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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Themes But Were Too Shy to Ask

If you are planning on setting up your own website, the chances are, you will be using WordPress to build it. You might use some other engine like Joomla or Wix, and they all have their merits, but WordPress is far and away the most popular, and has held the top spot every year since 2010. Its popularity shows no sign of slowing, and around 50,000 new WordPress sites launch every day. That’s one every two seconds.

In other words, there are plenty of WordPress sites out there, and conservative estimates are that this is the engine that powers a quarter of the entire internet. The fact that this is not immediately obvious from looking from one site to the next all comes down to the vast number of themes that are available.

What are themes?

You could build a website from scratch using blank pages and adding text, images and so on, but it would take ages and unless you are a talented web designer, the end result would probably look a mess. A theme is essentially a ready-made template, and WordPress has something in the order of 10,000 of them for you to choose from.

Some themes are completely free to download, but unless you are on the strictest of strict budgets and you are really not bothered about the site standing out from the crowd, these are best avoided. For one thing, they stick out a mile and look like exactly what they are, and for another, when you can buy the best WordPress themes of 2017 for less than it would cost to fuel your car up, it is a false economy to do anything less.

All themes are not the same

The other reason you might shy away from freebies is that you get what you pay for in terms of performance. Reputable providers will deliver themes that are free from bugs and glitches, that will load up quickly and that will look and feel contemporary.

It is the same as so many things online – you can almost anything using freeware that doesn’t cost a penny, but whether it really makes sense to do so is another matter.

Narrowing down the choice

Never underestimate the importance of first impressions, particularly online. We quoted some seriously big numbers above, and if they tell you anything it is that visitors can afford to be a fickle bunch. It only takes a fraction of a second to hit the back button if they don’t like what they see, and they make the decision swiftly and ruthlessly.

Your theme needs to fit your content and vice versa, so think long and hard about your brand image and how company logos and the like will fit in with your chosen theme. Also consider what your site is looking to achieve. For example, if you are showcasing creative visuals, a minimalist theme might work best, to let your work do the talking, while for a news-based site, you clearly need a theme that is more text-oriented.

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