In the search of Perfect WordPress theme: what to look for ??

In the search of Perfect WordPress theme: what to look for ??

Are you looking for a  Perfect WordPress theme ??

The WordPress theme market nowadays could undoubtedly be described as huge. There are tons of offers and new options appear every day. Rarely has a week gone by without any “WordPress theme reviews” in my news feed. But when it comes to the selection of a theme for a specific project, such diversity provides more pain than one might expect.

Usually, we just try to find a good looking  Perfect WordPress theme that suits the aesthetic of our project, and has some set of customization options. The problem here is that WordPress themes consist not only of visual goodness, they’re pieces of software, and should be treated as such. This post aims to reveal some factors that affect WordPress theme quality and share some tips to help with the search for and selection of the right theme for you.

Why should you care? Wanting to make good use of money spent on a theme’s purchase is just one thing. There’s more to consider. Your project or your business is relying on it and becomes dependent on its stability, security, and overall quality. If you are developing a site for a client with a A, it becomes critical in terms of your final product and client satisfaction. The last thing you want is endless support questions due to the poor code and unstable behavior of the theme you’ve used.

So let’s see what to take into consideration when choosing the premium theme for your next project.


What should be taken into consideration?

  • Documentation: How well are the themes documented? Do you have access to documentation before purchase? Is there any kind of knowledge base or are you just told to search the messy support forum?
  • Support: What support options are available? Do they really work? How active are threads on support forums? Is there an option for pre-sales questions? If so try to use it. Do you receive a helpful reply, or just a general sales letter?
  • Does the company or individual provide any information for the community, like a blog, or contribute to WordPress related informational sources? Review such contributions. Is it real expertise, or just self-promotion? The same could be applied to the related social media profiles.
  • Does the theme provider contribute somehow in the WordPress development? Do they participate in any partnerships or developer initiatives?

An attempt to answer the questions above will reveal the real company’s (or individual’s) deeds and approach to doing business instead just bright advertising images. You’ll be able to estimate how comfortable you feel with any individual provider. It may seem subjective and unrelated; but in reality we all perform subjectively. So, it could be strongly recommended that you don’t buy from the company (or person) that you don’t like, despite the number of positive reviews on their site.

If you are building a responsive site, try to visit the demo from different devices, or at least use some of these RWD testing tools. Use in-browser testing tools (like Firebug or Chrome DevTools) to judge the quality of the previewed front-end code. Test the page load speed, see for yourself how effectively assets, scripts and styles are loaded, whether they produce any errors, how clean and understandable the HTML markup is.

Generally, you can go by this one simple rule: clean and well-structured code is easier to maintain and support. It reduces the probability of bugs and security problems, and appears to be one of the most important signs of quality in the final product. Messy code is the direct road to problems, even if it produces a good-looking result.

The back-end code, unfortunately, often cannot be so easily previewed and judged; but try to find some way to do it. Maybe the provider gives away some “light” or “trial” version free of charge. Or perhaps the theme is built with some framework, that could be obtained for free. Maybe there is some other free product that could help you analyze the developer’s overall approach.

Turn on the debug mode when testing your installation with the following statement inwp_config.php:

define('WP_DEBUG', true);

Effectively developed and tested themes should not produce any errors or warnings in the debug mode; so if it does, it’s a very good reason to look for another theme provider.

Also you can use additional theme testing tools, like these in particular:

  • Theme-Check – A plugin that tests whether a theme is up to spec with the latest theme review standards.
  • Exploit Scanner – A plugin that can help find malicious code on your site, including code in the theme files.
  • The official guide to WordPress theme testing.