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Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

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This talk was initially delivered at the Melbourne WordPress User Meetup. With tens of thousands of choices for WordPress users and developers, choosing the right theme is an important decision to make when working on any WordPress project. Theme choice impacts on not only design and UX, but also usability, accessibility, performance and more.

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Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

  1. 1. Choosing the Right WordPress Theme for Your Project @chrisburgess - chrisburgess.com.au - #wpmelb
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover… •  What is a theme? •  A word about plugins •  What is a good theme? •  What is a theme framework? •  Different types of themes •  Popular Free Themes •  Popular Commercial Themes •  Why is it important to choose the right theme for the job? •  How do you install a theme? •  How do you change a theme?
  3. 3. What is a theme?
  4. 4. All WordPress sites are made up of WordPress Core, Theme and Plugins.
  5. 5. A word about plugins…
  6. 6. “A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.” https://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Themes
  7. 7. What is a good theme?
  8. 8. Actively developed, well supported, lightweight and compatible with popular plugins.
  9. 9. For free themes on WordPress.org check date last updated, number of installs and reviews
  10. 10. Theme choice is critical not just for design but for flexibility, usability, accessibility, security, compatibility, performance and maintainability.
  11. 11. What is a theme framework?
  12. 12. “Frameworks are for theme developers. They offer a set of standards for theme developers to use in creating their own themes. They’re a set of functions/ features created to aid development.” https://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Frameworks
  13. 13. https://www.sitepoint.com/4-popular-wordpress-theme-frameworks/ 4 popular frameworks Genesis Thesis WooFramework + Canvas Gantry
  14. 14. Ultimatum Mysitemyway iThemes Builder Genesis Thesis Devine-elemente Presswork Headway WooFramework Roots Beans X ThemeFusion Odin Gantry Themeblvd WordPress Jump Start SEO Design Framework Kaytwo or K2 Cherry Framework Options Framework Theme UpThemes Framework Reverie Vafpress Titan Backbone Skematik Nouveau Fluent Carrington Build Theme 500 TemplateToaster Pro Framework Simon WP Framework Seed Theme Tesla Framework RtPanel Hybrid Core Thematic Runway WonderFlux Unyson FoundationPress Warp Framework Sparky Reactor Volatyl Omega StartBox Maera Xtreme One Redux WP Casa Startup Whiteboard YA Framework https://www.sitepoint.com/wordpress-theme-frameworks/ Other frameworks
  15. 15. Different types of themes
  16. 16. Starter Themes Page Builders
  17. 17. Starter Theme - Roots https://roots.io/sage/
  18. 18. Starter Theme - Quark http://quarktheme.com/
  19. 19. Page Builder – Divi http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/
  20. 20. Popular Free Themes
  21. 21. Twenty Sixteen https://wordpress.org/themes/twentysixteen/
  22. 22. Responsive https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  23. 23. Customizr https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  24. 24. Zerif Lite https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  25. 25. Vantage https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  26. 26. Hueman https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  27. 27. Virtue https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  28. 28. Spacious https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  29. 29. Sydney https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  30. 30. Graphene https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  31. 31. Evolve https://www.sitepoint.com/10-of-the-most-popular-free-wordpress-themes/
  32. 32. Popular Commercial Themes
  33. 33. StudioPress http://www.studiopress.com/
  34. 34. WooThemes/WooCommerce https://woocommerce.com/product-category/themes/
  35. 35. Elegant Themes http://www.elegantthemes.com/
  36. 36. Theme Marketplaces h"ps://themeforest.net/category/wordpress
  37. 37. Why is it important to choose the right theme for the job?
  38. 38. Decide first what type of site you are building (e.g blog, news, business site, ecommerce, online training, portfolio, community etc.) and find the right theme to fit your needs.
  39. 39. How do you install a theme?
  40. 40. Demo
  41. 41. How do you change a theme?
  42. 42. Demo
  43. 43. •  WebPagetest.org (http://www.webpagetest.org/) •  Google Page Speed Insights ( https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) •  Pingdom Speed Test (https://tools.pingdom.com/) •  GTmetrix (https://gtmetrix.com/) •  Akamai Mobitest (http://mobitest.akamai.com/m/index.cgi – a mobile testing tool by Akamai) •  More page speed tools can be found here: http://chrisburgess.com.au/page-speed-testing-tools/ Page Speed Testing Tools
  44. 44. Panel Discussion ? ? ? Thanks to: @maddisondesigns @50Lux @ChrisLaNauze