The most wonderful things about WordPress are its community and the themes. The verity of beautiful themes could seduce us to change every now and then. However, the basic rule is to choose the simplest theme that is suitable for our needs.
- Simplicity means faster loading (often).
- Simplicity and suitability make modifications easier/lighter if any.
- Testing the theme for a while is required to confirm the performance.
Modifying a theme is done through two steps:
First, personalize settings in admin area. I’ve found that it’s better to keep the default settings of a theme for better performance. The site loads the default settings first then reflects the modifications. In most cases, you won’t notice that. However, in a complicated themes this was noticeable for me.
Second, CSS customization (premium users only). This is done in two ways: Building on the existing theme or Starting from scratch (“Don’t use the theme’s original CSS.”). Considering that the browser loads the CSS at last, it’s very important to minify the CSS as much as possible…
Personally, I keep the current design of this site on all themes and platforms. Hence, seeking a different theme on WordPress is for testing purposes or for seeking better features if any. Theoretically speaking, the official themes (i.e., twenty sixteen, fifteen, …) are supposed to be the best as they are simple and easy to customize. However, this isn’t true all the time. I haven’t tested all the themes though.
My experience with some themes:
Twenty Twelve (My preferred and the current one)
One of the simplest themes I’ve ever tried. I’m not counting Penscratch theme as I found it ugly without customizing. It’s also not suitable with guest authors. I’ve talked earlier about how I modified the CSS in Twenty Twelve theme to generate this blue/white design you see on this site right now – Please refer to this link.
- Easy to customize the CSS by building on it.
- Fast in loading.
- Very clear in regard to guest authors.
- It’s old. Thus, some advanced features are not there.
- It’s for small screens.
Twenty Sixteen (I love it)
- Bright font.
- Comments have better navigation links.
- The link-to-post on the feature picture is handy.
- The extra social links…
- Very clear in regard to guest authors and might be better than Twenty Twelve here.
- It doesn’t have optimized ads at top.
- It’s for large screens.
- Studying performance, it’s slower than Twenty Twelve.
- Very complicated. Thus, it was more slower when I modified it to reflect my deign. Starting from scratch, things were very complicated too.
Recently, I tried the new Twenty Seventeen. I don’t think it’s suitable with a lot of guest authors. It’s also complicated but I’ll choose it for sure if I ever abandoned my current design.
So, what makes you want to change the theme?