Question: Who is the King of the Blog Empire?
A: Content is the King
Q: Where is the Queen?
Oh boy! Design is the Queen!
In my view, a Blogger is successful when (s)he realizes that “Content is the King and there is not substitute for that”. And if you are one of them, you are already successful!
You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising, and plenty of hours on social networks promoting your links, you will get the traffic but people would just leave if they get nothing of value.
“Hey, why are you telling this to me? I already know that”
Sorry, that was just an appetizer. 😛
There is a second part to a blog that many often neglect. The Queen of the empire, THE DESIGN!
A theme is a backbone of the blog on which the body is built. A good theme helps you in SEO and more importantly, a unique theme helps in Standing-out of-the-rest.
Chris Pearson is arguably one of the top theme designers. (Yes! He designed the Thesis theme.) He explains the functions of a good theme as one that’s accessible, flexible, and usable and of course Search Engine Optimized.
I would say that a theme has more work to do…
- A good theme acts as an eye-catcher and helps in impressing the reader. Remember, netizens scan first before reading.
- A well chosen theme should high light your work and give your blog a professional look.
- It should set the mood of the reader and should make him stay longer on your blog.
Thankfully, there are lots of free WordPress themes available, but how do you choose one for your blog? The thumb rule is; YOU should be happy about your theme. Along with that, consider these.
Finding the Right Theme for Your Blog
Choose a theme that matches the style of your blog. Make sure that it can project your work. For example, if yours’ is a photo blog, pick one that can showcase your pics as an image gallery.
Check if the basic H1, H2 tags are in place. This guide on WordPress Header Tags should help you decide better.
Pick a unique Theme, that’s not so popular on your niche. This is going to be an issue, because even premium themes are highly over used. Try to get something as unique as possible.
Make sure it meets your needs. If you plan to use 125 x 125 button ads, see if there are place holders for the button ads.
Consider reading this guide on choosing a WordPress Theme. (Authored by Lorelle!)
I would say that you go for a Premium theme. Premium themes are designed for the demanding users and come with great support and frequent updates.
Make sure frequent Updates are available. Why are updates important? It would be so painful to find that a latest feature on WordPress is not supported by your theme when a new version of WordPress is out. Most premium themes don’t have this issue and some free themes like the Vigilance Theme and the Freemium Theme are regularly updated.
The Ultimate Solution?
If you can afford it, hire a custom designer. Someone who can design a custom theme for you to match all your needs, that would be awesome. It solves the issues of uniqueness, flexibility and the availability of updates.
Whatever theme you choose, make sure that every part of the theme is complete. Don’t leave the default pages and place holders as such. Customize it to the best of your limits!
Did I miss any? Please tip me guys 🙂
My friend, Ajith is looking for a new WordPress theme; if you have any suggestions for a theme that suits him, please have your say.
(P.S.: I have kept it as a goal for the coming year to hire a designer to build on the current StudioPress Church theme and give it an ultimate facelift. If you are someone who can do that, or you know someone, please be in touch)