WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world and for good reason: it is user-friendly, incredibly customizable, and has thousands of plugins available. The WordPress community is equally as amazing, so you’ll never be left out in the cold in case of an emergency. There are tons of forums and Facebook groups full of people willing to lend a hand when you happen to get stuck. If you have no experience developing websites and are considering services like Wix, I would strongly recommend investing some time in a basic WordPress course, free of charge on YouTube, and in no time you’ll be building your first dream website.
Building the site yourself means you’ll have total control and endless amount of possibility when your business starts taking off, and it all starts with the right theme. So what should you look for in a customizable WordPress theme?
- Bootstrap or Foundation
Bootstrap and Foundation are Front-end frameworks that make websites look great on any device using a 12 column grid.
If you’re thinking about selling stuff online, WooCommerce is by far the people’s favorite platform. Whether you’re opening a big online store or your looking to sell just a few pieces of merchandise, WooCommerce has got you covered!
- Visual Page Editor
If you have no experience with coding and complicated looking shortcodes make you nervous, it’s a safe bet to go with a visual page editor. It’s all in the name: this plug-in makes it possible for you to build pages visually instead of with code. They take some getting used to but once you’ve got it down it is easy to whip up a campaign landing page or discount-themed page in no time at all. The two most used page builders are Visual Composer and Elementor.
- Reviews & Support
Be sure to check out the reviews of people who have already bought the theme. Are they happy with their purchase? Does it live up to their expectations? It is also a great idea to take a peek at the theme’s support page. Do they get back to people in time? Are they trying to help out if someone gets stuck? Once you get going you’re going to want to keep going, so a support team that takes two or three days to get back to you will hold you back.
Top free themes:
OceanWP by OceanWP
A Lightweight theme that enables you to create almost any type of website: a blog, portfolio, business website or WooCommerce store. It works with page builders like Elementor, or Visual Composer.
Mesmerize by horearadu
An incredibly flexible, multipurpose WordPress theme that works with drag and drop. It comes with a pre-designed home page, 5 header designs and over 30 ready-to-use and customizable content sections.
Twenty Seventeen by WordPress.org
This is one of the themes that comes pre-packaged with your WordPress download and is very suitable to get started. In itself a clean and minimalistic design, but highly customizable with basic CSS skills.
Top paid themes:
Avada by Themefusion
This is the top selling theme on ThemeForest for the last 5 years. Why? Avada offers a complete website building toolkit for beginners and professionals with a quick and easy one-click installation.
The7 by DreamTheme
For just $39,- you get a highly customizable theme. You can use the theme’s white label tool to make it fully your own, and it comes with more than 850 theme options and 250-page options to choose from.
BeTheme by Muffin Group
BeTheme has been one of the most popular themes on Themeforest for a while. With ready-to-use layouts and plenty of integrated goods like Mailchimp, Yoast, and bbPress, it lives up to the hype.
A Quick Disclaimer:
I am not necessarily saying building a WordPress website is easy, it can take some committed time investment. The benefit of this investment, however, is that your site doesn’t have to cost you a dime! And let’s be honest, when you’re just starting out you tend to have more time than money. Business-wise, investing time in understanding and working with WordPress will gain you a lot of insight into the online world and control over your own business and organization. That is an investment worth making!