Picking A WordPress Theme
So you’re all excited about creating a WordPress website. But how much thought have you given to choosing a WordPress theme, also known as templates?
Picking a theme can be stressful, believe it or not, if you allow it to be. Don’t over think this.
This is because there are literally thousands of themes to sift through, and it can make your head spin.
Many beginners simply use the default template, and this is a fine choice because WordPress has done a pretty good job at giving you everything you need to build a great website right out of the box. In fact, I built my flagship website using the default Twenty Ten theme.
I use the default theme in my WordPress training videos section so you can see how easy it is. It’s fully functional. As you can see however, I have tweaked it to my liking by editing certain portions. I used the default theme, and show you how to tweak it as well just so you get the full picture and understand WordPress from its very basic level. (image compliments of commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Guillom)
Of course everyone has their particular likes, and dislikes, so that’s why there are many free themes for you to pick from. With so many free themes out there you get to pick, choose and refuse. Search until your heart is content and you’ll find a nice theme that fits your taste.
Free WordPress themes are developed by avid WordPress users and web developers. Anyone can create a theme if they have the know-how and take the time to start with a blank template and edit the CSS code.
Not all free themes are created equal and many have some sort of sales material attached or embedded within them, most of the time in the footer. This is especially true for WordPress plugins also. But this is the price you pay, or don’t pay, for the benefit of using a free theme you find appealing.
Some free themes can be “buggy” so I’d advise only using those free themes you find while searching from within the “Add themes” section of WordPress. These themes have to pass certain WordPress guidelines and are therefore safer to use.
Many people are making a nice income developing premium themes. Premium themes have greater functionality built into them and you typically don’t have to find and install a bunch of plugins. They’re called premium because you have to pay for them.
Premium themes tend to look a more flashy because they have so many options in them. The best ones have every design option imaginable and you can literally duplicate the “look” of your favorite website once you figure out all the options in the theme.
These themes are a really good choice once you have some experience under your belt and you understand how WordPress works. For the newbie…. I wouldn’t advise purchasing an expensive premium theme because with so many options, it’s just create a recipe for frustration.
Start with the default theme, or free theme, and “learn” how to build a website first; then move on to premium themes later. I do believe in using premium themes and I usually use them for clients sites. But even with premium themes, I’ve always found the need to get in behind the scenes and edit something in the code to my liking.
Once you decide on a theme you need to stick with it and learn it. When you’re considering a theme always remember: The way the theme looks in the picture is not the way its going to look after you initially install it. You will have to learn the theme and tweak it, if you want it to look “exactly” like what you envisioned.
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