WordPress powers millions of websites. Have you ever wondered why it's so popular?
To start, it's free to download and easy to get started. But what truly sets WordPress apart from other content management systems is its ecosystem of extensions, including WordPress themes and plugins. These extensions fulfill a basic need of virtually any business and individual: to easily and quickly create a user friendly website.
In this post, we'll focus on themes rather than plugins. More specifically, we'll discuss what to look for in a user friendly theme and then explore some options that can work for your WordPress website. Let’s get started.
What is a user friendly WordPress theme?
A user friendly WordPress theme is designed to be intuitive for two specific types of users: the site admin and the site visitor. Meaning, it should be easy to install and customize on the back end, and easy to navigate and use on the front end. Such themes are defined by the following characteristics.
If you could only define a user friendly theme by one thing, it'd be its editing capabilities.
Some of the most user-friendly themes have a built-in drag-and-drop page builder that was specifically designed for that theme. This pairing will ensure a seamless building and editing experience.
If you're already familiar with another tool, however, learning a new one would be difficult and time consuming. In that case, you'd want a theme that's compatible with WordPress's Gutenberg block editor and Live Customizer or with another popular page builder like Elementor.
User friendly themes are also characterized by demo content and a demo importer. Demo sites are pre-designed websites or layouts that you can install in a few clicks. You can use the layouts as starting points and focus more on customizing the content. This will save you tons of time compared to building a site from scratch.
One of the most important characteristics of a user friendly website is a simple navigation system.
Search boxes, pagination, breadcrumbs, and "Scroll to Top" buttons are just a few ways you can make it easy for visitors to browse your site and consume your content. While you can install WordPress plugins to simplify your website navigation, that won't be necessary if you pick a theme with the features mentioned above.
Social Media Integration
A theme with social media share buttons will make it easier for visitors to share your content on their platforms and boost you referral traffic. There are plenty of WordPress plugins that make it easy to create and customize social media buttons on your site, but you can avoid this extra work by selecting a theme with pre-built buttons or a buttons widget.
Contact Page or Form
In order to be accessible to your visitors, you'll want to provide multiple ways they can contact you from your website. In addition to links to your social media profiles, you can provide a contact form or a stand-alone contact page. Again, there are plugins that specialize in this functionality, but you can save yourself time by selecting a theme with a predesigned contact page layout or contact form widget.
Best User Friendly WordPress Themes
Let's check out some of the best user friendly WordPress themes available in the official WordPress directory and third-party marketplaces.
Total is a feature-rich WordPress theme designed to provide everything you need to build and customize a site with ease.
Total comes with over 40 demo sites. With Total's built-in demo importer, you can import the content, theme settings, widgets, and sliders from any demo site. Or you can pick and choose which parts you want to import! According to testing by the developer team, the demo importer works in less than a minute.
To help you customize these demo sites, Total comes with the WPBakery Page Builder built-in. This page builder comes with over 40 modules, including a navigation bar, search bar, login form, MailChimp form, social links, and more. In addition to these standard modules, Total adds over 50 custom modules to the builder so you can create truly unique web pages. That brings the total number of design elements up to 100. One you drag and drop elements on the page, you can then customize their color, fonts, and more with the live theme customizer.
If you’re looking to create and customize a niche site without writing a single line of code, then Massive Dynamic is an excellent choice.
This multipurpose WordPress theme comes with the front-end website builder called Jenga, which has over 70 design elements, including float animation and parallax scrolling. In addition to unlimited layouts, flexible grids, and drag and drop header and footer areas, Massive Dynamic offers over 70 demo sites. If none of these meet your needs, you also have the option to start from scratch. With all these features, even the most novice users can create user friendly sites that are completely unique.
In the demo below, you can see a contact page and form, search box, clear call-to-actions, and more user friendly feautres.
3. Divi Theme
Divi combines power and ease of use, making it one of the top-selling WordPress themes of all time. It comes with a front-end page builder with over 40 modules, including social media follow and share buttons, forms, and calls to actions, and over 800 demo designs so you can easily build and customize your website without touching a single line of code. Better still, these demos are grouped together as “website packs” so your pages will have a consistent look and feel.
More advanced users can take advantage of other features, like the ability to save and reuse designs, edit multiple elements at once, configure global design settings, and A/B test different designs.
Hello is a clean and fast-loading theme designed specifically for Elementor. Like the Divi Builder, Elementor is a front-end page builder that comes with widgets and templates for building and customizing a website without any coding. You can add star rating, Google Maps, counters, alerts, and other elements that will inform and delight your visitors. You can create popup forms with Elementor’s built-in popup builder. And you can choose from over 12 pre-designed template kits to easily and quickly build your WordPress website.
For a closer look at the differences between Divi Builder and Elementor, read Divi vs. Elementor: Which Is the Better WordPress Page Builder?
While Elementor is compatible with any WordPress theme, it’ll work seamlessly with Hello. Here’s a look at the demo.
5. Avada Theme
Another similar theme to Divi, Avada is a popular multi-purpose theme that comes with its own front-end drag-and-drop page builder tool. In fact, according to Avada’s official site, it’s been downloaded over 600,000 times and is one of the top-selling WordPress themes of all time.
Beginners can get their site up and running in minutes by importing one of Avada’s 70 pre-built demo websites, while more advanced users can choose from over 300 pre-built pages and customize them using Avada’s built-in page builder.
This builder comes with over 80 design and layout elements, almost double the number in the Divi Builder. These elements include breadcrumbs, pagination, contact forms, comments, related posts, a search box, and scroll to top button. You can see many of these elements in the Architecture demo below.
If you’re looking to build an online shop, not a website, try WooCommerce Storefront. Downloaded over four and a half million times, WooCommerce Storefront is an excellent choice for first-time shop owners.
As the official theme designed for WooCommerce sites, it’s tightly integrated with the WooCommerce plugin and extensions so you don’t have to worry about incompatibility issues. With its responsive layout, nestable grid system, and built-in SEO, you can build and optimize your store quickly. To customize its appearance, use the built-in WordPress customizer or a page builder like Elementor.
7. Zelle Pro
A powerful and customizable single page design, Zelle Pro is not only user friendly — it’s also one of the best business consulting WordPress themes.
Zelle Pro offers six child themes that you can import in one click and begin customizing instantly with the WordPress customizer. That means you can adjust the color, background, blog, order of sections and more, and then preview the changes you make in real time — all right in your dashboard. To further customize a child theme, you can use any of the top WordPress page builders, including Elementor and Divi Builder.
This theme also comes with a powerful and responsive mega menu that makes it easy to arrange and organize your submenu content for seamless navigation on your website.
With Ultra, anyone can create a responsive website quickly and easily. Like any Themify theme, Ultra comes with the Themify drag-and-drop page builder. In addition to customization features like smart layout options, section scrolling, a built-in mega menu, animated background colors, and image filters, the Themify Builder also supports WooCommerce. That means your shop is automatically matched with the overall theme appearance so your customers have a seamless ecommerce experience – without you lifting a finger.
Considered the most powerful and flexible theme created by Themify, Ultra not only comes with the Themify builder— it also comes with 29 demo sites that can be imported in one click. Each is designed for a unique business niche and purpose, including yoga studios, construction companies, fitness trainers, churches, sushi bars, and more. If one of these demos doesn’t meet your exact needs, there are 60 additional layouts included with the theme.
Daisy is a responsive theme that’s ideal for bloggers. In addition to being 100% compatible with the Gutenberg editor, Daisy provides 15 blog layouts, five post types, multiple header styles, and social media icons. These features have helped make it the best-selling theme in the Mojo Marketplace.
Once you purchase this theme, you’ll have access to video tutorials that walk you through the process of setting up your site, from installing Daisy to configuring your SEO settings. This documentation, along with Daisy’s simple design and features, makes it one of the most user friendly blogging themes.
If you want user friendly, you can’t beat Twenty Twenty, the official WordPress theme for 2020. It was designed to take advantage of as much of the flexibility the Gutenberg editor enabled as possible while only requiring users to learn a few basic settings. Once you browse some blocks, color settings, and page templates, you’ll be ready to get started.
Since this minimal theme was designed with flexibility, clarity, and readability at its core, it is ideal for both business sites and blogs.
Selecting a User Friendly Theme for Your Website
Creating a user friendly WordPress site is easy thanks to WordPress themes. You just need to pick one with simple navigation, noting, social media sharing, and form functionality. Any of the themes above meet these requirements.
Once you install and customize a theme, then you can continue extending the functionality of your site with WordPress plugins.
Originally published Sep 28, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated September 28 2020