how to choose a theme for your website

How to Choose a Theme for your Website

If you read my last post in this series, you have all the pieces you need to start building your website.

As you build out your site, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is how you want it to look. How you want it to look is mostly based on what you want the site to do for you.

Even if you already have a website, it’s still worth considering whether or not your design is helping you achieve the right goal.

What’s the goal of your website?

If you’re like me, your ultimate goal in your business is to help people in some way.

Your website is one tool you can use to help people find and connect with you so that you can help them. In order to take people from passively visiting your site to engaging with your business, it’s helpful to set a specific goal for your website.

Do you want your site to generate leads for a coaching or consulting business? If so, you may want to offer a free 15-minute strategy call or consultation front and center.

For bloggers, the ability to highlight collaboration opportunities or related products may be important.

Photographers and other visual artists would benefit from a portfolio display and booking option.

Brick and mortar and other face-to-face operations may want to offer a coupon in order to drive website visitors to your physical location.

Event-driven organizations, musicians, and performers can use a calendar to show upcoming events, and allow visitors to reserve a seat or buy a ticket.

Businesses of all kinds will want to have a way for visitors to enter their email address in order to communicate with them on a more personal level.

Building a Path to Your Website Goal

Once you know your goal, you can create a path a visitor will take to accomplish that goal, making sure all the steps are clear, and easy to understand and complete.

For example, your path may look like this:

  1. See your post on Facebook
  2. Click the link and read your blog post
  3. Find the blog post useful and sign up for a free consultation
  4. Website goal achieved!

Once your website has done it’s job, the ball is in your court. Now you have to close the sale or deliver the goods. Your website is a powerful tool that can lead the people you want to serve to you – then you do the rest.

It’s important to choose a theme that will work for what you’re trying to accomplish, not against it.

Choosing a Theme that will Support Your Goal

For WordPress, there are thousands of theme options available.,, and are just a few of the places you can search for and purchase themes. A Google search for “free WordPress themes” returns thousands of options as well.

Should you go with free or paid? In my experience, premium WordPress themes are often easier to work with, with more features than free themes. That being said, free themes can be good enough for the first iteration of your website. You can always upgrade later.

Initially, all of the theme options can be overwhelming. When you have your one primary goal in mind, it makes it that much easier to narrow it down.

Take a look through the various WordPress themes and make a shortlist of themes that align with your main goal for your visitors. If you’re using Squarespace, Wix, or another site builder, look at themes for that platform.

The 5 Second Test for Existing Websites

If you already have a website, another way to check if it’s serving your intended purpose is by using the 5 Second Test.

Show a friend or family member your website on a desktop or laptop computer. This should be someone who hasn’t seen your website before. Allow them to look at it for five seconds, then close the site.

Ask the person to tell you what the site is about, their impressions of the site, and what they could do on the site. If their answer doesn’t align with your goal, you have some work to do.

Taking Action

So, now that you know how to choose a theme that will help you attract and connect with the people you want to serve, it’s time to put your knowledge into action.

I created a free, three step worksheet to help you create a shortlist of themes that would help you meet your goals.

You can complete this exercise whether you’re still in the planning phases of your website project, or if you have a website that you’re not sure is working for you as well as you’d like it to.

Request the free worksheet below and you’ll be on your way to a goal-driven website.

Image: #WOCinTech Chat