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When you construct your first WordPress website or blog, you have a huge decision to make immediately: choosing a theme. This is probably the first thing you will do after installing the software, and it’s major because your theme, or layout, is the first thing your readers will see. Your theme represents you and your goal is to make it as appealing as possible.

People will instantly judge the quality and value of your website as soon as they land on your home page. Your header image should relay the message and purpose of your website. Your navigation bar should be user-intuitive, and the color scheme should be soft and warm so you don’t scare people off. All of this is made easy if you have chosen the best possible theme for “your” product or service. Let’s learn a little about themes and then look at some tips on choosing your best WordPress theme.


Look And Feel

And it all starts with having the right theme. Remember that articles are simply the “look” and, to some degree, “feel” of your website. Your article is like what people see outside your house first. It can have nice window dressing, pretty colors, fancy decorative brick, and an overall pleasant appeal. If people like what they know, they will enter or (click) around and stay for a visit. This is what you want to keep your visitors in the house.

So start with an appealing theme and combine it with appropriate templates to give your readers the best possible experience when they visit your website. People often interchange themes and templates, falsely associating them as one, but this is not so.


Remember, themes are your website’s outward look or (skin), whereas templates are the file system behind the scenes that adds functionality to your site. All themes come with a default template, but you can add or define additional templates to any theme; they’re just files. An example of such a template (file) might be a single-page template that does not display headers, footers, or sidebars. So start by picking the right theme and then extend its look with various templates.

History of WordPress Themes

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system that carries what’s known as a GNU General Public License (GPL). In the earlier days of WordPress, developers would attach sponsored links within their themes, which would be passed on to the end-users who downloaded them. This opened the door for web developers to create applications and articles for the software.

The official WordPress theme directory would host these themes for download, but this practice was later halted because some considered these “sponsored” themes spam. You can still download articles from the official WordPress free themes directory, but only after WordPress has properly vetted the article and approved it for end users.

The Default Option

Over fifteen hundred free themes are available today from the official WordPress directory, so finding a piece shouldn’t be hard. However, deciding which theme to use can sometimes be daunting. Once you install the file system, WordPress provides you with a perfectly functional piece right out of the box. You will be presented with the Twenty Ten or Eleven theme depending on your installation method.

Using the Fantastico install method through HostGator, you will have the Twenty Ten theme. Now you have to decide whether to keep it or switch to another.

Important Tip:

Whether you decide to keep and use the default theme or download and use some other theme, never, never delete your default theme install. Your default theme contains important base files, which are extremely important. If you change your base theme, those changes will be lost as soon as you “upgrade” the music. So, do not delete your initial article. Rather, please copy it or create a child theme instead.

Research your theme

Before you go off half-cocked, loading up a bunch of themes, do your homework first. If you are brand new and this is your first time working with WordPress, I suggest you stick with the default theme until you learn how things work. The default theme is all you need to start.

But if you want a different “look,” then, by all means, go for it, but spend a little time narrowing down your choice. If you will emulate the look of some other website, then note “that” website’s look and feel. Is the layout user-friendly? Is it a one-column or two-column layout? Is the header animated or static? What about the colors?

Once you find something you like, go to the official theme directory and try to find it. Right-click on the page and view the page “source” to get the theme’s name. NNot all websites use WordPress, but if you visit “WordPress-related” websites, you’ll discover that nearly all use a WordPress theme. You will also discover articles that you can’t find in the official theme directory- premium themes.

Premium Themes

WordPress does not officially sanction premium and paid themes; individuals and groups typically create and promote them. Premium WordPress themes are announced with the promise of providing you with the “perfect” all-around piece. Those who promote them suggest your web-building efforts will be made easier if you use their music. This is not always the case.

Many paid themes are loaded with so many options it will make your head spin. There is a learning curve with any piece- this is why you must first “understand” how to use WordPress before jumping in and purchasing a premium theme.

Yes, premium themes offer greater flexibility and functionality because many popular options are built into the music. But again, if you’re new, you will have your hands full from the start, and adding another confusing element to the mix will only frustrate you.

I have used premium themes, and there are some good ones but also some lousy ones. A great paid theme costs around ~$80.00 and usually has a great following and support system. A bad one can generally be found for under thirty bucks. Bottom line: Avoid paid themes if you’re a beginner and only venture out once you’ve acquired experience building your first five or ten WordPress websites.

These are some general guidelines you should consider when choosing your WordPress theme. It’s not something to stress over, because even if you do everything right, chances are you will switch themes in mid-stride. After all, you’re not happy with the look of your website as you’re developing it.

This is very common because what you see is not always what you get. When you find a theme with the “look” you want, remember that this “appearance” is a completed project; it’s the result. Your article will start with a bare-bones look and only be complete once your template options are set. Keep all of this in mind as you examine the thousands of themes.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.