This is a guest post by James Adams. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Everybody knows that WordPress is extremely versatile. There are themes available for nearly every mood or whim and new ones are being added every day. When you’re ready to start blogging for yourself, how do you find a theme that will suit your needs? Here are some tips and questions to help you find the right WordPress theme for you.
1. Be aware of your purpose – To choose the best theme for your blog, you need to know what you are going to be using it for. Are you wanting to monetize it? Do you want to throw pay per click out the window and just write for fun?
2. Take a look at others, part 1 – Find the blogs that appeal to you and write the themes down. This first sweep looks specifically at form, rather than function. Write down the five styles that most appeal to you, then go to the next step.
3. Take a look at others, part 2 – There are two parts to any blog: form and function. Search around a little more to see if there are blogs that have the functionality that you want. Will the theme support the widgets that you want? Does it have the coding that you love already in place? Write down around five styles.
4. Do you need to learn a programming language? – Some WordPress styles are more technically intensive than others. Do you have the expertise to install the widgets, or would you prefer a ‘drag and drop’ sort of approach? Are you willing to learn new techniques? This is an important factor when selecting a WordPress theme.
5. Do you need to pay for it? – You might have found the theme of your dreams, but does it cost money? If you are plotting out a straight blog, do you need to have a custom theme available? Themes come in a variety of price ranges and you must be prepared to pay if you like one of the premium set ups.
6. Can you grow with your theme? – Are you satisfied with the WordPress theme enough that you’re itching to put all of your material into it? Can you grow with this theme? More importantly, are you willing to put a whole lot of work into the theme that you’ve chosen? If not, you may wish to choose something else.
7. Is there after sales support? – Does the company supplying the theme offer support in case something goes wrong? If they don’t, are you willing to search hither and yon for someone who can answer your questions? Adequate technical support is essential.
8. Does it upgrade regularly? – Are you going to be left in the dust at each new WordPress upgrade? Can your theme grow with you, or are you going to be left behind? Learn about this before you commit to the theme, because it will save some issues later on.
9. Read some reviews – Once you have answered your questions in terms of the theme that you wish to use, investigate to see if there are any reviews posted. If you can’t find any reviews, ask the people that have your potential theme on their site and see how they feel about it.
10. Give it a test run – All the preparation in the world is not a replacement for giving your theme a shot and seeing how it works. Kick the tires, put some comments in, play with the widgets. If you have to pay for your theme, see if the company will let you have a free trial.
Nothing can beat good content, but a great WordPress theme will make it easier on your readers and potentially attract new ones. It’s like finding the right partner, you’ll know it when you’ve found the right WordPress theme.
Image Source: flickr