With millions of WordPress themes available, it can be challenging to find the one that is perfect for your site building needs. No matter how many themes you look at, it is important to know that there are a few key elements and characteristics of effective WordPress themes to look for in your research. From reviewing the navigation to previewing the color combinations, here’s how to choose the right WordPress theme for your blog.
Free or Premium WordPress Themes
First you have to look at whether the theme is free or premium. A free theme is just that, a theme that is free and usually comes with no support. Many of these themes are a little harder to work with when you want to customize them. But if you find one that fits you without the need for a lot of customization, then using one should be fine.
On-the-other-hand the premium or paid WordPress themes that are available are usually very customizable and easy to navigate. Purchasing a premium theme also ensures that you will have some sort of support which is not usually the case with free themes. However, keep in mind that some free themes are perfectly fine.
One final word of caution on wordpress themes; while choosing your theme can be daunting, you want to make sure to choose one that tests well in all of the most popular browsers like Fire Fox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
The Layout of Your Site
Next you need to consider the layout of your site. This will also help you in determining the theme you need to use. Some of the items you want to consider when it comes to your layout are the sidebar, the navigation bar, and your homepage.
Your sidebar is your real estate so you want to be careful not to clutter it or place banner ads that work against your site’s goals. There is nothing worse than landing on a blog with too much going on in the sidebar. Your navigation is where the people will look to see what is available on your site. It will tell them where to go to find items like your about page, products or the services that you offer, and how to contact you. It will also tell them what topics you cover on your blog. This makes the navigation a prime element to consider when choosing the WordPress theme that works best for you.
The final thing to consider in your layout is the homepage design. Remember this is where most of your traffic will land when anyone come to you website. With most themes there will be prime space for you to add elements like an optin box, social media contact options, testimonials, a slide gallery, and other cool enhancements that will help your site stand out. Many themes offer some of these automatically within the theme settings so that there is less work involved especially if you plan on doing the customization work on your own. You also need to consider that the widgets available must be placed in a cohesive manner; according to the layout you design.
Considering the WordPress theme that is best for you is definitely not an easy task. However, it is the more important part of actually building your website with WordPress. The right theme can take your blog or website much farther in the eyes of your audience.
WordPress Themes of Choice
Studiopress Themes – this company provides over 30 different child themes under the Genesis framework. I love them because they have a very professional and clean feel.. I am actually using the Lifestyle Child theme for my site currently. Be sure to check out the many options which include all different built in options such as featured content slider, built in SEO, layout options, and so much more. Though these themes look great right out of the box, some are not the easiest to customize as far as colors and graphics.
Thesis – this is a very popular theme that I have been working with for sometime. To customize the basic look of a Thesis site they have a Design Options feature where you have the ability to change the layout, colors, fonts, and you can easily switch between 1 column, 2 column, or 3 column layouts and adjust the widths of the columns. Almost every part of your site can be changed from within the Design Options page. Thesis also allows for additional tweaking and customizations using the Custom Stylesheet, but you would have to have a little bit of knowledge in using CSS code.
Headway – This is a newer theme that is now in competition with Thesis. It offers a lot more flexibility and features. A great explanation according to www.wpblogger.com is “Headway let’s you customize the layout of each page in the Layout Editor. You can add what they title “Leafs” for different types of content, such as: Image Rotator, Featured Post rotator, Widgetized Sidebar, RSS Feed and Content or Text/HTML and a few more. It’s infinitely customizable and each Page or System Page can be customized with a drag and drop layout.”
There are an endless number of WordPress theme choices out there, you are sure to find one that fits your needs as well as your budget. But if you find that you are unsure about what theme to choose, feel free to contact us today and we would be happy to not only help you choose, but also to help you customize the theme. You can see examples of our WordPress Theme Customizations HERE.