A Guide to WordPress Themes

Quick guide on what to look for when choosing Themes

I have seen my fair share of Themes and even more of them  since I’ve joined the WordPress Theme Review Team. Choosing a Theme should not be difficult and here are some basics.

Let’s break this in only 2 sections:

  1. Support
  2. Easy to Use and Customize

Theme Support

Theme support is usually divided into several different parts:

  • Forum
  • FAQ
  • Documentation

Helpful and active support forum will definitely be more than enough. The advantage of all three is a big plus.

Theme Experience

No Theme, unless one was custom-made will exactly match needs of the user, but even if it doesn’t it should not be overly-complicated or hard to manage. At the same time common sense comes-in handy.

Customization is almost always mistreated and never fully understood by users. Easy to Customize usually means easily managed via Theme Customizer or Theme Options for some Themes and with the Child Theme in case that Theme does not bundle built-in customizations.

Footnotes

Strive for simplicity, looks can be pretty deceiving. There’s no such thing as the perfect Theme, but it can be customized to match your needs. Read* the overall reviews, number of downloads can help and also check how often the updates are made.

WordPress Speed Checklist

WordPress Speed Checklist

3 Quick Speed Tips for WordPress Sites

Hosting

Hosting should be the number one priority when it comes to speed of your WordPress site. If your server does not handle the site properly, there’s very little you can do to help.

Themes and Plugins

Themes and plugins are second in our list. Test them both and make sure that you don’t have any memory leakage or high CPU usage.

Images

Images should be properly scaled down and compressed where available. Don’t insert wallpaper-size images into your post.

I often use GTmetrix this site will give you all additional details.

Image source lud68/Flickr

Defer parsing of JavaScript for WordPress

HTML5 Asynchronous to the Rescue

Defer parsing of JavaScript for WordPress

We are adding this to the functions.php of your Child Theme

If you don’t have one, simply create new document/file and name it functions.php

Adding async atribute (tag)

<?php
if (!(is_admin() )) {
  function defer_parsing_of_js ( $url ) {
    if ( FALSE === strpos( $url, '.js' ) ) return $url;
    if ( strpos( $url, 'jquery.js' ) ) return $url;
    return "$url' defer ";
  }
  add_filter( 'clean_url', 'defer_parsing_of_js', 11, 1 );
}
?>

Additional Resources

That’s all, if you know the better way, please feel free to share with us.

Image source xhtmled/Flickr