Have you wondered which WordPress theme features you need to build a great website? Having a website allows you to reach out to a broader audience in various directions. But having the right theme features can elevate your website even more.
You probably landed here because you’re just starting out building a new WordPress site. And you know you need to begin with a theme. But what are the WordPress theme features that the theme you choose absolutely needs to have?
What are the main factors you need to consider before choosing the theme that’s going to power your site?
While many people have an overall idea of a WordPress theme, a large percentage don’t know the exact factors they need to consider before making a final decision about what theme to use.
Even more, people don’t fully realize how incredibly important a WordPress theme is and how it works to create a polished and publishable WordPress site.
In this guide, we’ll walk you step-by-step into the world of WordPress themes while helping you choose the right theme for your project.
Now, let’s take a look.
What Is a Theme?
The WordPress theme you choose gives your site the overall design, look, and feel that will be the building block upon which your entire site is built.
Think of a theme as a site design layout that’s been pre-packaged. It defines how your site looks on the backend and how it appears to Internet users when they navigate to your chosen URL.
A theme controls all of the visual aspects of your site, including how it appears to the end user.
To be more specific, all the content you put on your site is displayed within the WordPress theme you’re running. When you change your site’s theme, you will immediately change the entire look and layout of your site.
When you look at the design of any website, stop for a second and pay attention to the following:
- The layout of the homepage
- The way headings are styled
- The spacing that’s between paragraphs
- The location of the menu bar
- The way content is listed and displayed
Each of these factors directly results from how the site’s theme is programmed.
Why Your Site Needs a Theme
A huge benefit of using the WordPress platform to power your site is that you can easily and quickly change themes whenever you want. You’ll also be able to customize a theme you already have in use further.
When it’s time to start searching for a theme to apply to your site, a good place to start is the WordPress.org directory of themes. In it, you’ll see around 4,000 unique (and free) themes that you can explore and work with. The demos come in really handy.A huge benefit of using the WordPress platform to power your site is that you can easily and quickly change themes whenever you want.
But if you can’t locate that perfect theme in the WordPress directory, dozens of independent sites have free and premium themes to fit most niches you can think of.
Of course, you don’t need 100 different themes for your site. You need exactly one theme: The perfect theme for you. And that’s why we’ll need to dive into the key features that a WordPress theme needs to have.
Is a Theme Needed To Run a WordPress Site?
Not only do you need to find the right WordPress theme features, but you also need to understand the importance of having any theme on your website. It isn’t possible to create a WordPress site without using a theme. In fact, the files within the theme you choose are required for WordPress to build out the look of your site on both the frontend and backend.
And while you could certainly build your own theme from scratch as a skilled developer, the reality is that there are some incredible themes already out there that will probably exceed your expectations.
The Kadence Theme is one of those themes.
Most often, the free themes are filled with compromises we don’t want to make. Sure, you could get a site up and running on any number of different free themes, but it’s difficult to settle on the one that will satisfy all of your demands and requirements.
Eventually, we graduate to searching for premium (paid) themes in hopes that we’ll find exactly what we’re looking for. And for less than $100, if you can find the perfect theme solution for you, it’s probably worth the investment.
The problem is that even many premium themes are loaded with compromises. And even if they aren’t, their complexity can quickly begin to overwhelm you.
Kadence Theme bridges these gaps beautifully. It not only offers the WordPress theme features you want for your website, but it provides amazing personalization options.
And the many benefits of Kadence continue with the fact it is completely free to download, install and use. Plus, it’s loaded with features that even many premium themes can’t match in scale and scope.
Kadence Theme is in its own category of WordPress themes because it packs all the power of the best premium themes with the ease of use that comes with the simplest free themes.
The Kadence Theme is used on over 200,000 WordPress sites while amassing an average review rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Those numbers tell a major story about how powerful this theme is.
The 10 WordPress Theme Features You Absolutely Need
Locating WordPress themes is easy. However, choosing the right theme is much more difficult.
With the WordPress platform running the backend of your website, the theme you run is responsible for everything your site visitors look at, see, or hear. If fonts don’t look right, colors don’t jive, or the site doesn’t conform to a user’s screen, those issues are in the theme.
The theme you use will deliver your branding and style to your users. It needs energy and a vibe that separates it from the competition. It really does communicate a lot to your users about your entire organization.
Rest assured that your website visitors will interact with the theme you use. But remember, you will be interacting with it as well.
No matter if you try to stay in the WordPress admin bubble that we’re all comfortable in, there will still be times when you need to visit the front end of your site. You’ll constantly preview the content you create, copy links to share on social media, and interact with your users in live comments sections.
In other words, you’re going to be looking at your theme all the time, so it better be one you love!
And remember, while a theme is really about how a site is displayed on the front end, the true beauty of a powerful theme is contained on the backend, where you’re building out your website.
Here are the ten features you absolutely need in the theme you choose to run.
1. Great Performance
Speed is hugely important for WordPress themes. In fact, the average Internet user will leave a site if it isn’t fully loaded within three seconds. And the top websites in the world, such as Amazon and Google, target page load speeds of half a second or less.
There are a lot of different factors at play when it comes to how fast or slow a website runs. But the first place any WordPress site owner needs to look at is the theme they’ve chosen to run.
Many free (and even premium) themes are filled with poor code that can drastically slow down site load times and drive away otherwise eager users.
The Kadence Theme is a monster in the space of theme speed. It even outperforms many of the top WordPress themes in the world in load time tests.
It’s hard to over-emphasize how important speed and performance are in the theme you use.
2. Site Security
Turn on any current newscast, and you’ll see that cybersecurity is at the forefront of people’s minds. As the owner of a WordPress site, it also needs to be at the forefront of your mind.
Because of the constant threat of new attacks and zero-day vulnerabilities, you must demand a theme that is as secure as humanly possible. While no WordPress theme can claim 100% security, choosing a theme with regular and active development is important to maintain code and keep the theme free from new security vulnerabilities.
It’s also important to keep your theme updated to the current version at all times. Run all of the developer updates as soon as they’re released.
You should look for security in the WordPress theme features and consider adding a plugin specifically designed to keep your website safe from the bad guys.
You’ll also want to run a powerful WordPress security plugin like iThemes Security to keep your site fully locked down from malicious hacks and attacks.
Get the bonus content: A Guide to WordPress Security
3. Compatible with the WordPress Block Editor/Gutenberg
The future of WordPress is here, and it’s in the WordPress block editor known as Gutenberg.
In fact, WordPress is all-in with a block-based approach to building pages and posts. This means that the theme you run needs to be in line with the evolution of WordPress core by having solid integrations with WordPress blocks.
The Kadence Theme was built from the ground up with a thorough, deep integration with Gutenberg. Kadence also uses the built-in Customizer to control most of your styles site-wide.
4. Solid Support
The main advantage of purchasing a premium theme is that most of them offer a decent level of personal support. And that’s a major bonus, especially if you run into any problems.
For example, if you can’t figure out how to make a change that seemed like it would be easy, premium theme support will often be more than happy to walk you through it.
But don’t just settle for any support.
Look closely at the exact kind of support the theme author is offering.
- What exactly does the support cover?
- When is it available to use?
- How will you access the support?
- What is their typical timeframe for a personal response?
While you may never be in a position to require support from your theme’s author, you’ll appreciate high-quality support if the time ever comes.
5. Active Development and Updates
When choosing a WordPress theme, ensure the theme you go with has active development. The quickest way to determine this is to check the frequency of version updates that have come through on the theme.
A theme with active development will have many past updates, indicating that they are actively improving the theme’s codebase.
Most available themes will share their version release notes or changelogs either on their own website or directly on WordPress.org (this applies to free themes).
Take a close look at the frequency of updates to ensure that the theme author hasn’t abandoned the theme.
6. Starter Templates
Have you ever begun your WordPress design process with a blank page of nothingness? If so, you already understand how important it is to start off your design process with a pre-packaged template.
A powerful and useful theme must come preloaded with amazing starter templates that help jump-start your entire design process.
If you aren’t yet familiar with the starter templates in Kadence Theme, they are truly next-level. You really need to take a look for yourself!
Many themes will allow you to run WooCommerce without much of a hitch. But there are a few themes that fully integrate with WooCommerce and help make it even better than before.
Again, Kadence Theme has added features that will make your WooCommerce store perform even better than it was on its own. Simply stated, if your plan is to sell items on WooCommerce, you need to see what the Kadence Shop Kit can do.
8. Easy To Use, Yet Powerful
Finding the perfect theme that’s simple to use while also giving you full functionality to help you build the most complex WordPress site is difficult. While the theme you choose should be easy for anyone to use, you also want it to be professional-grade.
Select a theme that has great documentation and tutorials. While there may be some major learning curves on parts of some WordPress themes, these resources will come in extremely handy when you’re trying to put it all together.l
Kadence Theme was built with ease of use at the forefront of the developer’s priorities.
And while it was a huge challenge to produce such an easy-to-use yet powerful theme, the user reviews seem to reflect that Kadence Theme got it right.
If you’re like most, one of the first questions you have about anything is, “how much is it going to cost me?”
In the world of WordPress themes, you’ll find a lot of free themes and a lot of premium themes. Many of the free themes also offer a Premium version, which will unlock more theme features and product support.
But how do you know when you should pay for a premium theme?
In most cases, you’re going to get what you pay for. Not all themes are equal. You’ll likely find places where the developers took shortcuts when you use a free theme. Or perhaps they cut out features you need.
In addition, most free themes will leave you out there on your own. Most won’t come with much for documentation and even less for support.
There’s no problem with using a free theme. Just know you’re getting into, in most cases.
What’s great is that you can use the Kadence Theme completely free. And the free version comes with so many features that you’ll probably feel like it’s a premium theme. When you’re ready to unlock even more features, you can upgrade to the full Kadence Bundle.
You probably expected the design to be the first needed feature on this list. But we saved it for last.
The overall feel and look of your site are the initial, and probably most important, things users take in when navigating to your URL. A well-designed, professional-looking, well-laid-out website is step number one toward successfully sharing your brand’s message with a user.
By using the Kadence Theme, your site will be as beautiful as it is functional.
The theme does allow you to build a brand that competes. From a design and performance perspective, Kadence can help.
And that’s even true of the free version.
Choosing the Right Theme Features For Your WordPress Site
An old saying says, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” And in the world of WordPress themes, it could very well be wrong.
Kadence Theme is a true standout that packs all of the WordPress theme features you need all into one solution. While it may not change your life, it certainly can help make your website more popular.