SEO and Themes

There are hundreds of thousands of pages on the web talking about themes, the best themes and how one is better than the other for new websites.

What is ignored really is that we live in a world where speed and simplicity is demanded more and more. Before Steve Jobs made the iPhone a part of so many people’s lives and pushed mobile phones in to the modern world speed and simplicity didn’t matter. But now it does.

More age groups and people with low technical abilities now access the web than ever before. So when I hear web dev people asking about themes i tend to cringe.

My approach to themes and website designs has changed massively down through the years to where it revolves around some very solid principles that I try and keep to as much as possible.

Avoid All But the Simplest Themes

I now use a theme called Hello for nearly 80% of my websites. The Hello theme on its own look embarrassingly simple. But that is its benefit. It does not come with lots of bloat, heavy plugins, slider addon and all the items that might look great on a paid theme market place but ultimately slow down a website.

Every time you add a plugin, image or code to a website it unavoidably reduces its load time. Add a plugin, speed goes down, add a slider, speed goes down, add a large image (always to be avoided) speed goes down.

So having a bare-bones theme makes life simpler and allows you to focus on what matters. The User experience.

User Experience

Like themes, there are many many pages you can read about User Experience (UX). But think of yourself and how you access the web. Whether mobile or desktop you more than likely search, see a result and click. In those few seconds you determine of the page you have landed on has what you have, all the time your finger is hovering over the back button.

Without being condescending do you want a slider or a flashing icon, or a procurer taking up the top half of the page that means you have to scroll down wasting a few precious moments?

I bet the answer is no. All too many websites are designed by excellent designers, they create something pretty and you, of course, the user like the pretty. But you forget how you actually behave online.

Of course, this isn’t saying throw design in the dirt. But with careful font choices, good spacing and of course using signposting with the right icons, colours, the layout will make the user experience optimal and provide something real people with real needs want.

The Theme World

There are lots of them marketplaces out there doing quite well thank you for selling the pretty. I haven’t used a paid them in years simply because they take way too long to set up, never look like the demo and more importantly need support, have plugin bloat (and security issues if not updated).

Now I do look at some of these themes and take design ideas but I would never in my maddest dream buy one and install on a client site.

I use a page builder called Elementor to create simple, we’ll crafted sites that tick the boxes.

One of my favourite sites (a one-pager) I built recently was this one http://kerryappliancerepair.ie/ I like it because it is simple and clear and you don’t need minutes to get what the site is about and know how to get in touch.

SEO and Themes

No theme is good for SEO. What is good for SEO is your content and making it useful. What is useful for your audience can vary widely. What is most important is to understand your core audience and what they ask and demand from your or your service. The biggest mistake people do with regard to a website is focusing on the pretty over the content. Please don’t.

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