Flexible Page Layout
When planning a website that will serve as a content management system, with a complex information structure, the theme you choose must have ability to style individual pages within the site. Examine the theme to see if it offers a variety of page templates: full page for ‘About-type’ content; side bar /content for blog posts; side bar / content / content, for ‘Industry News’; or content / side bar etc. for affiliate text and links.
For someone new to WordPress, who does not yet have the ability to modify a theme, choosing a theme that offers flexible page layout is critical. A theme is more than a Home Page. It is how all the pages in your website will display the content visitors are looking for when they visit your site. Site readability starts with good page design.
One of the great reasons to use the WordPress Theme Directory to find the next theme for your site is that you can not only access and install it from your site’s Dashboard, but you can also review the various theme elements such as the default layouts the theme offers. As you can see in the screen shot, the Responsive theme offers options for the Default Static Page Layout, Default Single Blog Page Layout and the Default Blog Post Index Layout. The theme also has a Sample Page that demonstrates various type treatments, and how Contact Forms, Comments and Specialized Text Widgets would appear. For someone who is planning a WordPress site with a complex information structure, this type of Page Template Layout Preview is an invaluable tool for developing a successful site design based on a free theme that offers significant support and if necessary at some point in the future, a growth path via a Pro version.
One Last Look at Our Theme Wish List
Most of us usually think of the theme as the visual environment of our site. However the theme structure also controls the some functionality in the site.
Before you ever start looking through the WordPress Theme Directory, you need to have a list functions that are “must-have” and “would-be-nice-to-have.”
List of Required Features
- Responsive design for mobile devices
- Multiple page template options
- Choice of NAV menu positions
- WooCommerce Shopping Cart Capability
- Cross-Browser compatible
- SEO friendly
- Works well with plugins, specifically the Yoast SEO plugin
- WebMaster Tools enabled
- Regularly updated
- Support Forum
- Strong user review history
List of Bonus Features
- Image slider on Home page
- Social networking enabled
- Easy video upload
- Multilingual ready (WPML)
- RTL-Language support
With your requirements in hand, start your search through the WordPress Themes Directory. There are thousands of themes to choose from. It’s worth spending some time researching for the theme that provides both the functionality and the look and feel your site requires.
Note: When evaluation a theme’s functionality, remember, you can always add even more functionality with plugins.