Getting started with WordPress is, thankfully, a breeze. One of the hardest decisions to make, however, is your theme. With thousands to choose from the challenge can seem daunting. Don’t fret! We at WeLoveWP are here to help.
Your theme is your design; it’s your calling card. It sets the stage for the content you will provide, and gives your readers the literary street they walk on when they visit your site. It’s important not just to pick one you like, but one which will be conducive to their viewing pleasure. When choosing a theme, instead of poring over every option available, do a “self-filter” scan of the descriptions. The key words you’re looking for will steer you in the right direction, and help you to narrow down your search.
As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, simplicity is the rule these days. Simple is often written as “clean,” “manageable,” or “minimalist” in the WordPress directories. Unless you have something specific in mind and know it will get results, do your own filtering first to weed out themes which have too much activity. If the descriptions don’t help, a quick look should tell you what you need to know. Excessive widgets or oversized banners are probably not what you are looking for, unless your content is significantly strengthened by your logo or an image.
Next, look at the colors. Active, vibrant colors will excite the reader and get them ready for an active, engaging site. Vibrant colors suggest that there is something for the reader to do at the site, some action that they can take. Cooler, calmer colors are often used due to their ability to draw in viewers without alienating them. Taking it a step further, predominantly white themes with hints of dark colors are considered “sterile.” This approach can be very helpful in WordPress sites as it can really clear out space and allow you to direct your reader’s eyes where they should go.
For the remaining elements you have to choose from, make a short list. Write down, in order of importance, the aspects of your content which readers will find appealing. It might look something like, “pictures, reviews, links.” If that’s the case, use that list to narrow down the themes further. Find one which puts the pictures prominently on the landing page if that is what will draw your viewers. If you are a text-based site, like a blog, find one which puts the written content on center stage. Make the theme suit your page, never make your page suit a theme.
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