Recently, I wrote about how to choose the right plugins, which is one element of your WordPress site. When you decide to use WordPress for your website or blog (website & blog will be used interchangeably), you choose a theme that will reflect your personality as well as your business (if that’s the purpose of your site). For many of us, our website is our ONLY presentation of who we are to potential clients so it’s important to present ourselves in a way that represents who we are and this includes our business.
One of the things I love most about WordPress is the ease to change the look of your site. For anyone who is looking to find a theme for their site for the first time, this can quickly become an overwhelming process. There are many free themes available, but I caution against using a free theme that doesn’t come from the WordPress repository. Like plugins, there could be malware or restrictions on the use of the free theme. Also be leery of any theme that requires you to have unrelated links in the footer of your theme. If these links are required often they are links to bad or spammy type sites which will hurt your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and you could find that no matter how good your keyword density you will never rank because of these bad links.
I always suggest before you even think about looking at all of the many themes available, premium or not, make a list of what you want your site to be able to do or focus on. Things like is this going to be more of a blog or a traditional site with many pages, do you want the ability to sell products or even services easily from your site, do you want people to be able to comment through out the site, what about a membership element? Each site is specific to the person setting it up and all of the elements should be taken into consideration when choosing a theme.
You want your blog to be unique and different from all the other blogs on the internet so that it will attract more users. If thousands of other blogs have used the same theme to design their pages, then you will want to avoid such themes in order to stay special and distinct in comparison with other blogs. Also, the WordPress theme which you choose should comply with your motive of creating your blog. Is it a professional blog or a personal one, does it deal with technology or with the arts and so on. Be clear what your blog/website stands for. Was your blog started informally for entertainment or is it a formal one? If formal, what sort of clients are you looking for? Once you have an idea about how you want to present your blog it becomes easier to visualize what kind of templates will best reflect your idea.
Next you need to match the theme of your blog with the content that you have already designed. And if you have a logo for your site, be sure to carefully match it with the artistic elements of a similar theme. Always remember, choosing the right theme is also a deciding factor for the number of visitors to your site and hence your earnings through the blog. The theme should be attractive enough to catch the attention of people. As they come across your blog’s theme, they should get interested enough to stay on and examine all of the content that is published on it.
One last thing, keep compatibility in mind. The WordPress template that you choose might look great on your browser, but what works in Firefox might not work in IE. What works in IE7 might not work on Opera. So if possible, check out what the developer has to say about browser compatibility. Also some templates are really old, so you need to make sure that it is widget and plugin friendly and that it supports tags. Keeping track of all these different aspects while selecting a WordPress theme will definitely help you create an attractive blog which may well put you on the road to success.
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