Picking a WordPress theme for your website is not always easy. You want your site to look as good as possible but at the same time be able to effectively sell the products or services your are promoting.
Free themes are okay to start with. However, you are going to want to eventually start using some form of premium theme. These tend to have a lot of useful features, are built in an SEO friendly way and don’t tend to have a backlink in the footer of every page (which could be negative on your own SEO).
I’ve written this article to help you find a theme that is perfect for your site, based on what I look for when picking a theme. I have also included my 5 recommended WordPress themes of 2016!
What Should You Look For In a WordPress Theme?
It’s important to select a theme that is suitable for the type of website your are going for. Below are four of the key things I look for when picking a new theme.
I have personally been saying for a while now that you need to make websites mobile responsive. Why? The majority of traffic is now coming from a mobile device of some kind. If your site is not optimised for this traffic, there is a good chance they will click away.
When looking for a theme I therefore look for one that is already mobile responsive. You usually have the option to demo a theme so be sure to check it out on your computer and then on your phone to see how your chosen theme looks on mobile.
Luckily, if you are going to be purchasing a premium theme, 99% of the time it will also be responsive.
If every website that used the same theme looked exactly the same it would be pretty boring right? One of the things I look for is the option to be able to customise the theme even further with its own custom menu in the appearance.
This option usually allows you to change the header image, the layout of where your menu will be, and make changes to things such as the colours and font used on your blog.
I like a theme that has features that I want such as a slider and a range of widget areas. This helps to expand on the overall look of the site and means you won’t have to install as many plugins, lowering load time.
One thing to be wary of is themes that claim to have hundreds of features and are very feature heavy. Too much could reduce load time etc. The key is to find a theme that has the main features you need but don’t have too many that you will never use.
You know how important SEO is, therefore it’s important that the theme you use is SEO friendly. Some themes can actually cause more harm than good. Some cause duplicate content issues, don’t have relevant tags or even link to random sites at the bottom of every page.
Picking a theme that is SEO friendly or SEO optimised is a good way of getting the foundations right for good overall optimisation.
Even when you think you’ve found the perfect theme to buy, you should still see what others think. A theme could claim it is optimised for SEO but in reality isn’t, or some themes may not be updated as regularly as you would hope. It’s important to read reviews of your chosen theme to see what others think about it and how they found using it.
5 Recommended Affiliate WordPress Themes
It’s good to have some recommendations on themes to give you a starting point. Here are some good WordPress themes I recommend (in no particular order) and why. They are all premium themes but I do think it’s worth spending the money on a good theme to get you started.
Sahifa is an excellent clean WordPress theme that is both modern looking and very user friendly. The theme is also responsive and gives your site a newspaper or magazine style look and feel.
It has a large admin panel which allows you to fully customise the look and feel of the theme to make it more unique to your site. I also like the fact that it has a drag and drop homepage builder so you can make it fully unique.
The menu set up is nice with mega menus, drop downs and menu icons with a number of different homepage sliders.
The Genesis Framework is very well known due to the amount of high quality child themes it has available. The actual framework does make a excellent, simple looking WordPress theme.
It is fully mobile responsive and includes a number of features such as different layout styles and a wide range of customisation options. The theme is also SEO friendly and is often updated along with wordpress.
The Eleven40 theme uses the Genesis Framework and it provides a nice, clean, modern looking theme. The theme itself follows on from the framework and is fully responsive as well as being SEO friendly.
The theme has a number of base colour options and a wide variety of layouts from left nav, right nav to no navigation.
Again, this is a Genesis child theme so it will be fully responsive, SEO friendly and has a variety of layout options. It also offers 6 variations in colour.
This theme would be perfect for those looking to create an authority site within the health, beauty and weight loss niche.
I like this theme as it’s not too feature heavy so is fairly fast to load up. Anything you do want can always be added using the plugins available.
Finally, I recommend the Vancouver theme. This is a little different to the types of websites that we currently see from affiliates. However, it’s these kind of themes that I see doing well. The internet now is not just about written content (although that’s still very important). Images are also vital.
This theme is all about images. Each new post showcases a featured image with an excerpt of text. The top image is also customisable so it can be one large image, or a smaller image.
The theme is mobile ready and is also optimised for search engines. It doesn’t have the amount of sales as the other themes above have, but I personally like the look of this one.