Q. What WordPress theme should I use? There are so many and I am so overwhelmed! Please help!
A. In the WordPress repository alone, there are thousands of themes to choose from, and then there is ThemeForest, Envato, and many other marketplaces that sell “ready made” WordPress templates. The problem is that it is extremely difficult to know what theme fits your business the best or which one will be the easiest to setup.
In my opinion, there are more themes out there that you should avoid than you should use. This is because themes in general have lost sight of what they supposed to provide the end user with. Themes are simply meant to provide the visual layout and design that site owners can customize for their own needs.
Instead, many these themes overwhelm you with hundreds of features that you’ll never need. Sometimes, to customize your website, you literally need a documentation. No joke, I actually needed to read the documentation of a theme once in order to figure how to use it.
Because of this, there came a need for theme builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder, which allow you to actually build your own theme. You can choose a starter template and change it how you like. It’s really, really easy.
The role of a theme then is to provide you with the basic infastructure for your WordPress website so that you can use the theme builder to make your website look exactly how you want it to look. For more information on what a theme does that a theme builder doesn’t do, check out this article from Astra: what do I need a theme for?
In order to use the theme builders you have to install a theme that is compatible with them. There are three main themes that I recommend; they are a breeze to set up and their design is super flexible. They are Astra, OceanWP, and Elementor Hello.
Astra is the perfect theme for building a portfolio website or a blog. It is super fast and simple to set up. It is not bloated like other themes with useless features that you’ll never use.
Astra also has a plugin named Astra Sites that will let you set up a site template and have you’re whole site built within minutes. You get to use Elementor or Beaver Themer to edit the header, footer, and all the pages. easily and efficiently.
There is also a pro version of this plugin, but for most people the free version will have everything that they’ll ever need.
OceanWP is similar to Astra. It is also not bloated with useless features. This is a better choice if you are building a Ecceommerce website.
3. Elementor Hello
If you are tech-savvy , I suggest the HELLO theme from Elementor. This theme is proven to be the fastest on the market. It is perfect if you are building your entire site using Elementor theme builder and can write some css. Otherwise, stick to Astra or OceanWP.
To sum up: always use a theme builder.
In my opinion pre built themes are a thing of the past and could never be ideal, because no two businesses are the same. No amount of careful calculation will make a theme that is built with one business in mind, fit another – even similar – business.
Theme builders give you the ability to design and layout your website exactly how you want without writing any code and it’s super easy.
The best themes give you just the the bare minimum so that you can build your own theme from scratch using a theme builder.
Even developers should use theme builders because it cuts development time in half which makes everyone happier, which let’s you provide your clients with even more cool features, not to mention an amazing editing experience.
At Kaplan Web Development, we began using Elementor to build all of our websites, and we never looked back once.