The complexity of choosing WordPress themes
Choosing WordPress themes is tricky. One of the first hurdles that I came across in WordPress was how to chose a theme. For WordPress.com hosted blogs this isn’t such a great problem as there are a limited amount of themes available.
Only about 330 compared to thousands for WordPress.org sites!
I have used the following free WordPress.com themes – Titan & Fleshy (Andy Britnell WordPress.com test site) both of which look clean and professional. I am sure you will find a free one that suits your blog and later you can always upgrade to a self-hosted site and find a more professional theme that fits your market and style more closely.
When I decided to have a self-hosted site the possibilities seemed endless. There are many free themes available and you can get snowblinded by all the different colours, layouts and features that each theme has.
Eventually I almost lost the will to live! Another case of too much choice forcing you choose something inappropriate or not making a decision at all. Eventually I had to set up a list of criteria in order to shortlist the themes that were going to work.
These are my guidelines:
- No white on dark text – despite it saving energy it is just too straining on the eyes and unclear
- Flexible layout for every page (not restricted to just 2 or 3 columns) which means you can have static pages with a different layout which can act as landing pages
- Style to fit market niche – knocks out most photography and magazine type themes for my clients
- Ability to change fonts, backgrounds, header, colours etc. Allows you to differentiate from other blogs with same theme
- Easy to link to social media to make your blog the hub of online activity
- Updated and supported theme that is popular – you don’t want your theme to wither and die
- Theme that links with content. A personal blog can be more funky than a business blog and a magazine or sport blog can be busier
Having said that once you know the rules you can always break a few to give your blog a design and look with an edge!
What do you look for when you are choosing a theme for your blog?