One of the first things that needs to be done when starting any new blog is deciding what WordPress theme to use. This can at times be a bit challenging due to the ridiculous number of themes currently on the market.
And because absolutely anyone can now design and distribute WordPress themes, you are no longer guaranteed a high quality design just because you have chosen to base your blog on the WordPress platform.
Therefore choosing the right WordPress theme for your blog requires both patience and an understanding of the key features to look for. While I sadly cannot offer you patience, I can easily outline the factors that I always consider when making my choice.
Theme PriceThe first thing to consider is whether or not to pay for a theme. It would be nice to say that the free wordpress themes are just as good as the paid variety but this sadly is not the case. If you want a top of the line theme, you will have to pay for it.
I use both free and paid themes depending on how serious I am about the blog in question. It is worth noting that if you are not yet sure whether your new blog warrants such an investment, there are a number of free themes that though not quite as good as the paid variety, they do come pretty close.
Blog NavigationJust because a particular theme looks fantastic that does not make it the best choice. Some WordPress theme designers focus almost entirely on the aesthetics of their themes with little thought of usability or just how slow a website becomes when excessive graphics are used.
Remember that ease of navigation is vital if you want visitors to your blog to actually take a look around. Check out the demo of the theme and if you don’t know where to go almost immediately, the theme does not rank very highly in the usability department and should be avoided.
Whether Customization is NeededI tend to avoid themes that I will need to modify to fit my blog.
This may sound lazy but there are just so many wordpress themes available now that it is relatively easy to find one that is almost perfect right out of the box. Therefore always consider how much customization you will need to do to a theme before it suits your needs and don’t waste time on one that requires an extensive amount.
How Much HTML Knowledge is RequiredWhile I don’t use themes that immediately require customization to suit my needs, I do like themes that will allow me to make changes in the future. Many themes make it incredibly easy to do so. Such themes often allow you to make changes such as alterations to the overall colour scheme, the background image, even the number of columns with just the click of a mouse. On the opposite end of the spectrum.
Some WordPress themes require knowledge of HTML to make even minor changes. If you are not particularly tech savvy, such themes should obviously be avoided.
Browser CompatibilityBrowser compatibility is frequently forgotten by many bloggers when making their choice. Most professional WordPress theme designers test their creations on almost all browsers before releasing them but some designers don’t bother to do this.
Remember that themes can look completely different on browsers other than your own so don’t use any theme that hasn’t been extensively tested for browser compatibility.
AdSense OptimizationFinally, I use Adsense on all of my blogs so I generally stick to AdSense optimised themes.
Such WordPress themes include specific spots to display your AdSense ads that have been proven to lead to higher levels of clicks. Such themes are also generally easier to add your AdSense code to which makes them ideal for those with little knowledge of HTML.
In conclusion, my final piece of advice is to not spend all day looking for a WordPress theme for your blog. There are so many sites offering WordPress themes at the moment that you can easily waste far too much time searching for the perfect choice. It may seem like you are working but you are not and your choice of theme is only a small part of building a successful blog.
Also, I understand there are many more reasons to look for the right theme. How about a discussion below?