, too. A designer that’s offering some time/advice insists that WordPress is the way to go. I’m familiar with the basics, but have only really used Dreamweaver for my sites so far.

    Right now, we’re really stuck on picking the right theme. Visual appeal is key and my designer friend is only thinking about backend functionality. We love the look of a site like We also need a theme that would allow for a lot of multimedia and interactivity. My designer friend says just pick a theme we like and then we can make it work, but I’m not so sure about that. Not so sure what I need to be looking for in a theme in regard to ease of use, customization, etc.

    Do you all have any suggestions?

    Thanks so much!

  22. Ron Watson says:

    Thank you for providing such an amazing information to public.. You are really helping many young businessmen..
    Would you please recommend me a theme which supports eCommerce and a web store (I want to create a library / a PDF store)? These days, one page themes are quite popular and they look attractive.. Can i get such themes for free?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Ron there are plenty of themes that support eCommerce platforms, for free themes check out WordPress Theme directory and you will find some nice themes there.

  23. Emily says:

    I’m looking at the Standard Theme and Headway Themes. Do both of them support ecommerce? The website is going to have an online store, as well as the s2member plugin.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes, they should support eCommerce. For customization however, you will have to edit CSS.

  24. aamir.pc6 says:

    @wpbeginner thanks for response ..

    how is headway theme compared to thesis seo ??

  25. wpbeginner says:

    @aamir.pc6 Genesis, and many others have similar SEO options as to Thesis…

  26. aamir.pc6 says:

    i am not any pro in this

    but i have heard a lot about thesis that its the best seo theme but i am not sure if i will be able to give a good look using thesis

    therefore want togo for other theme but again dont know if other theme seo options.. will match thesis!!PLEASE HELP!

    • ansateza says:


      I heard too but newer try it. Im steel on free theme but think to move on premium:). Today there are 1 mill premium themes so its really really hard to choose one.

  27. juliet says:

    Great tips in choosing a perfect wordpress theme. I always go for simple designs that do carry all the basic and important functionalities in a website. It should be be clear and should provide ease of navigation to readers.

  28. Joel Mosier says:

    We’re getting ready to overhaul our church website and we’re planning on going with Word Press. Very excited. Question: How do you build a new site while the old one is still up and running? We’d like to unveil the site when it’s done for the “WOW” factor as opposed to people tapping in from time to time and noticing we’re updating the site?

    thanks for any direction you can give.


    • Editorial Staff says:

      Develop it on the subdomain, and then when you are ready to go live, push it on the main domain.

  29. agon says:

    i had a question about the theme installing, should i install the plugin that cames with tame in the same folder where i upload the theme or in the plugins folder…? btw you have a great site for the begginersss …

  30. Elfie says:

    Everytime I create wordpress themes, i always think of simplicity and how it will help the user

  31. matthew says:

    yes ! I liked this site

  32. PelFusion says:

    I really liked the site…fresh and crisp layout

  33. DebG. says:

    I’ve been following you all on Twitter for awhile now…Thanks for twittering :)

    I am in the process of overhauling our youth group’s website and now being asked to do our whole Church’s site, too. A designer that’s offering some time/advice insists that WordPress is the way to go. I’m familiar with the basics, but have only really used Dreamweaver for my sites so far.

    Right now, we’re really stuck on picking the right theme. Visual appeal is key and my designer friend is only thinking about backend functionality. We love the look of a site like We also need a theme that would allow for a lot of multimedia and interactivity. My designer friend says just pick a theme we like and then we can make it work, but I’m not so sure about that. Not so sure what I need to be looking for in a theme in regard to ease of use, customization, etc.

    Do you all have any suggestions?

    Thanks so much!

    • Editorial Staff says:

      WordPress is definitely the way to go. If your designer say pick whichever one, then you should pick the one you like the look of, and let the designer worry about customization. We always prefer custom theme designs if you are looking for something specific. Let us know if you need someone to design it for you.

  34. MacfusionGirl says:

    I’m loving this site! I have technical skills but no web skills. I think I don’t have room for them in my brain ;-) With WordPress I can let my husband do the heavy lifting and I get to have all the fun. Just couldn’t be happier with finding this site and finding you on Twitter!

    • Editorial Staff says:

      We are glad that you like this site. If you have any questions about WordPress feel free to ask us on twitter, shoot us an email.

  35. Hegyeli Hunor says:

    Nice site, i`m waiting for the next post :)

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