A lot of creatives think a custom website is necessary (and sometimes it is!) but more often than not, the right WordPress theme can work wonders for your website without the hefty price tag. So today I’m going over key considerations when choosing a theme, as well sharing some kvh. favorites that I’ve come across (and even almost bought myself!).
Considering I just went under major rebrands for my personal and business websites, as well as additional branding & design projects for clients, I’ve been searching through my fair share of them!
[Note: This website actually operates on the Showit platform, but my personal site is on WordPress. This post is for you if you are already on a self-hosted WordPress platform or have chosen to create a new website using WordPress.org – not (dot) com!]
Things to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme:
- Do you need a ‘shop’ feature? If so, look for themes that are “e-commerce” compatible. Most WordPress themes will use the “WooCommerce” plug-in to achieve this.
- Think about where you like the logo/header placement. Centered? To the left? To the right?
- Do you want your homepage to reflect a side-bar and your latest posts, or a “static page”?
- How much margin &/or white space do you want your site to have? Does the theme you’re considering reflecting that?
- Do you love the overall design and accents throughout the site – such as social icons, etc.?
- Does the theme offer ‘landing page’ templates for pages?
- (*This can give you additional customization options that are handy for things like services or sales pages, etc.!)
- Do you want a slider feature on the homepage with scrolling images? Do you want a big image or a more text-focused homepage?
- (*The content a visitor first sees when viewing your website, without scrolling, is called “above the fold” and it’s key to making a solid first impression, so choose what quickly speaks to your brand & its goals.)
- Do you need content ‘blocks’ on the homepage? For example, something that looks like this:
- Are you a style/fashion blogger who needs themes with widgets that enable a slider of your favorite products? Are you a food blogger who needs recipe-friendly designs and layouts?
- Does the theme come with “documentation” (aka a handy manual for navigating your new theme)? Does it appear that the website designer/company has good customer service? Are there positive reviews or testimonials?
- Does it require the Genesis or other frameworks? Is that included with the theme purchase, or do you have to purchase it separately?
These are just some things to get your mind thinking strategically, versus just seeing a “pretty” site and then being disappointed when you later realize it doesn’t quite suit your needs and wishes. Another great way to prepare yourself for choosing a new theme is to get out a large sheet of paper and sketch out what your ideal site would look like. Trust me, you don’t have to be an artist or a designer to do this – it’s for your eyes only, but it will help to give you a visual of what you’re looking for before getting lost in the 1,000s of themes that are out there!
Also worth noting…
Things That Are Less Important When Viewing the Demo Site:
- Contact Form
- Subscriber Boxes
These can almost always be changed in the Appearance > Customize section on the back-end of your site or added with plug-ins and widgets – e.g.: The Google Fonts plug-in has 100s of fonts available to choose from and use on your site. However, if you’re looking to make it really quick and easy to go live with your new site, it never hurts to love the default fonts and colors! This would largely depend on whether the rest of your visual branding has already been solidified or not.
Alright, now that you’ve got a little bit better idea of what you’re looking for, here are the themes!
Note: Most of these are more minimal in style (my personal preference!) and range from $25 to $125 USD – listed in no particular order. The below images show the homepage, above-the-fold content. Click the links to see more information, pricing, and to view the actual demos. None of these are affiliate links – my intention is solely to help you find and create your next dream website! Lastly, a (*) indicates a theme that requires the Genesis platform and is not included with the theme purchase.
kvh.’s Top WordPress Themes for Creatives 2017
04. – Soledad by Theme Forest
05. – Garance by Elite Layers
06. – Daybook by Elite Layers
07. – Analogue by StnSvn
09. – Laura by Eclair Designs
This one is a really well-designed, multi-faceted theme that would be beautiful for photographers!
10. – Isabelle by BluChic
11. – Victoria by BluChic
13. – Paloma by StnSvn
This theme might look overly simplistic at first glance but it has a great ‘Shop’ page and a lot of customizable layouts that allow your content to really stand-out!
18. – Blanc by Eclair Designs*
20. – Glam by Restored 316
I hope one of these caught your eye and even becomes your new online home! Many designers provide documentation and great support, but if you find yourself in need of installation &/or customization services for new or existing website, by all means, get in touch! Here to help.