In the digital age, having a high-quality website is essential for businesses looking to succeed online. WordPress, a popular content management system (CMS), offers a vast array of templates to help you create a stunning and functional website. However, with so many options available, how do you know which template is right for your business? In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the 10 essential features of a high-quality WordPress template, providing you with the knowledge and expertise to make an informed decision. So, buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the world of WordPress templates.
#1. Responsive Design
In an increasingly mobile-centric world, it is crucial to ensure that your website looks great and functions seamlessly on all devices. According to research, 57.18% of global website traffic in March 2023 came from mobile devices, and this figure is only expected to grow in the coming years. A high-quality WordPress template should feature a responsive design, adapting to various screen sizes and devices, ensuring an optimal user experience. Google also prioritises mobile-friendly websites in search results, making a responsive design essential for your SEO efforts.
WordPress Template Numbers Graph
#2. Customisation Options
A great WordPress template should offer a wealth of customisation options, allowing you to tweak and tailor your website to your unique needs and preferences. This may include customisable colours, typography, layout options, and widget areas. A flexible and adaptable template will enable you to create a distinct digital presence, reinforcing your brand identity and setting you apart from competitors. Here you ought to consider three critical factors:
Theme Customisation Panel
A user-friendly theme options panel is essential for customizing a website template without diving into the code. This panel should allow you to modify various aspects of the template, such as colours, fonts, layouts, and other design elements, with ease. Look for templates with a well-organised and intuitive options panel that provides a wide range of customisation choices.
Page Builder Compatibility
A customisable website template should be compatible with popular page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder or Divi. Page builders make it easy to create and edit custom layouts for your pages without any coding knowledge. This compatibility ensures that you can design and structure your website to meet your specific needs while maintaining the template’s core features and functionality.
There is one caveat you need to remember here: businesses that offer website design templates usually focus on design rather than effectiveness. A lot of the web templates out there have bad coding and use page builders to hide the problems. A good WordPress template should be able to look good with the default Gutenberg page builder also.
Custom Widgets and Shortcodes
Customisable website templates should include custom widgets and shortcodes that enable you to add unique features and design elements to your site. Widgets can be used in sidebars, footers or other areas, while shortcodes allow you to insert specific elements such as buttons, tabs, or accordions, within your content. A template with a wide range of custom widgets and shortcodes will give you more control over the appearance and functionality of your website, making it truly unique to your brand.
Note: A study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that users spend 6.44 seconds looking at a website’s main image before moving on. As such, ensure your template allows you to make a lasting impression!
#3. SEO Optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is vital for driving organic traffic to your website. According to Ahrefs, over 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search [Source: Ahrefs]. A top-notch WordPress template should be built with SEO best practices of internet marketing in mind, including clean and efficient code, proper use of heading tags, schema markup, and XML sitemap support. Moreover, the template should be compatible with popular SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack or Rank Math, to help you enhance your website’s visibility in search results easily.
In our case, since we have had a core focus as a website marketing company for the last decade, all of this come by default in your theme.
#4. Performance Focus
Website performance is a critical factor in user experience and search engine rankings. Google research indicates that 53% of mobile users abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load [Source: Google]. A high-quality WordPress template should be performance-focused, with lightweight code, optimised images, and minimal reliance on resource-intensive scripts and plugins. Moreover, the template should be compatible with performance-enhancing plugins, (e.g. WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, etc.), to help improve page load times and overall website performance.
A note here: Third-party cache plugins have a tendency to add considerable bulk to your site. As such, all our WordPress website templates come with SiteGround cache and Cloudflare CDN capabilities that improve site performance without adding bulk.
#5. Cross-Browser Compatibility
Your website’s visitors may be using a variety of browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. A high-quality WordPress template should be compatible with all major browsers, ensuring a consistent and seamless user experience regardless of the browser being used. Regular updates and testing can help maintain cross-browser compatibility as new browser versions are released.
As of March 2023, here are the browser market shares globally across all screen resolutions:
- Chrome: 64.8%
- Safari: 19.5%
- Edge: 4.63%
- Firefox: 2.93%
- Samsung Internet: 2.57%
- Opera: 2.33%
In desktop browser sizes, the second and third places are reversed with Edge having an 11.12% market share while Safari has 10.91%. This indicates that most Windows OS machines use Chrome while Mac users tend to stick to Safari. This can be further seen in mobile browsers where Windows OS phones are virtually non-existent and Edge comes nowhere in the picture. Safari has a 25.07% share after Chrome which leads with a 64.67% share. [Source: statcounter.com]
#6. Regular Updates and Support
The digital landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies, security threats, and best practices emerging regularly. A top-tier WordPress template should be backed by a developer who is committed to providing regular updates and support. This will ensure that your template remains up-to-date, secure, and in line with the latest web standards. Moreover, responsive customer support can be invaluable in resolving any potential issues or answering questions about the template’s features and customisation options.
Accessibility is an essential aspect of web design, ensuring that your website is usable by people with disabilities. According to the World Health Organisation, over 1 billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. A high-quality WordPress website template should be designed with accessibility in mind, adhering to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and incorporating features such as keyboard navigation, descriptive alt tags for images, and proper use of what are called Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) attributes*. Ensuring your website is accessible not only promotes inclusivity but also helps you reach a broader audience and can have positive implications for your search engine rankings.
#8. Integration with Popular Plugins
WordPress plugins can significantly enhance your website’s functionality, offering features such as contact forms, social sharing buttons, and e-commerce capabilities. A superior WordPress template should be compatible with popular plugins, enabling you to extend your website’s features and customise it to meet your specific requirements. Some essential plugins to consider include Contact Form 7, WooCommerce, Elementor, and WPML for multilingual support.
A well-designed template should also avoid conflicts with plugins and ensure seamless integration, providing a hassle-free experience for both you and your website visitors. This is the primary reason we ensure all the add-ons we include in your website template work without a hitch with each other.
#9. Translation-Ready and RTL Support
In an increasingly globalised world, your website may attract visitors from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. A high-quality WordPress template should be translation-ready, allowing you to easily localise your content for different languages. Additionally, support for right-to-left (RTL) languages like Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian ensures that your website is accessible to an even broader audience.
#10. Quality Documentation and User Guides
As a website owner, you may encounter challenges or have questions about your template’s features and customisation options. High-quality WordPress templates should come with comprehensive documentation and tutorials, guiding you through the setup process and offering insights into the template’s features and capabilities. Or else like we do, they should set up everything for you, so you don’t face any hassles or waste time, energy and money.
This support material can save you time and frustration, empowering you to make the most of your template and create a standout website.
Summing it Up
In conclusion, a high-quality WordPress template should be responsive, customisable, SEO-optimised, performance-focused, compatible across browsers, regularly updated, accessible, e-commerce ready, translation-friendly, and well-documented. By prioritising these essential features, you’ll be well on your way to selecting a template that not only looks great but also supports your website’s long-term success.