The first thing that will come to one’s mind, when decided to write a blog on a topic they are interested in, is the selection of the theme or template for their blog. There are a number of blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc. If you do a search on Google for the blogging platforms, you will get a list of those. Among all, WordPress is most popular and has thousands of blogs built using this platform. It is Open Source project and is free to use.
In this article, I will tell you how to select a WordPress(WP) theme. A WP theme is nothing but a piece of software used to build your blog. It contains various templates or files which work together in the background to give you the desired look and feel for your blog. Following the below tips help you to select your blog theme easily and efficiently.
1. Category: This means what is your blog all about. It defines the kind of audience you want to target your blog too. For example, if you want to write a blog about dogs, then your blog comes under the Pets category. Or if you like to target to the people interested in cooking than you category would be Food. Finding your category helps you to find the right theme and thus saving your time and energy in the process of setting it up and later correcting it. There are themes in every major category ranging from Travel to Music to Business. You can find these at the WP Theme directory and also a number of websites like Free WordPress themes, Daily Blog Tips, t home studio.
2. Colors and layouts: Some people like to have their favorite colors to their blogs. So, try getting your themes in those colors as much as possible but this may not be possible always although there are hundreds of WP themes which match every desire. Also, there is another advantage in using a theme of your favorite color as you do not need to change a lot in the theme to get your color. But I recommend not to focus much on this aspect because it is not that difficult to change it later once you are comfortable with the code behind it. Rather concentrate on the layout of the theme. Decide on what type of layout you want. Browse through the list of themes you have at WordPress.org and other websites cited above. This will give you an idea of how it looks and then you can easily make a decision. There are a number of layouts available, but popular are:
Two Column (With Sidebar)
Two Column (Without Sidebar)
Also, there are some layouts specifically designed for Photos centered and Videos centered blogs. I feel you have to select a theme which you can live with it for the long term as you are the one who visits your blog the most. Experiment some themes with some test posts and pages. Comment them, categorize them and see how your selected theme looks. This is the best way to ensure you have the right theme. Do not see the blog theme from your own point of view but from your reader’s point of view.
3. The purpose of your blog: This is important as this will help you to select your theme for the long term. If you are going to write a blog only for you to vent out your emotions and thoughts, you do not need to give much importance to many other aspects of your blog like advertisements, widgets, etc. But if you blog to help others like this one you are presently reading, or to make money out of it, then you need to also consider few other things in addition to the above ones. Some things you need to consider are if that theme supports advertisements without much tweaking and turning the code, does the theme supports the widgets or plugins, like RSS, Protection from Spam comments, Search engine optimization, etc. By default when you have signed up for a WordPress blog, you will be provided with default themes. You can use them or select your own from visiting the WordPress’s own free WP themes or other Paid WP theme websites.These websites provide professional looking themes with excellent support.
4. Support: Ensure you will get the support you needed while using the theme from the theme author or website owner. I have seen many times, that the site owner from where the theme is downloaded could not able to help the user who has downloaded and used it for their blog because they are not developed by himself but somebody else and he is only promoting them. If this is the case when you need the support most, then it would lead to frustration and waste of time for you.