Guidelines on Selecting Well Optimized Themes

If you are looking for a theme for your WordPress blog, it is important that you choose one that is well optimized. There are a few things to check when selecting a well optimized WordPress theme. A well optimized theme will load fast. Some themes take longer to load because of the large size of the graphic clipart or error in the code. As a rule of thumb, the WP theme that you choose should take just 3 seconds or lesser to load.

Theme that loads fast must not be feature heavy for example having too many preinstalled plugins or javascript files. It is best to avoid themes that use large file formats such as large images and video that automatically plays in the background.

The theme must have a clean W3C valid code. Clean code makes it easy for the search engine to crawl the blog posts and get them indexed. Poor coding can produce negative impact on the performance of your blog. The code that is use to code the WordPress blog must be up to date. You can test the speed of the theme with an online website speed test tool.  The speed test tool allows you to find out the number of HTTP requests and the amount of time the page takes to load.

WordPress theme that is properly optimized will provide social share options for the visitors to share your post. In this way, your visitors don’t have to copy the address in the web address bar when they want to share your post. Putting social share buttons will encourage your visitors to want to engage your blog posts.

The theme should provide options for specifying the meta tags such as meta title and meta description. SEO friendly theme will have already install SEO plugins like Yoast to make it convenient for you to SEO optimize your blog. It should use the heading tags such as H1, H2 and H3 appropriately in the blog posts. See this list.

The navigation should be located in standard places for example horizontal navigation on top or vertical navigation on the sides. Standard style navigation prevents a high bounce rate and can increase more visits and higher conversion to your blog. The navigation should be easy to find so that the readers can locate the content that they want.  There should not be too many items in the navigation. Fewer navigation menus allow the visitors to quickly scan the important items in the menu. Ideally, the navigation should have only 7 items in the navigation. The navigation should be concise and not have too many links otherwise it is hard for the link juice to be passed to the interior pages. If possible, you should choose a theme that gives you the ability to customize the layout design.

SEO optimized WordPress theme will feature a responsive layout design that is compliant with the standards set by the major search engines. A responsive WP theme layout will be adapted to the screen size of various types of devices including mobile devices and laptops. You can check the description of the theme to find out if it is responsive. The WordPress theme must be compatible with all kinds of browsers. You should test the template to see how it displays on the browser.

If you want to monetize your blog, it is recommended that you choose one that is optimized to display ads of different sizes such as rectangle, banner and skyscraper. The ad should blend well into the template. The WP theme must be secure and adhere to the standard of WordPress platform. Some themes include PHP codes that can increase the chance of hackers attacking your WordPress blog.

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