So you’ve installed wordpress and are ready to set up your blog or website. Now the real work begins! But, not to worry, working in WordPress can be fairly easy and, a lot of fun!
Following the installation, typically, the next step for many, will be to select a THEME. You will need to decide if you will use
- a free theme
- a premium theme (one you pay for and use as is or may make changes to reflect your theme colors etc.)
- a custom theme (premium theme created specifically for you)
The route you take will depend on several factors. There are ten questions to ask yourself when selecting a Theme and I will identify 5 of them here:
- Will you use your blog/site to make money? If the answer is yes, I strongly recommend using a premium or custom theme to ensure you will have a professional look, as well as the ability to incorporate features to help make your blog successful. If you will not use your blog for making money, then the many free themes with very basic layouts should suffice. (Here is a great source for monetizing your blog)
- Will the Theme fit what you have in mind for making money with your blog? Will it easily and seamlessly support Adsense, Analytics, Affiliate tools, Shopping Carts etc. If you do not intend to monetize your blog, then this will not be a factor in your decision. However, if you think you might go this route later, you might want to ensure the theme you select will easily incorporate these when you are ready. Here are a few great themes: LIFESTYLE , PIXLE HAPPY, SLEEK and FAMILY TREE, to name a few.
- How is the quality of the design compared to other blogs/sites in the same or similar niche? It is a good idea to do some research and review blogs in your niche, to get a feel for what your competition is doing.
- What level of support is available and at what additional cost if any? Some free themes will offer some support. Most premium themes offer a greater level of support. Be sure you understand clearly the answer to this question as it can be the difference between a successful blog and one that brings you nothing but frustration and a loss of income. You should weigh the level of support provided based on your own skill level. e.g., if you are completely tech challenged, you will want to ensure the level of support is highest. Even if you have someone working on your blog set up, you will want to plan for any eventualities should that person become unavailable.
- How well does the theme display in the more popular browsers? Most premium themes will display correctly in most browsers but can require some tweaking for correct display in later or earlier versions of some browsers. Some free themes may display correctly in fewer of the more popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. It is a good idea to check this out yourself by using the tool at BROWSERSHOTS
Part two of this article will list 5 additional questions to consider when selecting a WordPress theme.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are literally thousands of themes available for your WordPress blog/site. Although there will be other considerations when selecting a theme, I believe answering these 10 questions will help you make the best choice for your particular need.
In addition to the sources mentioned above, here are other recommendations for premium and free themes:
Here’s to your success!
Stay tuned for five more great tips for selecting the right theme for your blog.