Sometimes the hardest thing can be picking a good theme for a website. One can go through many, many themes before picking the one that says home. There are millions of themes to pick from so where do you start?
1. Does the theme fill your need visually? Does the theme have all of the visual elements you want in a theme or can it be easily modified to what you want? Some themes can look really cool on the demo but not be the theme you need.
2. Was the theme written by a creditable developer? There are many great theme companies out there that every product purchased is known to be a great product. Studio Press, WebSavy, iThemes, Carrie Dils are some of the great theme houses.
With that in mind, the free themes that are found at the WordPress theme repository can be a good start for a site that iOS just starting out.
3. Does the theme or theme company have good support? If I look at s theme be it free or premium, I will not use it if the authors are not supporting it.
4. What comes with the theme? I know that there are many “all in one” themes that come built with a butch of plugins and shiney features that make the theme appear very cool. Most of the time, any given site will not use half of they shiney plugins and widgets that come with it. Plus, if you purchase a theme with 17 plugins attached, that means there are 18 vulnerabilities into the website even if you are not using all of the plugins. It is better to pick out a theme for that site to use for the appearance and let the plugins you choose handle the functionality.
5. What do the users say? While I do not hold 100% stock in the user ratings, one should still pay attention to them. If 239 people in the past 2 months has given them a 1 star because the theme does not work in 4.1, it is a safe bet that this is not the theme for you.
Bottom line is do your research before you pick a theme. Just because it has all of the bells and whistles does not mean you need them. A great person once said “Today’s features are tomorrow’s vulnerabilities”. The more shiny toys you have the more chances you have for vulnerabilities.