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I'm in the process of switching my site over to Joomla, but before I do I want to get recommendations on Templates.
Here are the priorities for the template:
1. Search Engine Optimized: must allow for easy configuration of all meta tags, title tags, and keyword tags, as well as have an SEO friendly architecture and design.
2. Search Engine Friendly URL's: must allow custom url writing
3. Speed: must load fast
Any recommendations on Joomla Templates (Free or Paid) that fit these criteria would be appreciated.
I've only played a little bit with joomla, but in general...
I don't think your Theme will have anything to do with 1, 2 or 4. These will either be built-in or dependent on adding a module.
You can consolidate these and simplify these according to your needs.
So as a general rule, I don't think the template is a paramount consideration for any of your criteria.
It's a serious CMS that runs many major sites. If you like it, it will work for you.
There are a lot of other options too, obviously, but the big thing I see here in this forum is there are 59 options that would all work well for someone, and they get paralyzed choosing which one to go for.
In most cases, I think choosing the "right" CMS is less important than choosing one and getting on with it. There are exceptions, of course, but I don't think your case is one of them. Those are fairly fundamental requirements.
But that's just me opinion as a guy who has only played with joomla a bit here and there, never really used it.
It's not the templates that you should be thinking about, they pretty much are the layout for the Joomla install.
You should be looking at extensions that can be added to the site. Go to [extensions.joomla.org...] and look for the highest rated extensions for each concern you have.