Support » Themes and Templates » Firstimer here… How do I kown which free theme will suit my needs.

  • Total WP noob here and I’m having some difficultly knowing how to choose the proper free theme, to meet my sites needs, for both today and in the future.

    I have zero budget to pay for a custom made theme, but I have specific requirements and to be perfectly honest, I’m sure there are features that I don’t even know enough to look for right now. I’m concerned about choosing a theme only to find out down the road that it doesn’t have all the features I need.

    I’ve looked through tons of themes and found some with certain features, but not others, and vice versa. So far that I’ve seen there are no themes with everything. I don’t think my requirements are all that unique, but how is this typically handled? Do you look for the closest theme and manually add what’s missing and if so, are there some themes that are easier to customize compared to others? Should I avoid new themes with no ratings?

    I have *some* HTML and CSS experience, but prefer to avoid coding as much as possible.

    My current list of requirements:

      – The ability to search the site for information and old articles.
      – Allow people to comment on articles.
      – Member sign up.
      – Allow users to create detailed profiles.
      – Allow for anonymous comments if they choose.
      – The possibility to add a forum in the future.
      – The ability to create surveys.
      – Provide various categories and the ability to add new ones over time.
      – Social Media Links.
      – SEO optimization.
      – Support for widgets? Still not fully sure how widgets work.
      – Sidebar for ads and archives etc.
      – A theme that has it’s own tech support site/forum.
      – A more text than image heavy theme.
      – Ideally, I’d also like to have the ability for users to “unlock” additional content over time, after completing certain sections.

    If you’re still reading, thanks for your time. Any and all input would be greatly welcomed. The site is currently blank but it’s: http://www.SpeakForYourHealth.com

    Cheers…

    P.S.
    On a related note, it will take me many months to create content for *all* the various intended sections of the site. Is it better to create the sections up front, with no content other than “under construction” leaving them blank for a long time, or leave out the sections until the content becomes available?

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