I’ve said it countless times before, simple WordPress themes take just as much talent as those with lots of bells and whistles. You’ve heard about minimal WordPress themes before, but there’s a difference between minimal and simple WordPress themes. Run a search on ThemeForest for the word “simple” and you’ll come up with 314 results. Browsing the search results yields a different result, you’ll see some great themes mixed in with junk. The following is a guide for identifying great simple WordPress themes among the thousands. Afterwards, there is a list of some of Pingable’s favorite simple WordPress themes so you can see what we’re talking about.
Identifying Great Simple WordPress Themes
1. Simple WordPress themes are easy to use
It’s not just about style, great simple WordPress themes are really easy to use. Look past navigation, towards clear directive design. By this I mean the eye is naturally drawn to important elements on the page and not to useless graphics. The user should naturally know how to progress through the site because they are drawn to the “next step”. For some sites this is a “read more” link. For others it is a “donate” button.
2. Simple WordPress themes are spartan
This doesn’t just mean they’re white or monochromatic. Each component in a spartan theme has utility and purpose. Some theme designers are baiting customers with a ridiculous number of theme variations. This is helpful for some people but not for those looking for a simple theme. A simple wordpress theme has no need for anything without a purpose toward either the content or user experience.
3. Simple WordPress themes are fast
Small file sizes, compressed and minimal images create fast themes. Why have a simple theme with the speed of a complex one? Look for the right image types and compression. Also look at the load speed of the demo installation. Even a dedicated server will load a bulky theme with a slight delay. Look for tableless designs that rely almost entirely on CSS and image sprites.
4. Simple WordPress themes are smooth
A simple theme takes advantage of the natural flow of the eye and human intuition. Jagged and blocky designs make the user work to find what they need. Smooth designs have a flow that is almost imperceivable unless it is managed poorly. Sites with many different contrasting colors and no logical layout work against a smooth user experience. Consider these two examples.
Now that you are equipped with four steps for filtering out great simple WordPress themes from the junk, here are some examples using the methods we just identified. These are both free and premium themes. Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!
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