I regularly teach WordPress classes for beginners and one of the most common asked questions is about the themes.
People usually have a very hard time finding the right theme for them because there are so many to choose from.
But there are some techniques you can use to find the right WordPress theme for YOU!
In this article, I will share some steps and ideas you can use to navigate through the thousands of themes without wasting time.
So let’s get started!
Before you start finding a WordPress theme
In my experience, the biggest hurdle people face when starting building a WordPress website is NOT the technicalities.
It is instead to find a theme they want to use.
There are literally thousands of themes to choose from. At the moment of writing this article, you can, for example, find 7,484 themes you can add just inside WordPress itself.
In addition to this, there are thousands of paid themes you have to download other places and then upload the theme to WP.
Even if you are not a beginner, this can be very overwhelming and if you are new to building websites it can almost stop you from getting started.
But do not let the number of themes discourage you.
Yes, there are many and it can be overwhelming. And yes, it is very important to find the right WordPress theme as it is the backbone of your website.
But honestly, when you first start out I find that a good approach is also to accept that learning takes time and it is rarely you will find the perfect theme for you right away.
That is all a part of the learning process. When I teach WordPress classes for beginners, the people that accept this and just start, learns a lot faster.
The people that panic, often let the overwhelming number of themes stop them and they can end up spending days just looking for a theme to get started.
The most important thing is to just get started with building your website – but to help you get as close to finding the right theme from the beginning as possible, there are some techniques you can use I will go over below.
Steps to find a WordPress theme for YOU!
When you first start looking for a WordPress theme, it can be very difficult to know where to start.
You can, of course, just start by going through the free ones inside WordPress one-by-one but that will honestly not be a good approach as you will easily waste A LOT of time like this.
So let’s now go over some techniques I have found to be very useful when looking for the right WP theme.
Technique #1 – Test the free themes
As I mentioned earlier, one of the most important aspects is to just get started. The first technique is therefore based on this and can be used in combination with the others below.
There are thousands of free themes you can install directly from inside WP.
If you are brand new to building WP websites, I would advise you to use the techniques below to find one of these to get started with.
When you first start, you should, in my experience, not spend hours finding the right theme.
Use some of the techniques below to find a potential theme and then just get started.
It will likely not be the perfect theme right away, but if you use one of the free options that does not really matter.
Because the reality is just that when you first start out, you will not really know what you are really looking for in a theme.
You might have an idea about a certain look and functions but you will not yet have an understanding of how WordPress themes work.
By using a free theme to just get started and learning the basics of WP, you will quickly learn what you need in a theme to fulfill your needs.
After that, it is then easier for you to actually find the perfect theme for you. But remember the most important step is to just get started.
Personally, I also started with a free theme and by using that I learned what kind of features I would like to use and therefore eventually decided to get the Divi theme that I am now using for most of my websites.
But it took some testing to find this and using a free theme to get a good sense of WP helped me a lot to then later find the right premium theme for my needs.
Technique #2 – Use the WP filter and search bar
The next technique is one of the most basic one but can be a great way to get started.
When you go to add a theme inside WordPress, there is a search bar and a filter at the top.
The search bar can be used to search for a specific type of website. So if you, for example, want to make a website about sport, you can search for “sport” there.
It is not the best search function but if you have a broad topic, it can be a way to at least filter down the number of themes and have a place to start that is not too overwhelming.
However, the search bar is, in my opinion, more useful in combination with one of the other techniques I will go over below (technique #4).
The filter makes it possible for you to choose if there are any particular features you want in your theme.
It can, for example, be that you only want to see themes where you can add your own logo and that have custom colors.
Again, this is a very basic function and not the best filter. Especially not when you are just starting as it is then difficult to know what many of the features even mean.
But it can be a way to get started with a basic filtering.
Technique #3 – Get inspiration from other websites
When you are online, you will likely regularly see websites you think look great.
This can be great to use as an inspiration. In fact, you can even find out what theme a website is using if it is a WP website.
That can help you get ideas about themes to look into. But even if it is not a WP website, it can help you get ideas about certain features you want to be available in your theme.
So when you are surfing around, make a note when you see something you think looks great. Of course, not to copy it but getting inspiration is necessary when building websites.
Technique #4 – Use Google
It might sound obvious, but Google or other search engines can be great for doing research to find a WordPress theme.
However, many people do not really know how to do this efficiently when first starting.
So let me just share with you how I do it myself.
You likely have a certain topic you would like your website to be about. It could, for example, be a restaurant website you want.
Then just simply go to Google and type in “best restaurant wordpress themes”.
Almost no matter what topic you will search for like this will bring up a lot of lists with people suggesting different themes.
Most of these websites will likely get paid to promote some of the themes through affiliate marketing, but that does not mean they cannot be useful.
In fact, this can be a great way to collect a list of potential themes.
Quickly go over a few of the lists that will show up to get an overview. Most of these lists will also have a short description of the themes that can help you get this overview.
Then note down any themes you might think could be relevant for you. Then do further research about the most relevant themes.
If it is a free theme, you can jump back inside WP and use the search bar mentioned earlier to search for the specific theme and just test it.
If it is a paid theme, instead go to the vendor’s website to read more or search for reviews of the specific themes to see what people have to say about them.
By looking at several sources, you will start being able to put together a list of the best options for your topic and then you can look at it in relation to your specific needs to find what is the absolute best option for YOU.
Technique #5 – Go for flexibility
The last technique is actually more of an advice that can save you a lot of time and hassle, in the long run, depending on what your goals are.
But one thing to consider is to get a flexible WordPress theme.
There are some themes that are very specific and do not have a lot of flexibility and others make it possible to create more or less the exact look and included the exact features you want.
Personally, I think it makes the most sense to go for a flexible theme right away as you never know how your needs will develop.
By having a flexible theme, you can easily adapt as you go. Of course, sometimes the more flexible themes also take a bit longer to learn how to use as they have more features but it can be worth it in the long run.
Especially if you are planning to create more than one website.
I know some web developers that look for a specific theme every time they create a new website. And every time this takes up quite a bit of time.
And all themes are different so it will also always take a bit of time to get used to using the new theme.
On the other hand, some developers choose a very flexible theme and become experts at it.
They can then create a website for more or less any needs with that theme – and they can do it faster and faster as they become better and better at using it.
So especially if you are planning to create more websites, it is worth going for flexible WP themes, in my experience.
When you first start building a WordPress website it can be extremely overwhelming to find the right theme.
There are thousands to choose from and if you are not careful, you can end up spending days trying to find the perfect theme without ever really getting started with building your website.
I hope the tips in this article will help you find the right WordPress theme for you a lot easier and save you a lot of time both now and in the future.
And remember – the most important aspect is to just get started. Especially if you are completely new with WordPress.
Do not let the overwhelming number of WP themes stop you from getting started. Just take it step-by-step and you will quickly have a functional website up and running.
If you have used any of the techniques above, I would love to hear about it in a comment below and hear which one you found the most useful.
Also, if you have any questions or comments, just leave them below and I will get back to you asap.