Uh oh, you’ve just been asked (told) by your mom to lend her a hand in building her new website. Whether you were asked because you opened Task Manager to unfreeze the family computer years ago or because you work in tech now doesn’t matter. You have a new job at hand now.
Luckily, you’re not the only one in this position. Even better, there are some tools, and great themes, that will give your mom something to brag about and let you rise in the sibling rankings. In this article, we’ll take a look at three of the best simple WordPress themes you can use to build your mom’s new website.
WordPress: Your (Mom’s) Website Hero
For the uninitiated, WordPress is an open-source website creation platform. Basically, it’s a powerful tool for getting your ideas onto the world wide web. It’s also free, making it very accessible.
So accessible in fact that over 400 million websites online use WordPress, according to Envisage Digital. Considering there are about 1.3 billion websites online, that’s a pretty big chunk of the web!
What does this mean for you? It means that for your needs, WordPress is one of the easiest to use tools to set up your mom’s business page, blog, or online marketplace. There’s a whole community of resources, plugins, and themes you can use to make outstanding web pages.
Top Features of Simple WordPress Themes
Before we dive into some of the best simple WordPress themes, let’s talk about the features you should look for:
1. Responsive Layout
Responsive design isn’t about speed, it’s about screens. A well-designed responsive website will have a layout that adapts to different screen sizes. This means your website will look just as great on a desktop screen as it will on a smartphone.
If you have to have any feature in a simple WordPress theme, look for a responsive design. Since more than half of all worldwide internet traffic is from mobile devices, there are few features that are more important.
2. Quality Theme Design
All the responsiveness in the world won’t help if your theme looks outdated. For 2022 and beyond, look for a WordPress simple blog theme that has:
- great typography
- balance between images and text
- excellent use of white space
That last point is important for website readability. You can learn more about spacing here:
3. Great Support
Most premium simple WordPress themes are easy to use, but you might have some questions on how to get the most out of them. If you ever come across an issue or need some clarification, getting help from the developers might be necessary.
If you get your WordPress simple blog theme from ThemeForest, you’ll get top-notch support and documentation. This way you’ll spend less time looking for answers and more time putting together a website.
The Best Simple WordPress Themes for Your Mom’s Website
We’ve talked about what WordPress is and what features to look for… and kept your mom waiting this whole time. So without further ado, let’s check out three of the best simple WordPress themes that can have her website up and running in no time.
We’re getting things started with Bifrost, one of the top-selling simple WordPress themes on ThemeForest. It boasts features like the Elementor page builder, which lets you create pages with no coding necessary.
Calling Bifrost versatile is an understatement. There are more than 60 included demos across many categories. Blogs, shops, and portfolio sites are all possible with Bifrost. You’ll also get great features, like:
- header and footer builder
- advanced typography options
- over 50 Elementor elements
- parallax effects
Sayville is simplicity at its best. It’s made by a top ThemeForest author and filled with quality. This simple WordPress theme has multiple home pages with minimal layouts.
Don’t let the simplicity fool you though, Sayville is a powerful tool for making websites. It supports one-click demo importing Elementor, and Slider Revolution. This simple WordPress theme also supports translations, so it can work in the language of your choice.
Squaretype landed on ThemeForest in spring 2019 and has hit over 2,000 sales and a 4.9-star rating. It’s safe to say it’s a hit for building any blog, regardless of who it’s for.
You’ll get nine different demos to choose from with Squaretype, and they all support dark mode! This is a great feature for blogs, since your readers may want to check out your posts at night from the comfort of their beds.
This WordPress blog theme is also super fast and easy to edit. It also plays nice with YouTube and supports some of the top WordPress plugins, like WooCommerce and WPML.
WordPress Theme Feature Deep Dive
Now that you know a bit more about each theme, let’s look at each of them in action. We’re going to break each theme down and point out a few highlights too.
Customizing Bifrost with Elementor
First up is Bifrost. As mentioned before, there are more than 60 demos to choose from. Somehow, 60 looks like even more when looking at all the options on the WordPress Appearance page.
To keep us from being overwhelmed, I’m going to work with the Shop Creative demo home page and edit it with Elementor. The Elementor plugin promises to be an easy to use option for page building. I’m going to put that to the test.
What I’d like to do is replace the blank image slider at the top with a YouTube video, add a text banner announcing a sale, and a countdown clock. Below the item showcase I also want to add some testimonials.
Customization with Elementor is fairly easy. Find the content blocks you’d like to use and add them where you’d like on the page. In this instance, I replaced the top image block with a video one. Then I added a custom text heading with a separate countdown timer below. The timer is a special element from the creator of Bifrost. Adding the testimonial was last, and it came with some useful features.
Overall the experience with Elementor is intuitive. It’s advertised as a page builder that works with no coding necessary, and that rang true while working with the simple Bifrost WordPress theme.
Sayville and Responsive Design
Let’s take a look at how responsive design looks with Sayville. It’s important that your mom can pull out her phone and show her friends how awesome her site looks without worrying about elements looking smooshed together. Is the Sayville WordPress theme up to the task?
To answer this question, let’s head to the Elementor customization screen. As seen below, Sayville’s design plays well with images and text in desktop view.
But when you check out responsive mode, that’s where Sayville really shines. Whether you use the tablet or mobile views, your site will look just as great as on desktop. Take a look at the screenshots below to see for yourself.
All of this is done without having to mess around with any code. Sayville’s excellent design handles all of the responsiveness for you! The simplicity of it all is a serious timesaver.
Squaretype and Dark Mode
Our last simple WordPress theme is Squaretype, and it promises a few features. While the Elementor page builder is not included, you’ll be able to choose between the demo templates and make your changes by navigating to Appearance, then clicking Customize.
Ease of use does take a hit because this isn’t as intuitive as dragging and dropping elements into place. But the makers of Squaretype give detailed instructions on how to customize the theme on the documentation site so editing quickly is still possible.
Reminder: if you already have the Elementor plugin installed, you can use it to customize Squaretype! However you can’t switch between demo themes with the plugin.
If your mom wants to cater to night owls, then she’ll appreciate the dark mode feature. To turn it on, you’ll have to click on Design while in the customization menu. Underneath the Palette sub menu, you’ll see Dark Mode. Then just check the Enable Dark Mode box to turn off the lights.
It’s pretty simple, and you can customize the dark mode setting even further once it’s enabled:
- User’s system preference: this will choose light or dark as default based on what the user’s browser is set to.
- Light: Squaretype will default to light mode and users will have to switch to dark mode.
- Dark: Squaretype will default to dark mode and users will have to switch to light mode.
As you can see, each of the above WordPress themes have their own virtues and useful features. Which one you should pick depends on what the site’s goals are. I suggest you get some input from the boss before making your choice.
Find Even More WordPress Themes
The three options shown above have a lot of great features and are some of the best simple WordPress themes around. But they aren’t the only WordPress themes available to you! If you want to see more choices for your mom’s website, have a look at some other posts from Envato Tuts+:
Tips for Building Your Mom’s Website
Finding a great theme and seeing some of its features puts you ahead of the site-building game. But if you want to make sure you’re building a standout website, for your mom or otherwise, check out some of these tips.
1. Know The Audience
Every website wants an audience. But it’s important to know the audience you want to target. Are you after sports fans, bookworms, or amateur cooks? Before you launch, plan content around the audience you plan to attract. Once your site is published, monitor the audience that’s actually visiting your pages.
2. Typography is Important
Even if the site your building has a strong focus on imagery, you need to remember the fonts you use play a part in that. Certain fonts can convey different feelings to visitors. Some typefaces look energetic and bold, while others are refined and elegant.
Take some time to find a font family that works for your content. You can find a guide to help you out, and see some options to check out below:
A Guide to Selecting Custom Fonts for Your Website
42 Best Web Fonts (Ready to Download and Use)
3. Keep Load Times in Mind
If your goal is to have as little traffic as possible, ignore this tip. Otherwise, you’ll want to make sure your site load times are low. Smaller image sizes and optimizing content are a couple ways to make sure the site you’re building is as efficient as possible. You can also use tools like PageSpeed Insights from Google and GTmetrix to give you a hand.
4. Plan Out Site Organization
It can be easy to throw content around when you’re in the middle of making a new site. But poor planning leads to poor websites that underperform even if the content is great.
Before starting on your site, create an outline of your site’s navigational structure. This will help you decide how you want visitors to move on your site as well as where content should live. It’s a simple way to make sure that your ideas are clear and that your content is always in the right place.
5. Be Accessible
Unfortunately, accessibility isn’t always talked about when building websites. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be considered. Accessible sites create smooth browsing experiences for as many people as possible. How cool is that?
If you’re using a simple WordPress theme, you’ll be happy to know you can add accessibility tools through plugins. If you’re comfortable with working in HTML and CSS, you can also check out these articles to help you with accessible web design:
Learn More About WordPress
Do you want to get even more familiar with WordPress? The team here at Envato Tuts+ has put together some more great, free resources that you can use to improve your skills and impress other family members:
The crown of family tech wizard is a heavy one, but hopefully these simple WordPress templates from ThemeForest will help you bear it a little bit easier. They’re easy to use and customize, and you’ll be able to build your mom’s website without breaking a sweat. And think, with all the time you saved, you’ll have time to check out what’s wrong with your uncle’s Wi-Fi router.