Your theme is one of the most important aspects of your WordPress website.
A theme is simply a compilation of templates and stylesheets that control the appearance of your WordPress website.
It’s important when choosing a WordPress theme not only to think about design and functionality but to also consider factors like SEO, speed, customisability and usability.
It’s unlikely that you will stick with the same theme for the entire life span of your website, so how do you know when it’s time for a new one?
In this post, I’m going to tell you 5 reasons why you might need a new WordPress theme.
Your theme isn’t optimised for search engines
Search engines can be a major source of traffic for your website. But in order to start receiving traffic from websites like Google your website needs to be ranking. And in order for your website to rank you need to please Google by making sure your website is optimised.
As they say, content is king, and is perhaps one of the most important aspects of SEO, but the structure of your website and the code that powers it will also have a massive impact on whether your website ranks or not. This means the theme you are using on your WordPress website can affect your positioning in search results.
I recommend using a tool like SEO Site Checkup to find out how optimised your website is for search engine. Pay close attention to the Mobile Usability and Speed Optimisation section of the results you are given as these are both elements that will be affected by the theme you are using (and we’ll talk about this more in a second!), as well as:
- Heading Tags Test
- Inline CSS Test
- Deprecated HTML Tags Test
- Structured Data Test
- Custom 404 Error Page Test
If the test results flag issues with any of these aspects of your website then it means your theme could be letting you down in terms of SEO.
Your theme isn’t mobile friendly or responsive
Having a website that looks good and works well on mobile devices is a non-negotiable nowadays.
There’s nothing more frustrating that opening a website on your phone and finding it impossible to navigate because it’s showing a super zoomed out version of the desktop site, and you need fingers the size of a sewing needle to touch any of the links.
According to CIO Dive, 70% of internet access is via mobile devices phones, and Google has started penalising websites that it doesn’t deem to be mobile friendly. This means you could be missing out on a lot of traffic.
If you’re not sure if your website is mobile or not, I recommend using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check. If your website doesn’t past the test, you’ll be given some feedback on how to make your website mobile friendly, however you may find it easier to invest in a new theme than to make amends to your existing themes.
Your theme is slowing down your website
Another factor that will have an impact on SEO is the speed of your website.
Google takes the loading time of your website into consideration when ranking your website. This means if you have a slow website, you could be hurting your chances of driving referrals from search engines.
There are many different factors that can affect the speed of your website including content, images, plugins and your web host. But did you know that your choice of theme can also make a major difference?
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how hard you to try to improve the speed of your website by optimise your images, removing plugins or even moving hosts, if your theme is slow then your website as a whole will be slow.
I recommending running your website through a speed analysis tool like GTmetrix which will tell you exactly what is slowing your website down.
Once you have got your results from GTmetrix, take a close look at them, and if the following items are red and have low grade results, this means that your theme is slow:
- Avoid CSS @import
- Minify HTML
- Minify CSS
Your theme design doesn’t fit you or your brand
Over time your brand will evolve and the design of your website will need to evolve with it. If you feel like the design of your website no longer represents you and your business anymore then perhaps it’s time for a refresh.
Look for a theme that you not only love the design of and that has the functionality you require, but that is also easy for you to add in your own branding such as your logo, colours, fonts and your own imagery. Try not too worry too much about the colours and fonts used on the demo website for the theme you like the design of because these are aspects that you should be able to customise.
You dread spending any time on your own website!
Have you ever been sick of the sight of your own website? I know I have!
I’ve found that the way I feel about the design of my website can have a massive impact on how much time I spend working on it. If I don’t love the design and it doesn’t fill me with excitement then I don’t want to work on it.
Sometimes, a new theme can give me the kick up the rear I need to work on my website again, so it might help you too!
Looking for a new theme?
If you’re in the market for a new WordPress theme then I have some exciting news for you!
I have teamed up with Cat, the incredible designer behind Gatto, and together we have created a collection of WordPress themes that are ready for you to download and install on your website today.
We have designed and developed our themes with creative business owners in mind, and all of our themes are easy to use and customise. Oh and of course, they’re optimised for search engines, they’re mobile friendly and they’re fast!
If you’re interested in finding out more about our themes, head over to our website, Snug Designs.
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