See the first five steps of this list in my last post then read below for the next 5 steps.
- If included, how useful are the sidebars to your readers? Many blogs have sidebars that serve no real purpose. If you choose a theme with sidebars, consider how you will use them: to show links to posts, related links, monetized content, widgets etc. The good news is that many premium themes give you the option to include/exclude sidebars as you deem appropriate. The StudioPress Genesis Theme Framework and its child themes, is one source I like, that includes this feature.
- What links are embedded in the theme? Have you ever visited a website that have links at the bottom that are not related to the site? Many themes (free, premium and custom) have links embedded in them and while usually the links themselves are harmless, you want to be sure you understand what the links are and what purpose they serve, then make a decision about whether to delete or change them. If you determine the the links are unchangeable and are not comfortable with them, or they create limitations for your own purposes, them I recommend not using that theme.
- How easy is it for visitors to navigate your site to find content of your blog/site not visible on the front page? In other words, does the theme make it easy for visitors to click through the sight and find related items, other interesting content etc. Is it easy to show categories or archives of your regularly updated content? Is it easy to find and click through to the static content on your site?
- Is the theme user friendly and fairly dummy proof? You will need to understand the level of complexity involved in updating, changing and adding content to you blog and, make you choices based on your skill level and perhaps the level of support available. Most bloggers will update their content pretty frequently and, with the increasing evidence that images, audio, e-commerce, video etc. enhancing your blog, you will want to be comfortable with the level of complexity involved with incorporating these elements. The StudioPress Magazine Child Theme used for this blog, is both visitor and user friendly.
- Does the theme incorporate tools for SEO? Perhaps one of the most important questions to ask yourself is related to how SEO ready the blog is. Unlike HTML sites where it is fairly easy to input keywords, met tags etc, in every page, a theme that is not SEO friendly might negatively impact your blog. You will therefore want to understand what if any SEO related features are included in the theme you choose.
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!
Every great theme deserves a great plugin. Stay tuned to see what's hot in WordPress Plugins!