Building Your Website With WordPress Themes: Do’s And Don’ts

While developing websites with WordPress, you have option to choose from thousands of open source and paid themes. Each WordPress theme enables you to design the user interface of the website without writing longer lines of code. You can take advantage of the front-end styling components – page layout, font styling, graphics, colours and widget location – to control the look of your website and content presentation across various browsers. But you must remember that WordPress has a much larger worldwide market share than other content management systems. A single theme may be used by a large number of websites. Hence, there are always chances that a theme may look your website identical to several other websites. You need to focus on a number of do’s and don’ts while selecting and using WordPress Themes.

Do’s

Do Choose the Right Theme

In comparison to other content management systems, WordPress provided a higher number of free themes. Hence, you can have option to choose from many free and paid WordPress themes. But a single theme may not meet the requirements of all websites. While comparing the themes, you must keep in mind the website’s look and content presentation. It is also a great idea to try out multiple themes to decide the WordPress theme that complements your website’s needs precisely.

Do Decide the Key Features

You can easily pick the right theme for your website by defining its colours, width, columns, navigation option, and other important features. Likewise, you also need to decide the nature and purpose of the website. When the theme complements the precise needs of the website, it becomes easier for you to avoid customizations and modifications. Also, you can add specific functionality to the website without using additional plug-ins. However, you can always opt for themes that allow you to make changes to its key components like layout, width and column spacing through control panel.

Do Opt for Simple and Lightweight Themes

The loading speed of your website will affect its user experience and search engine visibility directly. You must not affect the speed of your website by choosing WordPress themes that are feature-heavy or use large files like background images and videos. Likewise, you need to opt for a theme that has been updated on a regular basis to enhance website speed based on its high quality source code. You can easily check the loading speed of the website with a specific theme by using a number of online tools.

Do Consider Using Paid Themes

Many developers opt for free WordPress themes to save money. But you can always reap a number of benefits – reliable codebase and technical support – by investing in a premium theme. The premium themes will further make your website look different without making additional customizations. There are also certain premium themes that are designed just like web designing tools. You can use such themes to create custom page layouts and other components.

Do Implement Responsive Web Design

While selecting a WordPress theme, you must not forget the fact that most people nowadays access websites on their mobile devices. You need to implement responsive web design to make the website look good on both computers and mobile devices. That is why; it becomes essential to opt for a WordPress theme that makes your website responsive and mobile-friendly. You can always avoid using mobile plug-ins additionally by using a theme that makes your website look good on varying devices.

Do Explore Options to Customize Themes

The paid WordPress themes will make it easier for you to make the website look and feel different. But you may be required to use free themes to curtail project overheads. If you are opting for a free theme, it becomes essential to customize it according to your specific needs. You can easily make changes to an existing WordPress theme if you are proficient in commonly used web technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. Also, you can use a number of tools to customize the WordPress theme without rewriting or modifying its source code.

Do Check Compatibility with Browsers and Plug-ins

You must remember that users will access your website on various browsers. But there are chances that a single WordPress theme may not make your website look good on each browser. Hence, you must perform basic browser compatibility test to check how the theme looks on major web browsers. Likewise, you also need to check if the theme supports all plug-ins required by your website. When the theme supports plug-ins required by your website, you can easily add functionality to the website through plug-ins.

Don’ts

Don’t Focus on Functionality

Unlike plug-ins, themes are not responsible for the website’s functionality. You can use the themes only to make the website content look appealing on various devices. There are a number of premium themes that come with additional functionalities like search engine optimization. But you can easily add functionality to the WordPress application by using specific plug-ins. Hence, you must opt for themes that support basic WordPress functions.

Don’t Forget to Evaluate Each Theme Thoroughly

You have option to choose from a large number of WordPress themes. Some of these themes are free, whereas others are premium or paid. But the quality of individual themes differs. Hence, you must not pick a theme based on the visually arresting photography used by the WordPress web developer. It is always important to evaluate each theme thoroughly, and ensure that it meet all needs of your website. The evaluation will help you to avoid making changes to the theme in future.

Don’t Forget to Read User Reviews and Ratings

There are many instances where WordPress themes directly affected the security of websites. Hence, you must assess the quality and reliability of each WordPress theme by collecting information from various sources. It is always important to read the reviews and ratings posted by other users to assess the quality of a theme accurately.

On the whole, you can curtail website development time significantly by using WordPress themes. But the quality and reliability of individual themes differ. Hence, you must build the website with the right WordPress theme and customize the theme to make your website look and feel different.

Top Questions to Ask a Potential Wedding Photographer

Woo Hoo! You’re engaged! Congratulations!

Now comes the big question… do you have your photographer?

No?

Too daunting of a task to think of right now?

Not to worry, choosing a wedding photographer is really not that difficult if you know what to ask. Being educated about each photographer’s qualifications and offerings is the first step to narrowing down the list of choices.

We have answered thousands of questions from hundreds of couples and we have narrowed down the most important questions that everyone should know. This list is not 100 questions long! This is a relatively short list but these questions are the ones that are the most important ones.

So let’s begin!

1. How many weddings have you photographed? First off, why is this important? It is important because it shows experience. You want a photographer that has photographed more than a few weddings. Experience is necessary because you want a photographer who knows what they are doing! How to pose couples and groups. Knowing what photographs to take and how to take them is key to quality photography. You don’t want to have to tell your photographer what photographs to take and how to pose people you have enough to think about; and besides what are you paying them for?

2. Do you do photography full time? Not all photographers do this as their main job. More and more people are picking up photography as a hobby or to bring in some extra income. Weekend warriors are rampant in the photography industry. This is something you may want to know. To some couples, it does not matter, but if it does matter then this is a good question to ask.

3. Do you carry backup equipment? This also goes to experience. Every photographer who has been in business for awhile knows that anything can happen and usually does. Only carrying one camera and lens is just asking for failure. And you certainly don’t want that failure to happen at your wedding!

4. Do you have business insurance? Not only to cover equipment but liability as well. This is a sign of a professional. A professional business should always have insurance.

5. What will you wear to photograph my wedding? You would be surprised what we have seen photographers wear to photograph in. You should know going in if you can expect yoga pants or black jeans or professional attire. If you are having a casual wedding and don’t care then you do not need to worry. But if you are having a wedding where you do not expect to see yoga pants and flip flops then you should make that clear up front.

6. How long after the wedding will our photographs be available? Some photographers will take as long as 6 months to edit a wedding. You should know how long to expect before you book.

7. How many edited images can I expect? This is important because some photographers take 2,000 images but only edit and deliver 300. You should know in advance if you will receive all of your photographs, less bad ones of course, or only a selection of photographs taken.

8. Do I receive my high-resolution digital files and will they be watermarked and resized? A combination question but it all goes together. Of course, you want to know if you will receive your digital files. The vast majority of photographers do offer them in their packages but there are still some holdouts that will charge extra for them, so you should know. And along the same lines, some photographers will resize and watermark the digital files that they give you so that you are still forced to order prints from them.

9. What is your deposit and when is the balance due? Again, you should know this up front before you book. Every photographer will do this differently. The average options are; a specific deposit amount with the balance due before the wedding; a 1/3 now, 1/3 before the wedding and the final 1/3 upon delivery; payment plans etc. Just make sure you know when and how everything is due.

10. Are the photographs that I see in your samples a good indication of your style? This is important. You want to like the photographs that your favorite photographer is showing you. If you do not like the sample photographs then that is a good indication that you will not like the photographs they take for you. You cannot expect the photographer to shoot in a different style just because they have a price and personality that you like. Make sure you love the whole package!

11. Are there any additional fees I should be aware of? Taxes, editing, travel, meals, additional time etc etc. You should know these things before you book.

12. Do you have a contract? Never book a photographer without a contract! This protects both of you.

OK, so did I overwhelm you? I certainly hope not! Of course, there are other questions to ask, lots of them, but these are what I would consider the most important. And you should ask about packages and other details but this is the nitty gritty must know stuff.

Good luck! And try not to get too overwhelmed!