How to Choose a Theme for WordPress

Photo of an open laptop with a notepad, phone and cup of coffee alongside

What is WordPress?

WordPress create and provide software to enable anyone to create their own website. WordPress is used by over 35% of web users (over 60 million people) to create their websites, blogs and apps. It is free to use and comes ready to build beautiful designs with powerful features, and the freedom to build anything you want.

WordPress is behind beginners sites and some of the largest international news sites, magazines, social media etc. in the world. It is so easy to design a great website without the need to understand complicated coding.

What is a Theme?

A theme is a template that determines the way your site is presented or the visual presentation of your site. WordPress have a choice of over 3,000 templates to choose from including free and paid options. 

A theme is made up of a collection of ‘template files’, which determine how the information you enter into the ‘back-office’ of your wordpress site is visually presented to the world. 

WordPress has a default theme which is named after the year of release (currently ‘twenty twenty’) and may well be the only theme you need. Currently ‘twenty twenty’ has over 1 million active activations and is designed to take full advantage of the flexibility of the block editor currently employed by WordPress.

It provides you with the ability to create dynamic landing pages with endless layouts using the group and column blocks. The centred content column and carefully chosen typography also makes it perfect for traditional blogs.

In addition the editor styles allow you to get a good idea of what your content will look like before you publish. You also have the options of changing the background colors and the accent color in the Customizer. Whatever colour you pick for your elements they will be automatically displayed in a high, accessible colour contrast for your visitors.

So if the default theme is so good why would you need to change it? You may not want or need to and that is absolutely fine but, your niche/subject matter may lend itself to a layout designed specifically for your niche/subject. For example you may be creating a site for cookery menus, breaking news, a fashion magazine, photography etc. and whatever subject or niche you are concentrating on there will most likely be a template that has all of the elements you will need already built into them.

What to Consider when Choosing a New Theme

There are some elements of your theme that are not negotiable. When looking at a theme if you can’t answer yes to all of the following questions, then leave it and look for another theme.

  1. Is the theme responsive across all devices, mobile, tablet, laptop etc.
  2. Is the theme compatible with all browsers, Google, Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc.
  3. Does the theme accept all the major plugins, including translators? 
  4. Does the theme have good documentation and support?
  5. Is the theme optimised for SEO?
  6. Are there plenty of positive ratings and reviews?
  7. Has it been updated recently?
  8. Is it fast? 
  9. Is it customizable? You may wish to customize as you get more familiar with the template.
  10. If you are wanting to sell from your site, is the theme compatible with the ecommerce site you wish to use? WooCommerce for example. 

With these questions in mind, let’s see how to find a theme at WordPress. 

WordPress Themes Walk Through

In your WordPress back office dashboard, go to appearance – themes. See screenshot below.

back office screenshot

Clicking on themes will take you to your installed themes. Click on the ‘add new’ link. See screenshot below.

add new theme screenshot

Clicking on the ‘add new theme’ link takes you to the add themes page. See below. 

add themes page

Use the search tools to browse through the available themes. To find out more about a theme hover your cursor over it and click the ‘details and preview’ button. In the screenshot below I have clicked on the OceanWP theme.

In the left column you will find details about the theme, ratings, version number and in the body will be a preview of the theme. Click on the ‘continue reading’ buttons to access more info.

Once you are happy with a theme, click on the ‘install’ button and the theme will appear in your installed themes. Your theme won’t be active until you click ‘activate’ but before clicking it is recommended to backup your current site just in case there are any compatibility issues.  Then you click the activate button and your theme will be live. 

I hope you have found this article useful and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 

Thank you, Justin – founder of 

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6 thoughts on “How to Choose a Theme for WordPress”

  1. When I started out as a blogger, WordPress was one of the platforms I had tried out and the services they offered really helped me in building up my website. However, one of the many useful tools on WordPress is the option to choose the theme for one’s website. I found it very helpful as I was able to create a unique customized outlook for my website.

    1. Thank you for your comment. The ability to create your own unique website is so important and with over 3 thousand themes to choose from, there is a theme for everyone on WordPress.


  2. Juma John Jongu

    Awesome, thank  you for the  opportunity to learn more about themes there.

    I enjoy choosing themes for my website in every side hustle I create online. I am currently working on one of my sites with green color that I choose, as green is my favorite color. My site is now receiving great number of visitors daily. The earning I  make from each of my side hustle is the reward for all these great themes! I have considered” affiliate marketing through blogging” as my power will for online adventure. Thanks to wealthy Affiliate for making this happen. Playing Piano is what I love to do for free! So being paid to blog about things I love doing for free is awesome. Thank you for sharing about Wealthy Affiliate. It is a powerful platform.

    1. Hi, glad you liked the article. It can be great looking through all of the different themes available and how they look. It is amazing to be able to make money blogging about things you love doing, congratulations on getting good numbers of visitors to your site. All the best for the future.


  3. I have been using WordPress for a little over a year now and though there are still things for me to learn, I am super happy with the results that I have been getting. It is really easy to get things set up when they give you so many great themes to choose from. Thanks for posting this article and showing how best to choose a theme that is right for the type of site you are trying to make. It is really helpful!

    1. Hi Steve, I am glad you are getting on well with WordPress, it is a very powerful tool. Thank you for your kind comments regarding the article it is very helpful (and nice of course) to get feedback.

      All the best.


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