WordPress is also the number one website platform used by all successful blogs. It is a free and open-source content management system written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database. The features of WordPress include a plugin architecture and a template system, referred to within WordPress as Themes.
There are literally thousands of people creating new themes and plugins for WordPress every day. Finding the right theme though can sometimes be quite a challenge in itself, but finding good quality themes, that suit your online marketing purpose can be even more difficult.
Things you need to Consider when Choosing a WordPress Themes
There are certain things you need to put into consideration when selecting your WordPress theme as it will help in your marketing efforts as well as drive traffic much faster. When choosing your theme you need to consider what it is you are blogging about. No doubt you spent considerable time deciding on a niche and you don’t want to spoil your efforts by installing a theme that completely wastes that effort.
Below are a few tips on what to look for when installing your WordPress themes at first:
1. SEO Ready.
Try to find a theme that has been built with SEO in mind. It can be a tough road to getting a good ranking on the search engines and a theme that has been optimized already is going to help you rank higher, and rank faster. There are a number of great plugins for SEO but using a poorly written theme can render them effectively useless so try to find something that has been tested against the SEO plugin that you intend to use.
2. Clean Design.
Your themes should have a clean and crisp design especially when it has to do with WordPress. It should be easy to navigate as well as easy to read. Forget about all the fluff. The sidebar should be minimal and you should be very selective about the type and number of widgets you add. If you add a widget then it must add value to the site and help your readers in some way. That could be to assist in finding the content that they are looking for in your blog, or it could be to provide social proof of your blog’s popularity and readership.
3. Effective Advertising.
You want to make money from your blog so advertising space is a must but you need to very mindful about where and how you place your advertising material on your blog. Some blogs, usually scraper sites, are ridiculously overloaded with banners and link ads, and it’s only people as stupid as the scrapers who are ever clicking on them. Keep your advertising to a minimum and find effective areas to advertise from.
A good strategy is no more than about 6 banners in the blog sidebar, a 468×60 ad in the header, and any non-intrusive AdBlock in the body of each post. Test out some different variations of location, size, and even color. The brightest, loudest advertisement will not always be the best performing. Continually test out different options, review the results, and go with whatever performs best on your blog.
4. Color Scheme.
From the days of Windows 3.0 right through to Windows XP we all hated but became accustomed to that plain grey on a blue color scheme that Microsoft implemented. At first glance, it was really awful but it worked. Few people ever understood why that color scheme was chosen.
Microsoft is a master of marketing and always took the time to understand who their customers were. They chose that color combination because it was the most neutral set of colors for all people to adapt to which included the color blind. It was easy to look at without causing any distress to the user.
Take a leaf out of the Microsoft manual and learn who your blog readers are. Once again, test different things and ask your readers what they are more comfortable with. The last thing you want to do is lose your readers because they had trouble looking at your site for more than a few seconds.
5. Page Builders.
Page builders are WordPress plugins that allow you to create page layouts using drag and drop user interface. Many premium WordPress themes come with page builders pre-installed. Some of these page builders are used by that theme developer only.
Using such a page builder to create landing pages can produce a lot of unwanted code. If you ever switch the theme, then those pages will require a lot of cleaning up.
You should choose themes that are shipping with one of the most used page builder plugins. You can also purchase these page-builders separately to use with other themes as well.
6. Free versus Commercial.
At some point, you’re going to have to make a decision between free and commercial themes. WordPress Premium themes once referred to as commercial themes. Today however the landscape has changed and there are many free premium themes available. All this means is that these free premium themes are of high quality in terms of design and code structure.
Differences between Commercial and Free Themes
There are 2 very big differences between WordPress commercial and free themes that you must consider.
Free themes can be written by anyone. Right now, for instance, I am creating a theme myself to test on this blog which I hope to have completed in the next few days (although don’t hold me to that). This means that the code structure could be very good or it could be very bad. This has a major effect on so many levels from how easily the site is navigated by both humans and search engines right through to how fast or slow the site loads.
The second thing is the links in the footer. I’m sure you’ve seen a theme that has 3 or 4 text links in the footer that don’t even point to the developers’ own website. The worst of these are those themes that point to a credit card site or payday loans. Not something you’d want if your niche was how to save money for instance and under GPL licensing you must leave those links in place.
Commercial themes have the advantage of removing those links from the footer, are written by website development professionals, generally have good clean code enabling a fast load time, and are more often than not written with SEO in mind. Most importantly though you get support and you are going to need it when you try to use your favorite plugin and it doesn’t work. The support team will be able to fix the problem for you very quickly and you will have your plugin up and running in no time.
No matter if you decide on a free or commercial theme, you need to keep both your objectives and your readers in mind before you go ahead and install your new theme. Choose free themes carefully and test on a local offline server prior to uploading it to your live blog. You can as well read How to Setup a WordPress in less than 5 Min for more insight.
If you’ve decided that you need a good commercial theme that can adapt easily to your online marketing efforts there are several good options available.
Hope you found the post useful and comprehensive!! If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to share!
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