There are more than 25 000 WordPress themes on the web. How to find "the" one that will suits your needs and will represent you as a music professional ?
Choosing the right theme is not an easy task. I’m here to give you some advises before purchasing your next WordPress theme. Let me break down the tip in 5 points.
1. Premium themes vs free themes.
There are a lot of differences between a premium theme (paid theme) and a free theme. The first difference is often in the quality, both design and code. Most of the time, theme authors who that offer a free theme don’t really care about the quality its design or the code. They do that for free and for fun. Why they would care about fixing the bugs, bringing its theme to a next level, make everything so perfect ?
Another big difference is in the customer support. When you buy a premium theme, free support is included! You can ask the author any technical questions and he will be pleased to help you out. After all, he is paid for this. Also, when you buy premium theme, you get free updates and updates are very important. They fix bugs and issues and also get new functionnality. Think a WP theme like your mobile phone operating system. A couple times during the year you get free updates that enhance your phone software and fix bugs. You don’t get that with free stuff don’t ya ? Also, premium themes are CHEAP. It usually cost around $59 USD. Yeah right. $59 one-time fee ! No monthly fee. Fifty nine dollars to make you looks a music professional seem a good investment to me.
2. Responsive and other important features
So now you have decided to go with a premium theme (obviously ), make sure the theme you will choose support the feature you want. Here’s a small list of the basic features you will certainly need.
- Is the theme responsive ? Almost all theme nowadays are responsive which mean they are optimized for desktop, tablets and phones…but how responsive are they ? Merely being “responsive” isn’t enough, and moreover, can be used as a label by poor quality theme designers. Test the theme on your mobile and tablets before buying it.
- Music Player. Since you are probably looking for your next music website, I guess you will need a music player. Take a special attention to it. Does your music player allows you to have a track listing ? Can you link your album to iTunes, Google Play ? Do you want to show your lyrics ? Is the music plays on mobile phone?
- Events Manager. As an artist, you will probably perform live soon or later. Is the WordPress theme allows you to manage events ? If yes, can you list both your past and upcoming events (because that’s is 2 different things ? Would you put a countdown to your next live show, is the theme support it?
- Third Parties Extensions? It’s about flexibility. Make sure you will be able to embed YouTube or Vimeo videos in your pages. In addition, is the theme compatible with SoundCloud ? Spotify ? Is it compatible with BandsInTown ? Can you embed BandCamp ? Every good theme should allows you to do it.
- Multilangual ? Most of the time, people take care about this feature. This is particularly important because if there is a place you will lost time and have frustration, it’s by translating a poor coded theme that has not been thought to be translated. Make sure that your theme are compatible with WPML or if it comes with the translations.
3. Sells your Merch Online
Want to make more money, I guess you do. They are several ways to sell your merch online. An easy way is to sell your product directly on your website ! No monthly fee ! (except for payment gateway such as Stripe or Paypal when you transfer your money to your bank). Make sure the theme support online shop such as this amazing extension : WooCommerce. WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress. Your theme shall be compatible to it.
4. Good Customer Support & Theme Reviews
Before buying your next theme, read the reviews !!! If you buy your theme on ThemeForest.net by exemple, make sure that the theme you gonna purchase got at least 4.7+ (on 5) of rating. Otherwise, I guess the theme is bad or the customer support sucks. Be aware!
5. Page Builder
Building a website for artists often require creativity. But things have changed a lot since the last decade. Page builders are tools to help you create and design unlimited layouts without a line of code. Trust me, using page builders such as Visual Composer will save you A LOT of time. Does your next theme includes a page builder ? I think this is a must for an artist theme in 2016.