The major reason for changing the WordPress theme was to decrease the page loading time of my posts. I also used a cache plugin called WP-Rocket to increase the speed furthermore.
Well, most of us start blogging by using free tools. The reason is simple we do not have that money to buy the costly tools. I was no different and did the same. For the initial 1.5 years, I used a free theme in my WordPress blog. When I started blogging choosing a theme was a very straight forward and simple decision for me. Because for me the theme was just a tool to give my WordPress site a look and feel. I remember when for the first time I chose a theme for my blog the main criteria was to give my website a very decent and professional look. On that criteria a free version of the Bug Blog theme was perfect.
And I continued with the theme for 1.5 years.
Not bad! huh!
But then while doing some research I came across an article that talked about the importance of WordPress themes in the rankings. But I still kept on ignoring it and kept on concentrating on ‘on-page’ and ‘off-page’ SEO. When I noticed that just concentrating on SEO is not sufficient to rank well I shifted my focus to WordPress themes. To choose a theme was a herculean task. Let us discuss below how finalized a theme for my website.
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How to choose a theme for WordPress Blog
It is a herculean task. It is not that easy to choose a theme specially for a person like me. I started my research on the internet as any of you would do. We are living in an age of ultra-information. There is so much information available on the internet that it left me back to where I started. I read more than 20 articles but all of them reviewed some random themes and had an affiliate link inserted there.
Finally, I got to read about Genesis
. It looked promising to me and I finalized it.
What is a Genesis Framework
When I was initially doing research on Genesis I got confused. Let me try to clear all those confusions one by one:-
1. Is Genesis a Theme or a Framework?
Ans. Genesis is a framework developed by StudioPress. This framework acts as a skeleton for child themes.
2. What is the Child theme?
There are many themes that were developed to be compatible with the Genesis Framework. These themes will work properly only when you have already installed the Genesis Framework.
3. Who developed these child themes?
There are many themes that were developed by StudioPress but there are good themes also developed by some third parties.
4. How do I install the Genesis Framework?
Ans. Simple you have to go to StudioPress buy the Genesis Framework. Download the plugin and install it from the WordPress Admin area of your website.
5. Do I have to pay separately for the framework and the theme?
Ans. No, they have a minimum package of Framework + 1 child theme.
6. How do I choose a Child Theme?
Ans. I researched about child themes a lot and finally chose the one which was good for my business. It is you who has to choose a theme as per your business. Let us discuss this in detail.
How to choose a child theme?
The reason why I was highly impressed with the Genesis Framework was that they have child themes for every kind of business. The simplest way to choose a child theme is to go to the StudioPress account see the demo and finalize.
If you already have an account in Studio Press then click here to choose a theme. The most important thing is to keep in mind the purpose of your site. For instance, suppose if you want to build a business around your name. Then, in that case, you need an Authority pro theme.
2. If you are running an online course then go for Academy Pro
3. There is a Mai Lifestyle Pro theme for Lifestyle blogs
4. Foodie Pro theme for food blogs
So on and so forth. Each theme is designed to make a lasting impression on the visitors.
Impact of changing the theme
The impact was massive. The Genesis themes are responsive. Which means they are equally good for Mobiles, Tabs and Desktops. I used Google PageSpeed Insight to check the loading speed of my website before and after the Genesis Framework. Here is the screenshot of the same.
The score for hapchap.in when accessed from a Desktop after the Genesis Framework was installed:-
Score for hapchap.in when accessed from a Mobile after the Genesis Framework was installed:-
These score are not exceptionally well and you can achieve even better for your website.
What makes the theme perform well?
Some themes are coded badly. They make too many HTTP calls. The CSS which they use is too heavy. And above all, they are not responsive. The best way to know this is to test your website on Pingdom.
Apart from Theme is there any other way to increase website speed load?
Yes, use a cache plugin. I use wp-rocket for my website. The cache plugins help increase the page load speed in many ways. It does not load the entire page at once. It loads the fastest elements first followed by heavier elements. As you scroll through the page the images and videos get loaded. This is also called Lazy Load. Here is a small description of WP-Rocket:-
The load time of the website is another important factor that Google considers to rank your content high. The problems arise for articles where we add a lot of images, videos, etc. These make the article heavy and slow hence increasing the load time. WP Rocket gives you provisions to load the images and videos as you read through the post. Hence by avoiding a load of the entire page at once, this plugin makes your site and posts load faster. It is also a cache plugin and is really very helpful for loading heavier pages faster.
Hope this article helped you in understanding the importance of using a correct theme for a WordPress website.