It's very important to find the right WordPress theme for your website. It has to be functional and packed with all the features you need to build a successful website. That's why reviewing a list of theme features is important to determine whether a WP theme suits your needs or not.
While there will always be many features you'll need, there will also be some features that you'll find completely unnecessary. In most of the cases, these unnecessary features are not bad – they simply don't suit your website. Understanding which features you need and which ones you don't is very important when choosing the best WordPress theme for your website.
For this reason, it's important to review as many themes as possible, focusing on their functionality and the features they offer. You may search through tons of themes offered by popular sellers, such as ThemeForest or ElegantThemes. The search may become tedious, so you better use ThemeShaker to review tons of themes offered by various sellers, all at once.
Less is More
When it comes to WordPress themes, less is often more, especially if you know what you're looking for. Large, busy themes full of features certainly have their place and they can be very useful. However, it is bad to think that a theme packed with features is necessarily better for your needs. The goal number one is functionality, so it's important to choose the best theme for the type of a site you have.
In short, you don't need all the possible features WP themes have to offer. This is why choosing a theme simply based on the number of features is rarely the best way to go. Each and every theme is good for a certain type of a website if it's coded and designed properly. That doesn't mean that all features work equally for all websites.
Where Themes Can Go Overboard?
There are some features that can certainly go overboard and you probably won't use them – unless you're building the exact kind of a site that needs them all. Here is the list of common overused features you might not always need:
- Tons of styling options (numerous skins, color schemes, fonts). It's very important for a theme to be flexible and fully customizable. You need to adapt it to suit your brand by changing the look and feel of your website. However, some themes are so packed with styling options that's really difficult to customize them. Also, a large number of skins is not always the best solution because most of them are never used.
- A busy design. It's important that a theme's design is aesthetically pleasing, but your content should be the most important. It's therefore vital to choose a theme that puts your work, products and services into focus. You don't have to stick to minimalist themes but big & bold design is definitely not the best way to go in all situations.
- Heavy image sliders. Sliders are great for showcasing your content and highlighting featured products, projects and services. However, not all websites need large sliders that take up a lot of space and hide up the rest of the content on your homepage or other pages on your website.
- Many different custom shortcodes, post types and widgets. A certain number of custom shortcodes, post types and widgets is beneficial because it can improve your website's functionality. However, it can also be too much, especially if you won't use half of them. Also, it's important to remember that not all shortcodes and widgets will work if you choose to change your WordPress theme.
- Heavy admin panel. It's important to have an extensive admin panel so you can set all the features and organize your website according to your needs. However, a busy, cluttered admin panel full of options you don't understand is not the best solution, especially for those who don't know much about WP themes and simply want to have their website up and running as quickly as possible. It's therefore important to have a theme with an intuitive options panel that's easy to use and navigate.
- Extensive SEO features. SEO is important, but elaborate SEO tools within a theme are not always what you need, especially if they make a theme's admin panel cluttered and confusing.
The Best Solution
The best solution is to always know what your needs are so you can find a theme with all of the features you'll find useful but without any of the unnecessary ones. This is not always possible to achieve, but you should make an effort to review quality themes and choose just the ones that suits your needs.
Another good way to go is to seek useful plugins you might want to incorporate. This way, you will be able to introduce a specific feature to your website without needing to rely on a theme. Plus, if you ever choose to change your theme, the plugin will stay. However, this option might turn out to be more expensive in the long run. Also, some people like to keep it simple so worrying about both themes and plugins may seem too complicated.