Learn How to Select the Best WordPress Theme For Your Blog
Lets face it, there are an over abundance of WordPress themes available on the internet, and with so many out there, fitting magazine style, CMS style, and personal style blogs, how can you tell which one is suitable for your needs? Choosing the right themes can be tough at the best of times, however by making sure that you follow the following guidelines, you should be able to easily shortlist to your ideal theme in no time.
Is The Theme Search Engine Optimized?
For most webmasters, this is going to be a priority, and for those who don’t know what they are looking for, it can be a hard task in itself. First and foremost, the theme will need to load in a reasonable time. As Google has made it public that they will include a measure in their algorithm that incorporates load time into their ranking system, a theme that is so jam packed full of features will most definitely slow down your load times, and may impact your rankings.
For example, the Boardwalk WordPress Theme from WPnow is one of my favorite themes, it’s bursting with color and life, which suits my needs perfect, however, the theme is painfully slow to load. In cases such as these, you can simply use the Super Cache plugin, which will create a static set of HTML files, to allow for fast loading, every time, thus keeping you safe when Google incorporates page speed into their algorithm.
Of course, you are also going to want to be completely certain that keywords are emphasized in headings using the correct tags. The standard use involves H1 and H2 tags in both the header, and in the blog post title. Some other themes, such as the Vigilance Theme from the Theme Foundry use a special piece of code which renders an image from text, and whilst this may come across as a bad thing, the script itself renders clear HTML coding which the search engine spiders can read easily. Bells and whistles are fine, only if the result is a clean and clear coding structure that can be read by the search engine crawlers.
Does The Theme Support My Version Of WordPress?
WordPress is booming at the moment, and as such, the demand for improvements is higher than ever. It only seems like yesterday when version 2.9 was launched, and we are already on the verge of seeing version 3.0 arriving. As such, if you are looking to shortlist your theme selections, making sure that your theme is by a reputable designer that regularly updates their themes is going to be of huge importance.
One of the most renowned theme designers, WooThemes, are currently working with WordPress on their version 3.0, and as such, they work consistently to ensure that all of their themes are compatible with all versions of WordPress.
What I suggest in all cases is to install WordPress on a test domain, just to ensure that themes are compatible, and most importantly, that they work and are customizable for your blog.
Is The Theme Easy To Customize?
If everyone downloaded or purchased the same theme, the blogosphere would be a very repetitive place indeed, and would most certainly lack the excitement that it currently has. Although I do recommend all webmasters to find a good theme to purchase (more people download free themes than purchasing, instantly making your blog more unique!), it is always advisable to look into making some customizations to your theme.
Some themes make customisation very easy, in the case of the Theme Foundry, their coding structure is very clearly labeled, which is most certainly something that I believe a lot of designers should be taking note of. Knowing where the search box is in the header can save a lot of trouble locating it, especially if you only know basic HTML, as such, a clearly labeled theme is always going to be something that deserves a second look.
Where Can I Get A Good Theme?
There are many places online that will offer themes for free, and various others that will charge a fee for their high quality premium themes. Whilst I do recommend investing in a good unique theme, this is a personal choice, some free themes can be very easy to customize just so long as you know HTML and PHP. The choice is entirely yours!