A common question we get asked is what WordPress theme is the best to go with for speed and performance. Because often when we are trying to tune-up someones website, the main thing holding it back from performing well is the theme used to build it.
Switching theme (or page builder) can be a very costly exercise as it requires pretty much an entire rebuild of the website.
This can be especially painful if you have just invested a lot of time and money into a new website only to find out that it was built on a theme that has display issues with caching plugins, or which slows down your website with a heap of junk code, or is very hard and expensive to customise.
So it is super important to make sure that you have the right foundations when building your website, and choosing the best theme is a big part of that.
It is also important to use a good builder, and only ever use 1 page builder on the website.
What makes a Good WordPress Theme?
Control and Customisation
As a business owner, I don’t think you should be spending your time fiddling around adjusting fonts and colours on your website. BUT it is important that have the ability and control to be able to make changes to your own website if required. Or at least be able to easily hire someone to make changes for you.
So I think it is important that your website is not custom-coded in a way that only an experienced developer can make changes (or the company that built it holds your website hostage).
BUT I don’t think the user-friendliness of the theme or builder is the most important consideration for a theme or builder. As long as someone in your team can work it out or watch a quick video to learn how to use it, you should have a dedicated resource to look after the website most of the time.
Simple, Clean, stable code
The quality of the code output for your website is much more important, because this ensures that your website can load fast, stay stable and provide a reliable user experience to your buying customers. It also means that customising the website to suit your business needs as you grow should be easy.
Too often we have encountered issues with ‘marketplace themes’ or ‘multi-purpose themes’ that cause performance issues, or display errors or prevent us from implementing new features to the website.
Security is another huge consideration when selecting a theme, make sure it is built and supported by a reliable development company. I’d avoid a one-man operation or anything that is not clearly well-supported. That way you know security patches will be released promptly and the theme will be kept up-to-date with WordPress and your plugins for years to come.
It is also important to build using a Child-theme. There should not be direct edits to the original theme. Otherwise when the next version of the theme is released it will wipe all of those customisations and your website will look messed up!
What Theme Do We Use?
We have been using Genesis Theme for many years and most of the site we have built still use it. It has been a very reliable theme, it is essentially a blank canvas for the build to customise the design and look of your pages.
But now we have switched to using Oxygen Builder which actually overrides the theme files so we just use the default WordPress theme. You can read more about why we switched to Oxygen here: Why We Are Switching To Oxygen Builder.