WordPress : Themes

WordPress 🖌 The best themes in 2021

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WordPress : Most popular free themes

The Hello Elementor theme and theplugin Elementor

Elementor is a page builder, a tool that allows you to create sophisticated pages directly from the administration of our website WordPress. They offer the possibility of live preview of the modifications that are applied and offer many options and liberties on the design of each element.

Elementor offers everything in block sets like :

  • Text blocks with advanced media and layouts
  • Pictures, carousels/sliders, galleries, etc.
  • Easy integrations (youtube, facebook, newsletter system)
  • Icon libraries

This page builder is not only for creating sophisticated pages. With the pro version of its plugin, it allows you to create each part of a site WordPress, taking over the theme if you wish. We can design category and taxonomy archive pages, as well as single pages. Moreover, this plugins allows most often to manage popups, without having to load new plugins.

Elementor is compatible with most themes. The Hello Elementor theme is a theme that aims to be as minimal as possible for those who want to create their entire design from Elementor (an excellent choice for my taste 😁).

WordPress: Find and choose a theme

When creating a site under WordPress, one of the first problems (see the first one on simple sites) is of course the choice of theme. Choosing a theme is choosing the theme that corresponds to our site. On this subject, three main solutions are offered to us: Use a free theme, use a paying theme or develop a custom theme. Let's see what this implies.

WordPress : Free themes

It is easy to find many free themes by typing " wordpress free theme" or " wordpress free theme" on a search engine, the internet is full of them. But don't forget that the theme used on a WordPress installation contains code that will be executed on the server that hosts your site. Once said, it is easy to understand why you should be careful in the choice of your theme and avoid unreliable sites. Indeed, there are many sites that hide malicious code in free themes.

To find free WordPress themes, you have to go to the official catalogue of themes proposed by wordpress.org. These are fully checked before publication and removed from the catalogue if they present a danger.

In the official catalogue of themes WordPress.

These themes are also available from the administration of any WordPress installation.

Dangers, let's talk about them! More often than not, hackers will distribute free themes with the aim of introducing hidden links to sites they want to promote. These are not very recommendable sites, such as online shops selling pharmaceutical drugs and counterfeit drugs, pornography, gambling...

Although invisible to your visitors, its links will be read by crawlers (search engine robots that analyze web pages) and bring to target sites backlinks that are a valuable resource when you want to get a site up on search engines. Today, however, its links are most often spotted by search engines, especially google, which will sanction sites that use such methods (yours in this case).

There are many ways to hide links, in the most known we can mention the white on white links (links that are written with the same color as the font on which they are located, easily detectable when you select them or use Ctrl + A), links outside the page (placed on a part of the site that is not displayed) or links placed below an image or other opaque element of the site.

One of the most common malicious practices is to use JavaScript code in base 64, i.e. not directly visible in the code. But this is only one method, because a malicious theme can also install a backdoor on your site which will give complete control of your site to the person who infested the theme or use your server as a zombie robot browsing the web.

In conclusion, the risks associated with the use of a free theme are significant if it does not come from a reliable source. I invite you to read this article which analyzes some themes found on the first page of google on the request " wordpress free theme".

WordPress : Paid themes

Paid themes are generally of better quality than those found free of charge.

They are offered for sale on theme online shops (as a forest theme) or directly on their publishers' websites. You can find a list of reliable sites for the purchase of your themes on the official site of WordPress.

Their prices vary between 30€ and 60€ on average for a classic license. Usually, this license includes the theme and its updates for a period of one year as well as 3 to 6 months of support. There are also offers allowing the member to download many themes and plugins premium.

E-catalogue of sites proposing paying themes established by WordPress

Now that we know where to get the premium themes, we still have to choose it and find the one that best fits the given project. To do this, you must not only consider its design, but also its functionality and maintenance.

Indeed, there are more and more themes that offer many additional features. These themes are only relevant if the features they offer are used on your site, otherwise they will only make it unnecessarily heavy.

If these options are useful to you, you should also be careful not to make duplicates with your software. Let's take the example of a theme proposing a slider (i.e. which allows you to scroll through a series of images). If you decide to use other sliders in your pages and articles through a software, you will then load 2 different codes that have the same function, which, once again, will make your site unnecessarily heavy. One of the solutions in this case would be to use the already loaded code for the theme slider, which is not always easy and convenient to do. Another solution would be to change the slider used by the theme by a slider managed by a software. The best solution would be to use a theme that offers additional features through the use of plugins without forgetting to foresee the possible impact of these plugins (in the case where paid plugins are used).

Finally, make sure the seller is reliable before you make the purchase. Check out the comments and opinions posted on the topic and its author. Check that updates are frequent and regular.

WordPress : Themes made to measure

As this article is about how to find and choose a theme, I'll just skim over the subject of creating them. It's a vast subject and there are 1001 things to say about it. But it is a procedure to be taken into account when creating a site because it brings undeniable advantages, especially if you want to give a real brand image to your site and if you are sensitive to optimization.

Although it is possible to modify and customize an uploaded theme by using child themes or using software such as CSS, this process quickly reaches its limits.

The creation of a custom theme allows you to obtain a unique theme that fits perfectly with the image you want to give to your site. But it is a process that requires a much larger budget, since you will have to call upon one or more professionals.

In addition to a design designed specifically to meet your needs, a custom theme will not be overloaded with unused options, which is a good optimization. It is also to be expected that the plugins that will be useful for your WordPress installation can be taken into account during development, so that they can be perfectly tuned.

Julien MA Jacob
Developer WordPress
Julien MA Jacob - Developer WordPress
Passionate about the web and programming with always a lot of projects in mind