The theme of your WordPress blog is crucially important to your blogs success, as it showcases your work and in doing so, enhances it. As there are thousands upon thousands of themes out there, how do you chose the right theme for your blog?
This article is about choosing the right theme for your blog, and is written from the perspective that you do not know how to build a theme of your own, which is fair enough as most bloggers do not.
So what are the options?
In essence you have two options, you can either find a free theme and adopt it, which is what I have done, or you can buy a premium theme. The themes in Wpthemesplugins.com, have good examples of both. You can also change or upgrade your themes via the themes option under the heading appearance, which is normally located on the left hand side of the dashboard.
Choosing the right theme is not about choosing ones you like the look of, but more ones that help create a mood. So if your theme is one for a jazz music, you may feel the theme should give an air of being in a jazz club, or a record parlour. A cookery site may want to give an image of an industrious kitchen, or an elegant restaurant.
My site, which is a site that is primarily about my work as a freelance writer, ( www.teahon.co.uk ) uses the Lightword theme. This was a free theme, and I liked it because it gave an image of reading into the night time, as the charcoal color scheme reminds me of the night. The theme has gathered many plaudits, and I get constant enquiries about where I obtained it, mainly from other writers.
The point I am trying to make is that the theme is about creating an atmosphere, which will make your blog more authentic, and make it more enjoyable for your readers who are the important people.
All WordPress themes are customizable, and this is one of the beauties of the platform. There are hundreds upon hundreds of plugins to enhance your blog, many of which are free to use, though making a donation or at least a link to the site that created it is polite. The ones I have on my blog, and ones I would recommend are:
Platinum SEO pack- Everything you could want to make your blog search engine ready. Be sure to read all the options carefully.
Google XML Sitemaps- Makes an XML sitemap of your blog which can then be accessed by Google’s webmaster application. This helps your blog from an SEO perspective.
WP captcha – This is a must have plugin which is quite simply the work of genius. It auto detects whether the commentator is human or bot, and if it’s the latter, asks them to enter the code to post on the site. All works on timing and is quite simply, brilliant.
Google Analyticator – This plugin allows your blog pages to be read by Google Analytics, so you can get an accurate picture of what posts and pages are the most popular.
There are many other plugins to choose from, and many specific to certain kinds of blogs, such as music.
Upgrading, or uploading?
When upgrading your theme or version of WordPress, remember that should they may not be compatible with one another, which can lead to disaster, and you will have to delete the theme off your web domain server to get access to the dashboard.
Also, when installing a plugin, make sure that the ones you choose are compatible with your WordPress version.
Above all, have fun, and don’t be afraid to experiment.