When starting a new project, I can’t help shopping for new themes. There are some themes I enjoy working with but am always on the hunt for the best theme for the job. Buying themes blindly lead you to be burned and gets you a theme that is a pain in the a$$. Here is a simple checklist I use when evaluating a new theme. These techniques work for any theme marketplace, I do prefer to start my search at ThemeForest.
How to Pick a Reliable WordPress Theme on Themeforest
- Sort: You can weed out the duds by quickly by sorting by Best Sellers. I have tried sorting by best rated; most search algorithms do not take into account proper ratios of sales and ratings. You could have a theme with four sales and a perfect rating, which would not be indicative of a good sample of results. Why I sort by best sellers? You use the crowd to help you make a decision, sometimes crowd logic does not work (elections!), but in this case its a good indicator of a quality theme.
- Rating: The theme needs to have a perfect rating. Sometimes I may allow a 4 and 1/2 star theme. Why I shop by rating? The rating will tell you a couple things, is the theme constructed in a proper way, is it easy to use, does the dev team behind the theme support customers problems.
- Comments: Very important step. You need to read the comments, a couple pages of comments. What do you look for? You are looking to see how quickly the dev team responds to customer problems. What kind of responses the dev team gives are a good indicator as well. Do they refer the customer to a knowledge base or offer a solution on the spot. A good dev team may offer to login into a customer’s install and diagnose the problem directly. These are all good signs of a great theme and a great theme team.
- Dev Team: Check to see if the dev team has produced other themes in the past. You may want to look at those ratings and comments as well. Does the dev team have a dedicated ticketing system and knowledge base? If they do not, stay away, far away.
These steps have helped me pick some great themes. By following these steps, you’ll find a theme that has longevity, gets updated and provides you the support you need to produce and maintain an excellent site.